The Central Michigan University Board of Trustees today approved a new degree that will enable registered nurses to earn their bachelor's degrees completely online.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing will help registered nurses with associate degrees complete requirements for a bachelor's degree. In some areas of the country, RNs with associate degrees have difficulty obtaining employment in large health care centers that prefer to employ BSN-prepared nurses. Some hospitals are now requiring all new nurses to have bachelor's degrees and are giving current nurses deadlines for earning them.
"Many RNs work toward their BSN while employed full or part time, often as a condition of continued employment, which is why we decided this needed to be an online program," CMU Provost Michael Gealt said.
The program is scheduled to launch in fall 2019.
Trustees also discussed and voted on room and board rates for the 2018-19 fiscal year. With a 3.5 percent increase, CMU will continue to be among the most affordable universities in the state. Among Michigan's 15 public institutions, CMU has the ninth lowest room and board rate.
In other matters, trustees also approved:
- A list of nearly 3,300 students set to graduate May 4-6.
- Construction of a new vehicle fuel storage and distribution system and decommissioning and removal of the current 30-year-old storage tanks and system.
- Infrastructure improvements to the campus chilled water supply and return lines on south campus.
- Authorization of a new charter school contract to Flex High School of Michigan in Flint.
The board also approved adoption of the leadership profile developed for use in the search for CMU's 15th president. The profile can be found on the presidential search website.
The profile reflects input gathered during seven open forums as well as meetings on campus with more than 150 student, faculty and staff stakeholders, said Trustee Tricia Keith, who is chairing the Search Advisory Committee.
Keith said the board will keep the search process open until a president is named, however the advisory committee hopes to have the bulk of the applications in by June 1. If all goes as planned, the advisory committee will spend June interviewing candidates, and then the Board of Trustees will interview selected candidates in July.
Board committee meetings Wednesday included discussion of the 2018-2022 Strategic Enrollment Management Plan; an update on CMU's academic organizational review; and a report on the strategic plan, student support strategies and new programs in The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions.
President's report to the board
In his opening report to the board, CMU President George E. Ross briefly addressed the March 2 shooting incident on CMU's campus.
"It was a day we will never forget … and a day we pray we'll never have to replicate. The team here came together and did well, with commendations coming from across the nation," he said.
Ross also acknowledged the College of Medicine's second Match Day in which the college had a cumulative match rate of nearly 100 percent — 75 percent to primary care and 55 percent staying in Michigan.
Ross also recognized:
- Senior Ian Eickholdt, a mechanical engineering major who received the 2017 Rumbaugh Outstanding Student Leader Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers.
- Fashion merchandising and design seniors Alicia Johnson and Holly Conner, who serve as managers in the First Impressions shop.
- Daelyn Woolnough, a biology professor and member of CMU's Institute for Great Lakes Research, and two of her students — Megan Malish and Grace Henderson — for their research on freshwater mussels.
Tables were turned at the end of the meeting when Ross was surprised with a resolution for his commitment to shared governance and communications. Presented to Ross by CMU's Shared Governance and Communications Committee, the resolution recognizes his leadership in and dedication to this effort throughout his tenure as president.