Trustees Approve Degree Delivery Partnerships with West Michigan Community Colleges

Woodbridge Ferris statue
The Ferris State University Board of Trustees hosted its regular meeting on Friday, Feb. 21, and voted on several items, including collaborative partnerships, a new academic degree and more.

Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees has approved partnerships with Kalamazoo Valley Community College, in Kalamazoo, and Lake Michigan College, in Benton Harbor, to establish permanent sites for delivery of the Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Generalist. Those actions were among the items that the trustees approved at their Friday, Feb. 21 meeting in Big Rapids.

Opportunities to strengthen collaboration with two Michigan-based community colleges, to deliver a Criminal Justice bachelor’s program, appealed to administrators and the trustees. Ferris’ collaborative history with Michigan’s community colleges dates back to the late 1980s and continues on many of those campuses. Ferris’ Extended and International Operations unit has worked closely with the KVCC and LMC administrative teams to facilitate these newest partnerships.

“These are brand new partnerships that represent a lot of hard work to collaborate and build upon Ferris’ reputation with partnering with community colleges,” said Steven Reifert, dean of Extended and International Operations. “This is just another way that Ferris continues to be innovative in terms of reaching beyond Big Rapids and our main campus to provide opportunities to students in many different ways.”

Ferris plans to begin enrolling students at KVCC and LMC starting with the Fall 2020 semester.

Also, on the educational front, the trustees approved a new Associate in Fine Arts and Design Studies degree for the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. The new program will consist of existing 100- and 200-level courses from KCAD’s design programs in Product Design, Interior Design and Graphic Design. It will further include General Education, Art History and electives that will facilitate the exploration of different design disciplines. This new KCAD program will not require any new faculty or impact existing facilities and equipment.

In other action, the trustees approved:

  • the renaming of Room 109 of the Granger Center for Construction and HVACR, on the Big Rapids campus. The room will now be known as the “Pinnacle Construction Group Classroom” in recognition of the Grand Rapids-based real estate and construction firm’s financial support of Ferris’ Construction Technology Management program.
  • seven sabbatical leave requests, as recommended by the provost and president, after submission by the All-University Sabbatical Review Committee;
  • a three-year contract extension and the addition of a Hamtramck campus, for Bridge Academy, and a three-year contract extension for New Hope Public School Academy, in Saginaw; and
  • nineteen appointments and reappointments to the boards of directors of FSU-authorized charter school academies.

The trustees are chair Amna P. Seibold, of East Grand Rapids; vice-chair Ana L. Ramirez-Saenz, of Grand Rapids; secretary Rupesh K. Srivastava, of Wixom; member-at-large Lori A. Gwizdala, of Bay City; Robert J. Hegbloom, of Norton Shores; Kurt A. Hofman, of Grand Rapids; Kari L. Sederburg, of East Lansing; and LaShanda R. Thomas, of Grosse Pointe.

The next regular meeting of the board is Friday, May 8 in Big Rapids. Committee meetings begin at 12:30 p.m. followed by the 1:30 p.m. full board meeting.