Big decisions for trustees

Board of Trustees makes changes to degrees and housing

Five new academic programs have been approved by Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees to be offered fall 2012.

The programs approved by the trustees include Bachelor of Science degrees in healthcare marketing, insurance and risk management and graphic media management; an Associate of Applied Science in graphic communications; and a Master of Science in information security and intelligence.

The board also approved changes in FSUs’ student housing policy. The new policy allows the president or his designee authority to make changes to student housing procedures without the entire Board of Trustees. On-campus housing requirements will be decided by administrators. In addition, the housing policy requiring students under the age of 20 to remain living on campus was removed.

“In my academic career, I have never worked at a university where the faculty is more committed to innovation in the curriculum and making certain the curriculum is up to date,” President of FSU David Eisler said. “The action of offering these academic programs really validates that, and I applaud the work of our faculty and the assists in the academic setting in moving these things forward.”

The Board of Trustees also approved four academic program closures that will start fall 2012. This includes Bachelor of Science degrees in printing management and new media printing and publishing; Associate of Applied Science in printing and digital graphic imaging; and Master of Science in information systems management.

Jesse Bingham, a FSU junior in nursing, was shocked to learn about the degree program changes.

“There are not many students who know about what happens at the Board of Trustees’ meetings,” Bingham said. “Students should know more about these meetings because when important decisions get made, we should be informed before there is nothing we can do about it.”

Dan Scholz, a FSU sophomore in marketing, agreed with Bingham.

“The decisions that are made at these meetings affect students directly. I think the meetings should be open to students, and if they already are, then they need to get the word out,” Scholz said.

In addition to the changes in the academic programs, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion David Pilgrim spoke about the changes taking place with diversity on campus.

“I think we are in the process of building a different kind of culture,” Pilgrim said. “But diversity and inclusion is the kind of thing that even 20 years from now, there will still be challenges. I think what I want is that we all remain vigilant.”

For the eighth consecutive year, the number of Hispanic/Latino students at the university increased. In fall 2011, there were 423 Hispanic/Latino students, representing 2.91 percent of the student population. In addition, the university has grown its international student population from 157 enrolled in fall 2007 to 226 in fall 2011.

“Ferris has made great progress in becoming a more diverse university,” Eisler said. “To look at what has been accomplished is remarkable.”

The Board of Trustees meeting was held March 28 in the Business Building.