Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Ohio University President Duane Nellis opens the Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 19, 2018. (FILE)

New Strategic Enrollment Executive Committee seeks to improve budgeting forecasts

In the week leading up to Fall Semester, the Board of Trustees gathered on the Dublin campus to discuss a new executive enrollment committee, construction, student costs and university investments. 

Here are the highlights from Tuesday’s meeting. 

New enrollment initiative 

During the Academics and Student Success Committee report, administrators introduced the Strategic Enrollment Executive Committee which is comprised of executive administrators. It will serve to review and update the strategic enrollment plan. 

They will examine in and out-of-state initiatives, OU’s economic impact on Ohio and how the institution spends money around those initiatives. 

“This is not just about enrollment management, it’s about the whole institution’s efforts when we look at all of our different metrics,” Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Enrollment Management Craig Cornell said. 

Representatives from student affairs, budgeting, construction and innovation, regional campuses and enrollment planning will make up the committee. 

“The exciting thing about this is the focus is on what we are strong at, instead of just reacting to what others are doing and trying to catch up,” Executive Vice President and Provost Chaden Djalali said.

Construction update

Students and community members will soon see changes to the Convo, the Ridges’ road and South Green because the Board approved changes to the capital plan budget at the August meeting.

The Resources, Facilities and Affordability Committee presented on repairs including the campus steam system. Going on its fifth year, that project is a $1.5 million effort funded by OU’s Century Bond. 

Further, 2018 will see the $3 million demolition of Weld, Armbruster, Atkinson and Smith halls, $600,000 in concrete repairs to the Convo and a $702,000 road-work project for the circle road around the Ridges. 

The Convo construction is the first step in a 10-year plan to improve the facilities. 

“This project is really important for the sole reason that it’s placed where some people, it’s the only place on campus they visit,” Board of Trustees Chair Dave Scholl said.  

The Board also approved updated plans for three chilled water plants by 2020. The plants will be situated around campus and cost about $30.1 million.

Student costs

Vice President for Finance and Administration Deb Shaffer presented updates to OU’s affordability and efficiency efforts, which will comprise a report for the state in October. 

The report’s core components include OU’s efforts to reduce direct costs for students and increase investments to support academic quality.

During the presentation, Senior Vice Provost for Student Success Elizabeth Sayrs said that OU’s Top Hat initiative saved students $1 million in educational resources since the program began last October. 

The update was part of OU’s state reporting to the Ohio Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency. The task force measures numerous areas such as space utilization, time to degree, textbook affordability and development of digital learning. 

Investment update

David Gaume, the first-ever director of investment for the Office of Finance and Administration, joined OU July 1. His role is to serve as the expert and liaison between Hirtle Callaghan & Co., the university’s Chief Investment Officer and the external firm charged with managing the OU Foundation’s investments.

“We’ve had conversations probably for almost two years now about the need for the university to have somebody on staff with investment expertise that goes beyond what Candice and I can offer on a daily basis,” Shaffer said.

Gaume’s goals include evaluating the investment structure for future asset allocation and conducting an in-depth review of investments.

“David is here because we wanted to put even greater diligence and capability in understanding the liaison between the CIO and then the investment committee, which is a group of volunteer folks,” Scholl said. “David’s here to provide more depth, more breadth, more expertise so that we can be better stewards of the investment policy.”

At the meeting, Shaffer, Gaume and Assistant Vice President of Foundation Finance and Administration Candice Casto presented a revised investment policy for the OU Foundation, which was approved by the Board. It serves to guide long-term investments. 


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH