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September 21, 2023

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Board of Trustees focus on future

The future was the focus of administrators’ minds when they met Friday morning for the first Board of Trustees meeting of the year.

The two main topics of focus revolved around retention and the future of the University’s landscape.

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Rodney Rogers discussed with the board the position of the University in the nation.

“The University is ranked 96 in the nation this year,” he said. “That means we are in the top quarter of universities in the nation.”

He also focused on the core strengths of the University, which included the arts, business and organization, sustainability and environment, teacher preparation and health and wellness.

He said the Board needs to recognize the programs that are doing well and invest in them, as well as do the same in emerging areas they are doing well in. Some of those included data science, media and communication and aviation.

“We need to make sure we have strengths in our core as well as invest in the future,” he said.

Rogers and Vice President for Student Affairs Jill Carr also brought up retention and showed how student involvement in different programs showed an increase in retention rate. Also, he showed the board that first year students in linked courses [77.1 percent] were retained at a higher rate than non-linked students [72.1 percent].

Chief Financial Officer Sherideen Stoll presented in front of the board to ask for an approval of the landscape and civic structure master plan.

It included eight different points the University will follow when creating the future landscape for campus, she said.

These points included keeping the landscape simple and elegant, respecting maintenance demands of the campus environment, keeping materials and components consistent, paying attention to details and creating a place for people.

The Trustees also approved several changes and future plans for the University.

One member of the community for the University, Bruce Nyberg, was appointed to a three-year term as a National Trustee. According to the resolution, Nyberg served on several boards, including the University Foundation Board from 2003 to 2009.

The Board passed an amendment to the Academic Charter concerning better communication with between the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and Faculty Senate Standing Committees.

The Board also approved personnel changes for full-time faculty and administrative staff, as well as approved tenure for the Chair of the Department of Public and Allied Health, M. Ahmad Chaudhry.

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