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Ferris Board of Trustees Approve Property Purchase, Professional Services Contracts

pictureBIG RAPIDS – The Ferris State University Board of Trustees approved three professional services contracts, as well as the purchase of property, during a special meeting of the board Friday, June 20.

The property purchased is located on the corner of Perry and South State streets at 920 S. State St. – the former Citgo gas station – at a cost of $370,000. As part of the land purchase, the seller, Wachovia SBA Lending, Inc., has agreed to demolish the building, as well as remove all underground storage tanks, piping and associated facilities from the premises in accordance with requirements outlined by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, said Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance Rick Christner.

While the property will be zoned as commercial space, the University currently has plans to create a green space, Christner added.

“The green space will provide a more inviting entrance to campus, as well as mitigate a potential environmental hazard on the front door of the University,” President David Eisler said.

In other business, the first contract approved retains the services of executive search firm RPA, Inc. to assist with the search for a new vice president for University Advancement and Marketing following the retirement of Rick Duffett.

The second contract outlines an agreement between Ferris and Southwestern Michigan College for a full-time instructor of business who will serve both the Ferris and SMC business programs for the period of Aug. 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009. The board approved a Ferris-SMC Partnership in 2007 to include a coordinator of Ferris programs at the college.

The third contract retains the services of Sally L. Nicolai to provide professional consulting services for international student recruitment and to develop recommendations for the integration of international services. Ferris first contracted with Nicolai in August 2007 after the University experienced a decline in international student enrollment after its Office of International Affairs underwent a change in organizational structure, personnel and location in October 2005, Christner said.