T.J. McGarry / Lantern photographer
Ohio State’s Board of Trustees met last week in a general meeting, but before that, individual Board committees met to discuss university matters, including the effects of federal budget cuts, the smoking ban that is set to be implemented before Fall Semester and the Wexner Medical Center expansion project. Friday’s meeting was interrupted by about a dozen protestors speaking out against out-of-state tuition not being included in the tuition freeze proposed by OSU President E. Gordon Gee, sexual violence on campus and the $500 per semester fee added to tuition for international students.
The Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee
The sequester has the potential to cost OSU research more than $130 million.
“Federal budget sequestration aims to cut something like $1.3 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years and that translates into $85 billion this year,” said OSU vice president of research Caroline Whitacre, who gave a presentation on the subject at the Thursday Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee meeting. “This year being the next six months of the federal fiscal year. This is a long-term prospect, we are looking at nine years of budget cuts.”
“This program was designed to be so stupid it would never be implemented,” said Board member Jeffery Wadsworth.
Whitacre said the sequester, a series of budget cuts set to remove $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade, will have less of an impact on OSU than what was originally projected, but the longer the sequester is in effect, the more damaging it will be to the university. The university has estimated the impact the sequester will have on OSU’s federally sponsored research, with a total loss ranging from $27 million to $133 million in cuts.
The Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee discussed the revisions to the university smoking ban Thursday at the Longaberger Alumni House, a proposal that has not been revised since its adoption in May 2006, when applied to the Wexner Medical Center. After weighing the feedback on the tobacco-free proposal, university officials have decided there is a strong desire to make OSU a tobacco free campus.
According to the committee meeting schedule, the proposed policy revision will need to be approved through the university policy process, and the expected deadline for approval is July 1. If the non-smoking policy is approved, the ban is set to begin Aug. 1.
“This was really first a student-initiated committee,” said vice president for Student Life Javaune Adams-Gaston. “Their focus has been on exploring the possibilities of implementing a tobacco-free policy at Ohio State.”
According to the 2012 National College Health Assessment Survey, about 3.6 percent of OSU students smoke cigarettes daily. The survey also reported that 69 percent of OSU students have never smoked cigarettes.
“We have facilitated conversation across the university, we have visited with 26 groups on campus, we have facilitated dialogues and invited individuals in to talk about their concerns related to tobacco-free,” Adams-Gaston said.
The committee also deliberated the uniform statewide standards for remediation-free status, a policy that will require all state higher education institutions to establish uniform standards for specific subjects that will be applied to all students enrolled. The specific subjects include mathematics, science, reading and writing, and once a student is deemed remediation-free according to these new statewide standards, the student can enroll in college courses.
The College Readiness Advisory Committee has determined that ACT and SAT scores can be used as the uniform statewide standards for remediation-free status.
“Any student that met those particular levels of ACT or SAT score would be deemed remediation-free, and institutions would no longer be allowed to require that students entering with that designation take remedial courses,” said Wayne Carlson, vice provost for undergraduate studies and dean of undergraduate education.
The Advancement Committee
The Advancement Committee met Thursday to check fundraising goals and review the implementation of a new logo and name.
The fundraising project, “But For Ohio State,” has raised 60 percent of its $2.5 billion goal for 2016. As of Feb. 28, the fundraising project was ahead of the projected schedule and total funds raised were ahead of the totals from last year.
The total amount raised was $1.46 billion in February including 26 individual donations of $5 million or more.
The board voted at its last meeting to create a new visual brand for the university and, in an 18-month transition, the changeover to the new brand should be completed by autumn 2014. The new logo will not appear on the football jerseys for the 2013 season.
The board also approved the naming of several buildings, including the Children’s Early Learning Research Collaborative, the Sports Medicine Institute, the Advanced Language Institute, the Classical 101 Radio Studio and the Visits and Events Suite.
Medical Affairs Committee
The various parts of the medical center expansion projects are proceeding “on time and on budget,” said Beth Necamp, chief communications officer for the Medical Center, after a meeting of the Medical Affairs Committee on Thursday.
A 20-year sublease in New Albany with Integrated Wellness Partners, a company based in Akron, was approved in the meeting. This sublease will be eligible for three, five-year renewals, and is for the development of a Wellness/Fitness Center space.
Integrated Wellness Partners was chosen because it has a good record, said Daniel Like, executive director of Ambulatory Services at the Medical Center.
“Why we picked them to be our operating manager … (is) based on all their experience,” Like said. “(They had won) annual awards for top hospital-based medical fitness facility.”
Like also noted that Nationwide Children’s Hospital would join the Wexner Medical Center at the New Albany medical facility, which is a first. He said that the plans were in their “final design.”
“So this will be the first integrated practice with Nationwide Children’s (Hospital) and Ohio State,” Like said.
The Medical Affairs Committee discussed three items and acted on two items. The Medical Center Initiatives scorecard was examined, as was the financial scorecard. An update on the expansion project was given as well.
The second action taken by the Committee was the expediting of the approval of candidates for clinical privileges and medical staff appointments.
Necamp also pointed out the wide range of projects that fall under the expansion project, stretching from January 2012 to 2015. Among them are the demolition of Cramblett Hall, which began in January of this year and is scheduled to continue through April, and the restoration of the Medical Center garages.
“We’re still doing above budget with our finances,” Necamp said.