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CMU trustees wrap up 2016 approving 2,200 graduates

Board also addresses deferred maintenance, president’s salary

Contact: Heather Smith

​​​​​The Central Michigan University Board of Trustees today approved a prospective list of more than 2,200 graduates who will receive degrees or certificates next week.

Trustees also approved $5.7 million in deferred maintenance projects for fiscal year 2017-18, continuing the same level of investment they have for the past couple of years. The projects will focus on health, safety, security, building integrity, energy conservation and academic program requirements throughout the university.

Trustee John Hurd, chair of the Trustees-Faculty Liaison Committee, reported on Wednesday's updates of the university's strategic planning and Online Academic Program Committee 2.0 initiatives.

Strategic planning efforts are co-chaired by Provost Michael Gealt and Academic Senate Chair Melinda Kreth, with conversations happening across campus as well as in Lansing and Saginaw. The OAPC efforts conclude more than a year of focused study and planning for the expansion of online programs, with recommendations now being handed off to the Academic Senate, colleges and other units across campus for implementation.

In other action, trustees:

  • Approved the merger of two departments in University Libraries — reference and Global Campus library services — into a new department: library research and instruction services.
  • Accepted a fundraising report noting gifts of $2.3 million in the first three months of the 2016-17 fiscal year.
  • Approved the appointment of two new directors to the board of the CMU Research Corp.: Daniel Dralle, executive director of Nexteer Automotive, and Kimberly Norris, vice president of administration of Glastender.

Presidential compensation

Trustees unanimously approved a 2.5 percent salary increase for President George E. Ross in 2017. Ross said he and his wife, Elizabeth, will donate the increase back to the university, expanding a vocal music scholarship they previously created in the first lady's name.

"The increase reflects President Ross' strong performance and takes into consideration comparative data to ensure we're managing his salary in line with other universities in the MAC, the state and the nation. It also considers economic realities within the university and the state," Chair Sarah Opperman said.

"President Ross, what stands out to me is your focus on student success and how integrally involved you are with students. This says a lot about you as a person and also as a leader," Trustee Patricia Mooradian said.

President's report

In his opening remarks to the board, Ross recognized three critical initiatives: strategic planning, a campuswide focus on diversity and inclusion, and the work of the Online Academic Program Committee.

"We have three initiatives underway here on campus that require the collective leadership of our faculty and staff en route to achieving the next milestones in CMU's history," Ross said.

Board members and Ross thanked and extended trustee emeritus rank to two CMU trustees — Hurd and Opperman — as their eight-year terms come to an end.

Hurd, of Petoskey, and twice a former college president, served as vice chair in 2013 and 2014.

Opperman, of Midland, principal of Opperman Consulting and retired vice president of Global Government Affairs and Public Policy at The Dow Chemical Co., served as chair this year and in 2011 and was vice chair in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

"As I look at you and your professional and personal accomplishments, you exemplify what it means to put your stamp on the world," Ross said as he thanked Opperman for her leadership.

The president's full report is posted online.

Election of board officers

In their final action of the day, trustees elected board officers for 2017. William Weideman, of Midland, will serve as chair. Weideman, retired executive vice president and chief financial officer of The Dow Chemical Co., joined the board in 2012 and served as vice chair in 2016.

Vice chairs will be trustees Tricia Keith, executive vice president, chief of staff and corporate secretary for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and Robert F. Wardrop II, president and attorney, Wardrop and Wardrop P.C.

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