Decisions made at Board meeting

By Nick Peterman, Writer

Many decisions were made by the UA Board of Trustees at its meeting yesterday in the Student Union.

They voted to approve recommendations for the establishments of a Data Science, Analytics, and Information Technology Center, appointments for multiple leadership positions, and additional days of paid leave for staff and contract professionals.

The center for Data Science, Analytics, and Information Technology is being established as an interdisciplinary facility to, according to the UA Digest, “improve academic leadership” in data science and analytics and the already-established area of information technology. Mario R. Garzia, UA alum and executive in residence and the interim dean of the College of Engineering, will head the new center as executive director.

The Board also approved a four-day paid leave extension for “most” staff and contract professionals during the winter holiday period.

This extension will result in the closure of UA from Dec. 24, 2015 through Jan. 1, 2016, and the resumption of operations on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. The excluded personnel are those required to conduct previously scheduled events or those who must maintain essential physical infrastructure. The Board said it hopes the extended closure will result in lower utility and operating costs.

The Board also approved multiple appointments for leadership positions.

Eric Amis, current dean of the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, will now also be the vice provost for Research.

Chand Midha, current executive dean of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, will also become the executive dean of the Graduate School and vice provost/executive dean-liaison to the BCAS.

John Green, current vice dean for Humanities and Social Sciences, chair of the Department of Political Science and director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics, will now also be interim dean of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences.

John Messina, current associate vice president for Student Affairs, will also take over as the vice provost for Student Success.

Stacey Moore, current associate vice president for Student Success, will also take over as associate provost within the department.

Finally, Lauri Thorpe, current associate vice president for enrollment management, will assume additional responsibilities relating to recruitment and admissions within the Graduate School.

The Board also approved a plan, subject to approval by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, that would raise the tuition plateau from 16 credit hours to 18 credit hours, as well as expand the GenEd core program. The two-hour tuition plateau raise would enable students to take up to 18 credit hours without an increase in tuition.  The Board said its goal is to lower the cost of obtaining a degree by five percent.

The Ohio Department of Higher Education (formerly known as the Ohio Board of Regents) is a cabinet-level agency for the Ohio governor that oversees higher education for the state. The agency’s main responsibilities include authorizing and approving new degree programs, managing state-funded financial aid programs and developing and advocating policies to maximize higher education’s contributions to the state and its citizens.

During the meeting Ted Curtis, long-time vice president for Capital Planning and Facilities Management, bid farewell to his fellow board members. He will be retiring from his position at the end of 2015.