Kent State Board of Trustees Approves Balanced Budget
Embracing another year of record enrollment, a solid financial foundation and indications of continued universitywide growth, the Kent State University Board of Trustees approved a balanced university budget for fiscal year 2016. Given the ongoing state budget deliberations at the time of the Board’s last meeting on June 4, 2015, the Board adopted resolutions to approve tuition, special programs, course and other fees, and expenditure authorization to ensure the continuation of university operations in the first quarter of the new fiscal year. Now that the state of Ohio budget for fiscal year 2016 has been approved, the Board approved a final, balanced university budget today (Sept. 9) for the current year.
In other Board actions:
- A new shared vision statement for the university’s core values and strategic priorities was met with strong support as the Board endorsed a plan for Kent State’s best thinking and highest aspirations: To be a community of change agents whose collective commitment to learning sparks epic thinking, meaningful voice, and invaluable outcomes to better our society.
- The Kent State Board of Trustees voted in favor of approving the Alternative 2-A: Improve to FAA design standards for an Airport Reference Code (ARC) of A-1 for the Kent State University Airport. The vote followed input from three public meetings and recommendations from the Airport Master Plan Steering Team.
- Trustees approved a plan that provides opportunities for in-state, undergraduate students to reduce the student cost of earning a college degree by five percent. As required by Amended Substitute House Bill 64, the plan will be submitted to the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education (Ohio Board of Regents) by Oct. 15, 2015. A promotional campaign will be developed to increase student awareness of these opportunities.
- The Board voted to authorize the chair of the Board to write a letter to the National Park Service expressing the Board’s support for the designation of the May 4 site as a National Historic Landmark.
- The Board also voted to name the recently constructed football player lounge in Dix Stadium the Jason Bitsko Football Player Lounge after the late student-athlete, at the request of donor Larry Shaffer. Bitsko died suddenly on Aug. 20, 2014, during his fourth year as a member of the football program. The football locker room area improvements were funded with private gifts.
- Korb Hall will undergo renovations following the Board’s vote to upgrade and improve the building, which was constructed in 1964. The improvements will replace the roof, the 50-year-old mechanical systems and windows, and provide new carpet, wall and ceiling finishes. Residence Services has set aside $7 million in facility maintenance funding for the project. The majority of the work will be completed during the summer 2016 recess.
- The Board approved the vendor selection for medical, vision and dental benefits administration for its employees and their eligible dependents effective Jan. 1, 2016, as well as secured stop-loss insurance for the university for medical and prescription drug claims. After receiving 21 bids, the evaluation committee selected Medical Mutual of Ohio, Anthem, EyeMed and Delta Dental.
- The Board voted to enter into a contract with Oracle America Inc. to acquire the most current version of software for identity authorization and access management and the related implementation services in order to simplify the complexity in the current process of creating and managing system access, as well as improve the security of institutional data. The contract will be for a fixed term of three years at $1.091 million.
- The Board authorized the purchase of property located at 212 N. Lincoln St. in Kent, Ohio, owned by Rosemary S. and Edwin R. Ede at its appraised price of $175,000. The property is adjacent to other university-owned property and will be converted to parking.
- The Board authorized the senior vice president for finance and administration to proceed with repurposing space in the MAC Center Annex. The estimated $3 million project will include rehabilitation pools and equipment, underwater treadmills, therapy and treatment stations, private offices, medical exam rooms and specialized equipment for concussion treatment and prevention. The existing racquetball courts will transform into the Kent State Athletic Training and Education Center. The project is expected to be complete for the start of the fall athletic and academic calendars.
- Given that Kent State did not have a policy regarding the use of copyright-protected materials, the Board approved the establishment of such a policy, which complies with the 2002 Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act, an amendment of the U.S. Copyright Law.
- The Board expressed their deepest gratitude to Gregg S. Floyd, senior vice president for finance and administration, for his significant contributions to Kent State as senior vice president for finance and administration. Floyd will serve until his successor is named and then will assist the president on special projects and the transition until his retirement on June 30, 2016. An event honoring Floyd will occur later this fall.
- The Board granted emeritus status to: Dr. Kathleen Adamle, assistant professor, College of Nursing; Dr. Catherine M. Bakes, associate professor, Management and Information Systems; Dr. Gregory Blase, associate director and assistant professor, Journalism and Mass Communication; Frances L. Collins, associate professor, Journalism and Mass Communication; Dr. David W. Dalton, associate professor, Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences; Ann B. Schierhorn, professor, Journalism and Mass Communication; Dr. Carol Sedlak, professor, College of Nursing; Dr. Susan H. Taft, associate professor, College of Nursing; Dr. Beatrice B. Turkowski, assistant professor, College of Nursing; Dr. Edward F. Villella, associate professor, Regional College, Salem Campus; Sheila R. Webster, associate lecturer, College of Nursing; Dr. John D. West, professor, Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences; and Dr. Allen B. Whaley, assistant professor, Journalism and Mass Communication.
- The Board elected the following officers for 2015-16: Dennis Eckart, chair; Larry Pollock, vice-chair; and Richard Marsh, secretary.
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