The Board of Trustees met Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo Editor

The Ohio State Board of Trustees met Friday and unanimously approved agenda items including several major construction projects.


Design and construction contracts

The Board approved entering into a professional contract for $70.8 million to seek initial designs on a new a hospital tower. University President Michael Drake said in November that the tower isn’t expected to be completed until 2025. The tower will include up to 840 private-room beds and will repurpose and phase-out 440 beds in the aging Rhodes and Doan halls in the process.

The Board also approved $1.3 million to be put toward the design of a 22,500 square-foot expansion of Newton Hall, which houses the College of Nursing.

Finally, the Board approved entering into construction contracts for what is being dubbed the “Advanced Materials Corridor,” a $5.7 million project for Koffolt and Fontana labs.


Personnel actions

The Board approved a range of personnel actions, most notably approving men’s basketball head coach Chris Holtmann’s eight-year, $24 million contract.

Holtmann was brought into the program back in June after the departure of longtime coach Thad Matta.

More details about the contract details here.


Authorization to grant a roadway easement

The Board approved a roadway easement by the City of Columbus as part of the Cannon Drive construction project.

This will allow the city to put in “vehicular and pedestrian traffic signals and a roadway retaining wall,” according to meeting documents.

Ohio State will give the city monetary consideration for this work totalling $1.

Read more about Cannon Drive construction plans here.


Meeting recognition

Before approving the agenda items the Board took time to acknowledge the President’s Prize recipients as well as Ohio State’s achievements in research.

The President’s Prize, which consists of a $50,000 living stipend and $50,000 to be spent on program development, was awarded to Alina Sharafutdinova for her plan to combat the opioid crisis in Columbus, and Anna Voelker for her plan to increase access for people with disabilities and specialized needs to careers in astronomy and physics.

You can read more about Sharafutdinova’s work here and more about Voelker’s work here.

The Board also took time to recognize the achievements of medical school research. Nineteen faculty members received their first National Institute of Health RO1 grants at an average age of 37. Dr. Craig Kent, dean of the College of Medicine, said most medical institutions only expect to have three to four faculty achieve this feat at an average age of 43.