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Ferris Board of Trustees Approve New Degree

BIG RAPIDS – Ferris State University's Board of Trustees approved a new Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Sustainability degree during their regular meeting Friday (Nov. 6). The new degree offering will be available beginning in fall 2010.

Offered through the university's College of Engineering Technology, the degree will include a blend of programming with an emphasis on sustainable design and practice, CET Dean Tom Oldfield said. The Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Sustainability will include nine new courses in addition to utilizing existing coursework from the Associate in Applied Science degree in Architectural Technology, Bachelor of Science degree in Facilities Management and Community Studies minor offered through the College of Arts, Sciences and Education.

"This program will educate students on real-world issues of green building and provide them educational experiences that embrace sustainable building technology practices," Oldfield said. "Momentum toward sustainable design is growing, and this degree provides students the educational background to provide meaningful solutions to altering the built environment."

Ferris was founded upon two main principles: opportunity and industry, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Fritz Erickson said. As the university celebrates its 125th anniversary, these principles continue to ring true through the creation of programming such as the Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Sustainability.

"This alliance enhances the educational opportunities offered tour students and meets the more focused demands of our global culture," Erickson said.

In other business, the board also approved two grant awards, including an amendment to the grant award/research funding from Gilead Sciences, Inc. and the Carl D. Perkins, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth Vocational and Technical Education Grant.

The Gilead Sciences, Inc. amendment includes $76,150 in additional support for a clinical study being conducted in the university's College of Pharmacy entitled "Evaluation of a Community Pharmacy-based Influenza Screening and Management Program Versus Pharmacy Screening and Referral to Standard of Care." The San Mateo, Calif., organization originally provided initial research support tFerris' College of Pharmacy in the amount of $86,312. The study is being conducted by Pharmacy professor Dr. Michael Klepser.

There is $205,660 in funding included in the Perkins grant, with Ferris matching $215,000, that will be used for academic support services and equipment purchases for the university's two-year occupational programs, Erickson said.

The Perkins funding is a recurring grant based on the number of Pell Grant recipients studying in Ferris' two-year occupational programs, with the university submitting an application for the funding yearly, he said. Such programs benefiting from the grant in the past include Radiography, Automotive Technology and Industrial Chemistry Technology.

"Ferris is committed to providing students with a real-world education that provides a seamless transition from the classroom to the workforce," Ferris President David Eisler said. "This funding helps support the efforts of our faculty in providing cutting-edge degrees for our students."

The board of trustees also approved the following:

  • A final 2010 general fund operating budget of $176 million, which includes $48.6 million in state funding – a 3.2 percent state funding decrease over Fiscal Year 2009. The operating reduction will be offset this year with one-time Federal Stimulus funding from the approved higher education budget;
  • Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University Omnibus Resolution;
  • Hiring two separate engineering and construction firms to assist the university in designing, bidding and constructing the Arts, Sciences and Education Mechanical System, a replacement project for the building's mechanical system;
  • Professional services contracts that include:
    • Contracting with HireRight, Inc. of Irvine, Calif., as a third party administrator to conduct criminal background searches for Ferris' Human Resources Office;
    • Continuing to contract with Peak Positions of Traverse City to provide Web marketing services;
    • Amending the contract with Pace & Partners of Lansing.
  • Setting the effective date for Ferris' Other Eligible Adults Benefits Program as Jan. 1, 2010;
  • The slate of candidates for The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors, including John Hare, Terry Stewart, Dale DeHaan and James Giroux;
  • A recommendation for non-renewal of New City Academy charter school's contract, which expires on June 30, 2010. The academy located in Lansing was originally chartered by Ferris in 1998;
  • Charter school board appointments, including Muriel C. Pryor-Murphy, Allen Academy in Detroit, through June 30, 2014; Fahmi Husain, Bridge Academy in Hamtramck, through June 30, 2013; Kezia Gamlin, Connor Creek Academy-East in Warren, through June 30, 2013; and Paul Neitman, Joy Preparatory Academy in Detroit, through June 30, 2011.