The Ohio State Board of Trustees voted to waive tuition costs for students studying abroad, but the good news for these students might not end there.
Among the issues discussed this week at the Board’s meetings was the proposed tuition waiver that would benefit students studying abroad. In the past, students studying abroad have been required to pay tuition to both OSU and their respective foreign university, but a new policy will waive that in favor of a $400 flat program administration fee.
In Friday’s meeting, finance committee chairman William Jurgensen said the committee doesn’t agree with the fee, despite the fact that the decision to waive tuition improves the financial outlook for students planning to study abroad.
“The committee thought the first part of that made sense, the tuition waiver part, but we couldn’t make heads or tails out of the $400 fee,” Jurgensen said. “We approved the tuition waiver aspect of this but we are suggesting that we not put the $400 fee in for our students. Hopefully, the president and the provost would agree with that. That’s our best advice.”
Interim President Joseph Alutto said he supports waiving the fee as well as tuition.
“I think that action, whether we agree with it or not, is the right thing to do,” Alutto said. “It shows a level of responsibility of our committees by not just arbitrarily increasing fees, that they looked at the hard questions they asked. I’m absolutely comfortable with that decision.”
The governance committee also met early Friday before the main board meeting and unanimously passed motions to appoint two current board members to new terms.
The committee voted to reappoint charter trustee Corbett Price to a second three-year term on the Board of Trustees, and they also voted to appoint Huntington Bank CEO Stephen Steinour to a three-year term, extending his current one-year term as a Wexner Medical Center board member.
While some Board members are set to stay in their positions longer, others are leaving their positions.
Robert Schottenstein presided over his final OSU Board of Trustees meeting Friday, as both the two-year term he served as the board’s chairman and the nine total years he served as an Ohio State trustee draw to a close.
Schottenstein’s successor — a current trustee and the CEO of Battelle Memorial Institute Jeffrey Wadsworth — is slated to take over as chairman effective May 14.
Wadsworth thanked Schottenstein for welcoming him and helping mentor him as a trustee.
“We worked together on many topics, most recently, most intensively on the search for the new president, the next president (Dr. Michael Drake),” Wadsworth said, addressing Schottenstein before ceremonially receiving the chairman’s gavel. “Your leadership in that, Bobby, was exemplary. It’s obviously a major hire in the life of the university.
“Bobby led us through tumultuous times in the last couple of years … He’s been guiding us through those choppy waters, and he’s done (it) with grace, poise and with great insight.”
Also nearing the end of their tenures as trustees are Alan Brass and professional/graduate student trustee Ben Reinke.
Undergraduate student trustee Stacie Seger announced the Board’s selection of three recipients of Student Recognition Awards.
Ashley Weber of the College of Nursing, Andrew Keaster of the College of Medicine and David Twombly of the Moritz College of Law were all honored for their academic and community accomplishments.
Dr. Steven Gabbe, CEO of the Wexner Medical Center at OSU, gave a presentation summarizing the successes and progress made by his organization during the last decade. Thursday marked the centennial of the foundation of OSU’s College of Medicine, which the presentation was designed to commemorate conjunctively.
Trustee Dr. Gil Cloyd praised Gabbe for his leadership in building relationships in the community.
“There was, frankly, not as good a community relationship between our academic medical center and Columbus,” Cloyd said. “There was a lot of distrust. And that’s essentially gone away … we now have a wonderful, embracing relationship with the community.”
Correction: April 4, 2014
An earlier version of this story misspelled Stacie Seger’s name.