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Trustees Elect Paul Boyer Chair, Approve Campus Construction Projects

Ferris State UniversityFerris State University’s Board of Trustees has elected Paul Boyer, of Ada, as its new chair. Also elected to executive positions were Erin Brown, of East Lansing, as vice chair, and Lori Gwizdala, of Bay City, as secretary. Other board members are Alisha M. Baker, of Mount Clemens; Dr. D. William Lakin, of Clinton Twp.; Arthur L. Tebo, of Walloon Lake; and Sueann L. Walz, of Big Rapids.

Outgoing chair Gary Granger of Byron Center said “It’s a joy for me to be a part of this board.  Our job is to complement each other, and I believe we’ve had the kind of balance as a board we’ve needed to advance the university.

Chair-elect Boyer said, “This is an incredible time for Ferris.  I’m proud to be a part of this board and look forward to my new role.”

“Gary Granger has been an extraordinary leader for Ferris State University as chair of the Board of Trustees,” said Ferris President David Eisler.  “Through his concerted efforts and concern for others he has helped build a strong, effective high-performing Board.  His work is a wonderful example of effective leadership in action and it has been an honor and privilege to work with him.”

The action took place during trustees meetings on Friday, Dec. 12 in Big Rapids.

Trustees also approved funding for pre-construction professional services for expansion of the West Campus Apartments complex on the Big Rapids campus. The administration will secure professional pre-construction design, construction management and other services necessary to allow for the completion of the final scoping, design, budgeting and related activities. Trustees must still grant approval to proceed with the construction phase of the West Campus Apartments expansion. The goal is to finish planning in time to approve, start and complete construction and have new beds ready for occupancy by August 2016.

In its deliberations, the board addressed a number of housing issues, approving a request for professional services for future housing facility visioning. These services will include the evaluation of the placement of housing, amenities, services, likely demand, student preferences, and the relationship to academics and other university buildings, retail venues, activities and parking. These housing actions are in support of the university’s master plan and strategic plans that call for development of the Big Rapids campus based upon the principles of academic excellence, sustainability and community, among other factors.

The board also approved funding for a Cramer Hall renovation project to accommodate the Office of Housing and Residence Life. This office was displaced during construction for the new University Center. The new permanent location will provide a convenient site for parents, staff and students within the Ferris housing community that includes more modern amenities. Trustees approved the $335,000 project that will include the renovation, fixtures, furniture and equipment.

Trustees approved renewal of the track surface at Top Taggart Field, a surface originally installed in 1998. With a life expectancy of 12 years, the track is now 16 years old. The new track will be an impermeable polyurethane sandwich system on an inch and a half of new asphalt sub-base with appropriate drainage improvements for the stadium. The new track’s life expectancy is 20 years with a total project cost to not exceed $500,000 and will be completed during summer 2015.

In other action, trustees approved:

  • the administration’s request to retain vendor services for pre-construction architectural services for renovations to the second and third floors of Kendall College of Art and Design’s Ionia Building in Grand Rapids. The renovation will accommodate the space needs of the Illustration and Architecture programs as well as academic classes;
  • funding for professional services to evaluate space within the College of Arts, Sciences and Education’ Arts, Sciences and Education Commons building to establish the Shimadzu Core Laboratory for Academic and Research Excellence. At the Oct. 10 meeting, trustees approved acceptance of Shimadzu Equipment Grant for Teaching and Research in the amount of $500,000. Those monies will be used to establish the core research facility;
  • five new members to the boards of directors of FSU-authorized charter schools;
  • the administration’s request to seek out and enter into a professional services agreement for website redesign services for www.ferris.edu; and
  • a contract with Outsourcing Solutions, a federal Perkins Loan service that the University has contracted with since the 1980s to provide student loan account maintenance and other services.

The next regular meeting of the trustees is Friday, Feb. 20 in Big Rapids. Committee meetings begin at 10 a.m. followed by the full board meeting at 11 a.m.