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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Trustees ratify union raise proposal

After six months of negotiations between campus police union members and the University, the Board of Trustees has approved and ratified the union’s contract proposal.

In their resolution the Board determined the contract to be “both reasonable and equitable to the parties.”

“We’re all happy that it’s finally over with and we’re hopefully going to build on it for the future,” said Corporal Mark Reef, president of the International Union of Police Association, Local 103. “We’re going to try to continue to work with the University to continue to bring our pay rates up to that of comparable universities.”

The Board instructed University negotiators to carry out the contract with union members and deliver a copy to the State Employee Relations Board.

The University released a statement on the contract approval Friday.

“We’re pleased that negotiations have concluded and that both the police union and the Board of Trustees have ratified the negotiated agreement,” it said. “We look forward to continuing to work with our progressive and professional police force toward providing a safe and secure campus for students, faculty and staff.”

Also at the meeting, President Sidney Ribeau was granted a 3.25 percent salary increase, effective Jan. 1, 2006. Last year Ribeau declined to take a raise, and in 2002 and 2003 he returned his raises to the University.

The Board approved fees for students in Partners in Community and Context and the Honors Residential Learning Communities. Effective fall 2006, students will pay $275 per semester for PCC and $150 per semester for Honors Residential Learning Communities. These fees were previously paid for by a five-year grant.

While no specific scholarships have been allotted for students who need assistance in paying the fees, they will be taken into consideration as part of their financial aid package, according to Chris Dalton, senior vice president of finance.

Also approved by the Board were auxiliary improvement projects for campus buildings in 2006 – 2007, amounting to $6,788,980.

Upgrades include the fire alarm systems in Founders and Conklin residence halls, and funding for a feasibility study for the Student Recreation Center, Dalton said.

Prior to the board meeting, Craig Cornell, director of Student Financial Aid, presented statistics from a University study on financial aid awarded to students.

The study revealed more than $171 million in total aid was awarded to nearly 70 percent of BGSU students during the 2004-2005 school year.

Of this amount the majority came from federal loans, amounting to about $75 million. More than one third of all money raised by the University is used for aid and scholarships to students, according to Cornell. This amounted to $44 million last year.

BGSU ranks in the middle range of aid provided to students. Other schools rank in the high 60th percentile to low 80th percentile in the amount of aid given to students, Cornell said.

“All of it’s calibrated on need, on merit and demographic projections,” he said, of how students receive aid.

About $1.5 million in aid came from The Foundation’s private fund-raising efforts and alumni, according to Cornell.

“We continue to do better in that area – getting more private donors,” he said. “It’s where we’ve had the most response, is from donors.”

And looking towards the future, Trustee Michael Wilcox strongly encouraged the University to keep track of students after they graduate because of their potential as donors.

“Each one of them should leave with an obligation to the future students,” he said. “I think our alumni – our own students from the University – is an untapped area.”

Following the evaluation of student aid, future repairs to campus buildings were discussed by the Financial Affairs Committee.

“We know it’s a building that needs significant work,” said Dalton of the Jerome Library, which ranks first on the repairs list for the University.

In a 2004 facilities inventory, the rehabilitation cost for Jerome is estimated at more than $22 million.

The library is one of 20 buildings needing “major rehabilitation.” Twenty-one buildings need “minor rehabilitation,” 14 need “rehabilitation” and three are “obsolete.” Twenty-three buildings were found to be in “satisfactory” condition.

“What we ought to be thinking about and what the Board should be thinking about is what kind of progress are making in the area of block obsolescence,” Dalton said.

Because numerous campus buildings were built during the same time era, they now need repairs at the same time – also known as block obsolescence.

Funds for building repairs are usually provided bi-annually by the state capital fund. The last bill for the region was reduced by 25 percent, according to Dalton, making administrators question how far state aid will go.

If state funding doesn’t suffice, funding for such repairs will need to come from somewhere besides students.

“We’ve capped out on student fees,” Ribeau said.

A brief update was also given on capital improvements for Anderson Arena and Memorial Hall was given by Bob Waddle, assistant vice president in capital planning.

A study is in progress on the arena – addressing ways to expand or renovate the buildings to hold more people for large events, like commencement.

The Board also approved a 15 year request by Toledo Edison to install an electrical line to the Northwest Ohio Regional Book Depository, located in Perrysburg.

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