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Ferris Board of Trustees Approve Two Grant Awards

BIG RAPIDS – The Ferris State University Board of Trustees held a regular meeting Friday during which they ratified a three-year faculty contract. Board members also approved two grant awards, among other items.

The contract, effective July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2013, was ratified by the Ferris Faculty Association Nov. 2. Including salary and supplemental market adjustments, the new contract features increases in each of its three years: 2010-11, 2.7 percent; 2011-12, 2.9 percent; 2012-13, 3.2 percent. These percentages do not include additional adjustments for overload work and equity. Faculty members will receive an annual 4 percent increase in health care, with an additional $44,000 added to the total base for the current year. Additional elements of the contract include improvements in scheduling and payments for summer classes, and an agreement to discuss a wellness plan for faculty.

In other business, The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Grant was awarded by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth in the amount of $161,998. Ferris will match $215,000 in funds that will be used for academic support services and equipment purchases for the university’s two-year occupational programs, said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Fritz Erickson.

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, Erickson 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.”

Trustees also approved a grant award for $155,402 from the state of Michigan for the Motorcycle Safety Training program. The grant program is designed to offer educational courses for novice motorcyclists on the proper use of equipment, safe cycling skills, cycle maintenance and safe riding techniques.

The grant will be administered by a project team drawn from Ferris State’s Corporate and Professional Development Center (CPDC), said Arn McIntyre, CPDC interim director. Throughout the year, the grant will provide for 58 21-hour courses that will provide approximately 735 individuals motorcycle safety training at four locations throughout western and northern Michigan. It also is anticipated that through student course fees approximately $19,575 in revenue will be generated, McIntyre added.

Additionally, board members also approved:

  • A final 2011 general fund operating budget of $183 million, which includes $48.4 million in state funding.
  • A final 2012 state operating and capital outlay budget request, which seeks operating support for such items as the Tuition Incentive Program, need-based scholarships, Energy Innovation and Education Initiative, Michigan workforce development/retraining, Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) and environmental sustainability. Additionally, the capital outlay request seeks funding to construct a new building for the university’s College of Education and Human Services, which houses such programs as the School of Education and Criminal Justice, among others.
  • Appointing Jean K. Elder of Ann Arbor to The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors.
  • Professional services contracts, including an agreement with Syed Wahab for software, support and maintenance services related to the Operations Database Project for Ferris State’s Center for Certification and Testing; contracting with a selected vendor for annual fund telephone fundraising by the Alumni Relations and Advancement Operations department; and contracting with Peak Positions of Traverse City for Web search engine marketing support.
  • Appointing Ronald E. Snead of Greenville as board chair, Sueann L. Walz of Big Rapids as vice chair and George J. Menoutes of Flint as secretary.
  • Appointing Julie Coon interim dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences. She moves into this position after serving as the School of Nursing director.