Trustees approve plan; announce funding

Emeritus Employees For immediate release: Dec. 1, 2010

BLOOMSBURG — Funding has been set aside for initiatives that further priorities in Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s new strategic plan, “Impact 2015: Building on the Past, Leading for the Future,” BU President David Soltz told the Council of Trustees at the Dec. 1 meeting.

“The strategic plan has 12 action items as top priorities, and we are now in the action phase of the plan’s first year,” Soltz said. A total of $100,000 is available to fund centers of excellence and innovative programs related to the strategic plan, which Trustees approved during the meeting.

The Trustees also approved the annual resolution certifying the Bloomsburg University Foundation’s compliance with Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors policy. The BU Foundation is an independent entity that exists solely to solicit, manage and grow financial support for BU students and academic programs.

Karen Slusser, director of institutional research, explained another financial matter — PASSHE’s system of accountability measures for determining performance funding. Based on BU’s performance during 2009-2010, the university received $2.7 million in additional funding, fifth among State System institutions. Areas where BU excels include retention rates, defined as the percentage of students who return for second and subsequent years of study, and four- and six-year graduation rates.

Also during the meeting, Eric Milner, assistant vice president for facilities, updated Trustees on current, upcoming and potential construction projects.

These include:

  • Sutliff Hall, renovation began in June 2010, estimated completion in August 2011, cost of $10 million.
  • Energy Savings Project, including biomass boiler and lighting replacement, to conclude with McCormick Center lighting replacement in late December 2010, cost of $7.2 million.
  • Pedestrian bridge over Lightstreet Road, construction expected to begin in summer 2011, cost of $1.5 million primarily funded by the Community Government Association.
  • Elwell Residence Hall, renovation expected to begin in summer 2011, cost of $18.5 million.
  • Early Childhood Lab School on upper campus, feasibility study now under way, possible new construction estimated to start in spring 2012, cost of $1.75 million.
  • Waller Administration Building, funding of addition and renovation for 2011-2012, cost of $24.1 million.

Milner said a $16 million renovation of McCormick Center is being added to the commonwealth’s five-year funding cycle for 2014-2015. Another long-range project could relocate facilities management from the lower to the upper campus.

Facilities personnel are currently studying the possible razing of Old Science Hall to make room for suites-style campus housing and a range of options to upgrade or replace Kehr Union, he said.

Also during the meeting, the Trustees:

  • Learned that the Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education will now be known as the Department of Early Childhood and Adolescent Education to reflect a curriculum overhaul and Pennsylvania Department of Education regulations.
  • Recognized the following with emeritus status: faculty emeritus, Robert Lowe, audiology and speech pathology, and Ann Stokes, music; and non-instructional emeritus, Janet Fester, mail services; Charles Harris, carpentry shop; Cheryl John, facilities scheduling; and Paula Novak, facilities services.
  • Set the following schedule for quarterly meetings in 2011-2012, all Wednesdays: Feb. 23, 2011; June 8, 2011; Aug. 31, 2011; Nov. 30, 2011; Feb. 29, 2012; and June 6, 2012.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 9,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.