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Trustees Approve Vision for Ferris State University’s Future

Ferris State UniversityThe Ferris State University Board of Trustees approved an endorsement of the University Strategic Plan during its regular meeting on Friday, May 9. The plan, which begins with the University’s core values of collaboration, diversity, ethical community, excellence, learning and opportunity, operates in three parts. Part one represents strategic thinking and focus areas for Ferris’ future. Part two will detail the plan’s implementation phase. Part three will track successes and measure accomplishments. The strategic plan provides a framework that allows Ferris community members to contribute to the focus areas and to realize Ferris’ core values as individuals and colleagues.

The trustees also approved the administration’s request to proceed with pre-construction design and other services related to the Swan Building Annex renovation project. The proposed expansion will double the instructional and laboratory space for the University’s award-winning welding engineering technology program and create a Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

The Swan Annex, the primary home of the Welding Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Technology programs, requires additional program space to serve current student enrollment, expand enrollment to ease the student waiting list, and to address industry demand for graduates.

The trustees’ approval will allow the administration to competitively bid, negotiate and contract for construction management and architectural and engineering design services up through and including the preparation of bid documents for construction at a cost not to exceed $275,000. This will be funded from central university funds.  The Swan Building Annex renovation project was the top-rated university capital outlay proposal submitted to the State of Michigan and will require planning and funding authorization by legislative Joint Capital Outlay Committee and Governor Rick Snyder, who toured the Swan Building facilities in April.

Board of Trustees Chair Gary Granger noted positive developments at Ferris, including recent awards from the Grand Rapids Business Journal and the Grand Rapids Center for Community Leadership in recognition of the university’s initiatives in west Michigan.

“The university is an increasingly important resource for our region,” Granger said. “Under President Eisler Ferris has seen enrollment growth, increased graduation rates and tuition restraint.  The continuity of leadership he has provided has been pivotal to the university’s growing prestige.”

In other news, trustees approved:

  • an extension of David L. Eisler’s contract as university president through June 30, 2019. Trustees also increased the president’s base compensation by 2.25 percent. Eisler is in his eleventh year of service as Ferris president, a post he assumed in July 2003;
  • professional services contracts to begin searches to fill the positions of provost and vice president for Academic Affairs and president of Kendall College of Art and Design;
  • a KCAD Master of Arts and graduate certificate in Visual and Critical Studies program for implementation Fall 2014;
  • new off-campus degree locations at Henry Ford Community College, in Dearborn and Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor;
  • a project management contract for capital projects in academic spaces. The contract includes design, construction, and other services and the purchase of necessary furniture, fixtures and equipment;
  • conditional reauthorization of Voyageur Academy, a Detroit-based charter school that was conditionally authorized by trustees on May 8, 1998; adding grade 5 to Great Lakes Anchor Academy, in Mt. Clemens; the name change of Benton Harbor Charter School to Benton Harbor Charter School Academy; six new appointments to the boards of directors of Ferris-authorized charter school academies; and

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be by conference call on Tuesday, July 8 beginning at 10 a.m.