Ohio University Board of Trustees met in committees Thursday to discuss enrollment, the new housing master plan and the search for OU’s next president.
Academics and Student Success Committee
The Academics and Student Success Committee heard from Honors Tutorial College Dean Donal Skinner. Skinner presented the college’s history and its progress over the last 50 years. Currently, there are 357 students enrolled in the HTC and the average high school GPA of incoming students is 4.1.
The committee was also presented with a Fall Semester enrollment update. The census from Sept. 5 found that OU has a total enrollment of 27,634 students, which is a 3.9% decline from 2021. However, first-year student enrollment, which included 4,441 students, grew by 21.2% compared to last year’s first-year student enrollment.
The committee also heard the results of the presidential search survey that was conducted by The Collective Genius, a research and strategic engagement firm. The purpose of the survey was to gather input from OU alumni, current students, faculty and staff to determine what people want from the university’s next president.
The Collective Genius received 3,175 completed surveys, with the largest group of those who completed the survey being alumni, who accounted for 45% of the total respondents.
The results of the survey found that some of the most important goals the next president should have would be to ensure a secure financial future for the university and to invest in its faculty and staff recruitment, development and retention.
Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee
The Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee met to discuss OU’s housing master plan and to hear an update on capital projects.
There are six residential halls that need incremental renovations that can be done over the summer, including improvements to lobby bathrooms and mechanical systems. There are 10 other residential halls that need major renovations. The committee also plans to add 600 beds to South Green and create 400 beds in four additional locations.
The committee also approved a resolution to send the updated pricing of capital projects to the full Board. The projects included window replacements for Gamertsfelder and Washington Halls and Peden tower roof replacement.
Plans for Gamertsfelder and Washington Halls to receive new windows are expected to occur during the summer of 2023, but it will now cost $1.5 million more than what was originally discussed due to the cost of the windows. The Peden tower roof replacement project also needs $100,000 more than what was expected to be needed to complete the project.
The last capital project the Board discussed was campus aesthetics improvements. It will cost $675,00 to change the gravel walkway on South Green to a concrete walkway and power wash multiple buildings, among other small changes that will be made to the outside of university buildings.