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Board of Trustees discuss Title IX improvements, approve course fee elimination, construction contracts

Trustees discuss the university’s fiscal forecasts at a Board of Trustees Finance Committee meeting in Pomerene Hall on Aug. 30, 2018. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor

The full Board of Trustees  met Friday morning and approved a number of resolutions unanimously on Friday and discussed a few pressing topics.

Eliminating 70 percent of course fees and additional costs for students for Spring 2019

Four proposals regarding student fee simplification and student savings were approved, including course fee elimination, textbook affordability, a tuition waiver for rank four students and benefits for military families.

The measures are estimated to save students collectively up to $1.9 million, according to the university.

Although 70 percent of course fees were eliminated, the university kept fees in three high volume area subjects: chemistry, biology and physics, which rely on the revenue for the labs, and pass-through fees in music, social work and first aid that cover third-party costs.

More details: Here.

Update on SCE replacement and Title IX compliance

Gina Maisto Smith and Leslie M. Gomez, who were hired by the university to help create a new student-support system for sexual assault victims, as well as improve Ohio State’s compliance with federal laws regarding Title IX, gave an in-person update to the full Board on the steps the university is taking to fill the void the Sexual Civility and Empowerment office. The update provided a recap of the news release from Ohio State on Aug. 21.

Entering into Professional Services and Construction Contracts

Celeste Lab renovation, an indoor tennis center, and the Health Sciences Faculty Office and Optometry Clinic Building are a few of the projects the contracts include.

More than $50 million was requested for approval for the contracts from the Master Planning and Facilities Committee, according the the agenda.

More details about other university construction projects discussed: Here.

2019 Utility System Capital Improvement Project

Ohio State Energy Partners LLC will make capital improvements to the utility system for the extension of South Campus central chilled water supply — used to cool a building’s air and equipment — and return infrastructure from the existing Upham Drive utility tunnel to Harding Hospital.

A recent chiller failure at Harding Hospital resulted in the rental and installation of a temporary chiller to provide service, according the Master Planning and Facilities Committee’s background on the proposal.

The project would cost an estimated $2.33 million, according to the proposal background.

Presidential Goals for 2019

University President Michael Drake wants the university to address issues regarding mental health resources, sexual misconduct prevention and resources, Ohio’s opioid crisis, Framework 2.0 and many other issues in 2019.

His goals are aligned with the university’s strategic plan and its “five pillars”: teaching and learning; access, affordability and excellence; research and creative expression; academic healthcare; and operational excellence and resource stewardship.

More details: Here.

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