Trustees Approve New Ferris Foundation Board Director, New Academic Degree

Woodbridge N. Ferris statue
The Board of Trustees approved numerous items during its regular meeting held on Friday, May 8. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held via Zoom.

Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees approved an alumnus to The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors, a new bachelor’s degree in the College of Arts and Sciences, and more during a Friday, May 8 meeting conducted via Zoom.

Paul T. Doyle, who earned a Bachelor of Science from the College of Education and Human Services, in 1979, was approved as the newest member of The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors. Doyle, who was a student-athlete on the men’s basketball team and a former assistant coach for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, was also a recipient of Ferris’ Distinguished Alumni Award. Doyle has served on several Grand Rapids-area boards, including the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, as chair; the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute, as chair; RoMan Manufacturing, as director; and the Kentwood Board of Education, as president.

Doyle, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, was a recipient of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation Leadership and Philanthropy Award and the Grand Rapids “GIANTS” Leadership Award for Community Health. He serves as an adjunct faculty member for Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.

Paul and his wife, Celeste, a Class of 1979 Ferris alumna, have been married for 42 years. Paul and Celeste Doyle have three daughters and four grandchildren.

The trustees approved a new Bachelor of Science in Biology, Pre-Physician Assistant degree program. The program is designed to prepare students for admission to graduate-level physician assistant programs. The new degree will use existing courses taught by current faculty with expertise in the subject area. The new Bachelor of Science in Biology, Pre-Physician Assistant will begin enrolling students during the Fall 2020 semester.

The Board of Trustees members all signed a proclamation of gratitude to Ferris students, faculty, staff and alumni for their response during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the board thanked students for perseverance “through many changes and disruptions” during the Spring 2020 semester. Trustees further saluted faculty for making a successful mid-semester transition of classes and lab instruction to remote delivery. The board thanked staff for their everyday work to continue university operations, which includes support for faculty and students. Board members saluted the many Ferris alumni who have been working in healthcare and as first responders during COVID-19. In closing their proclamation, the trustees wrote, “We are truly proud of all you have accomplished during this unprecedented time to move Ferris Forward and look forward to even greater things in our future.”

In other action, the trustees approved:

  • an organizational subscription agreement with Watermark Insights, LLC for the continued utilization of Digital Measures, an activity tracking system that enables efficient collection and reporting of teaching, advising, scholarship, research, service and professional development activity data for faculty and staff.

  • eight appointments and reappointments to the boards of directors of FSU-authorized charter school academies; and

  • a three-year conditional reauthorization for Marshall Academy, in Marshall, Michigan; contract reauthorization for Northridge Academy, in Flint, Michigan, and four appointments to the boards of directors of FSU-authorized charter school academies; conditional authorization for Drive One Career Technical High School, in Macomb County.

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, Oct. 4 in Grand Rapids. Committee meetings begin at 10 a.m., followed by the 11 a.m. full board meeting.