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Board of Trustees Approves New Textbooks Provider, New Degree Program, Naming Opportunity and More

Ferris State UniversityAt its regular meeting on Friday, Dec. 18, Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees hosted its committee, biennial and regular meetings via Zoom. In addition to its officer appointments, the trustees approved a slate of items, including a new textbooks provider, naming rights for a Michigan College of Optometry building room and a new associate degree program at Kendall College of Art and Design.

As part of its biennial meeting, the trustees voted on the board’s future leadership. The elected officers of the Board of Trustees are chair Amna Seibold, of East Grand Rapids; vice-chair Ana Ramierz-Saenz, of Grand Rapids; secretary Rupesh Srivastava, of Wixom; and at-large member of the executive committee, LaShanda Thomas, of Grosse Pointe. The officer appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2021, and continue through Dec. 31, 2022. The board further approved the board meeting calendar for 2021-22.

As a part of their personnel actions, the trustees approved the continuing appointment of Tara McCrackin as president of Kendall College of Art and Design. McCrackin has served as KCAD president since May 2019.

The trustees approved an agreement with Akademos, Inc. The deal provides textbooks and other course materials for a period of up to five years. Transition planning begins in January 2021, with a launch date scheduled for July 1, 2021. Akademos has served as the collegiate bookstore market for 20 years as a full-service online bookstore focusing on textbook affordability and availability of course materials in many formats, including new, used, rental, course packs, OER (open educational resources) and digital. Ferris’ five-year partnership with Akademos includes annual support for student textbook scholarships, the Ferris Foundation and a Student Brand Ambassador program. 

The board provided Certificates of Appreciation to retiring trustees Lori A. Gwizdala and Robert J. Hegbloom. Board members thanked the retiring trustees for their active leadership and dedicated service to Ferris State University.

In other action, at the Dec. 18 meeting, the trustees approved:

  • officially naming Room 210 in the Michigan College of Optometry building as “The CooperVision, Inc. Classroom,” effective immediately. CooperVision is a world-leading manufacturer of soft contact lenses that address the most common and complex vision challenges for customers and wearers;

  • a new KCAD Associate of Arts in Art History degree for implementation beginning with the Fall 2021 semester;

  • a contract with Academic Search for assistance in national searches for calendar years 2021 and 2022;

  • contracts with Andrews Hooper Pavlik for external audit services and with Rehmann for internal audit services. Both contracts are for fiscal 2021;

  • renewal of the product licensing agreement with Adobe, Inc. for the Adobe Acrobat Professional and Creative Cloud products for three years, beginning in January 2021; and

  • three appointments to the boards of directors of FSU-authorized charter school academies, and an exigent appointment that was approved in October 2020.

The current trustees are chair Amna P. Seibold, of East Grand Rapids; vice-chair Ana L. Ramirez-Saenz, of Grand Rapids; secretary Rupesh K. Srivastava, of Wixom; member-at-large Lori A. Gwizdala, of Bay City; Robert J. Hegbloom, of Norton Shores; Kurt A. Hofman, of Grand Rapids; Kari L. Sederburg, of East Lansing; and LaShanda R. Thomas, of Grosse Pointe. 

The next regular meeting of the Board is Friday, Feb. 19. Committee meetings begin at 10 a.m. followed by the full board meeting at 11 a.m.