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Board of Trustees approves exchange agreement

BIG RAPIDS - Ferris State University's Board of Trustees approved an exchange agreement between Ferris and Fundacao Armando Alvares Penteado in Sao Paulo, Brazil, during its regular meeting March 24.

The agreement is designed to facilitate faculty and student exchanges between both universities, Ferris President David L. Eisler said. Fundacao Armando Alvares Penteado is one of the most respected universities in Brazil.

"This agreement provides each institution exposure to unique programs and provides students with international experiences," Eisler said. "An exchange between Ferris and Fundacao Armando Alvares Penteado will enhance the educational experiences and cultural understanding of students from both institutions."

The board also approved the administration of $1 million in grant-awarded funds from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. The Foundation's grant will benefit the University's "Realize the Vision" building campaign for the proposed Michigan College of Optometry and Center for Collaborative Health Education, which will house an eye and vision care clinic, center for collaborative health education; laboratory, classroom and office spaces; and distance learning facilities. The 91,000 square-foot facility will support the Michigan College of Optometry's teaching, research and patient care missions.

"The Dow Foundation has a wonderful history of support for Ferris State University. We both appreciate and are excited by this donation, which will help support our optometry program, faculty, staff, students and patients who will receive eye care in this facility," Eisler said.

Eight sabbatical leave requests for the following faculty members also were approved: Daniel Adsmond (Fall 2006, Winter 2007 Semesters); Beverly DeMarr (Winter 2007); Daniel Noren (Fall 2006, Winter 2007); John Jameson (Summer 2006, Fall 2006); Carl Shangraw (Fall 2006); Susan Morris (Winter 2007); Charles Wolgamott (Fall 2006 or Winter 2007); and Elizabeth Stolarek(Winter 2007). Assignments range from conducting research and teaching classes at other universities to writing textbooks and course materials.

Also, the board recommended conferring upon Mike Daley an Honorary Doctorate of Business and Industry, Jim Klett an Honorary Doctorate of Business and Industry and Bradford L. Rauschenberg an Honorary Doctorate of Arts during May 2006 commencement ceremonies.

Daley of Tarpon Springs, Fla., is a distinguished graduate of Ferris who has facilitated the establishment of an Ophthalmic Fabrication Laboratory in the Michigan College of Optometry. His service on the Boards of Governors and Directors for the prevention of blindness truly reflects his passion and commitment to this industry.

Klett of Lawrence is a long-time supporter of construction education in Michigan and at Ferris. Owner of Klett Construction, he is chairman of the Ferris College of Technology Construction Technology Advisory Committee.

Rauschenberg of Winston Salem, N.C., had a long and distinguished career with the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Old Salem, N.C. He currently is a consultant in the decorative arts, offering a variety of lectures and classes on the subject.

The board also approved the appointment of nine new members and re-appointment of 15 members to the board of directors of 14 charter schools throughout Michigan that are administered by Ferris.