Every single proposal from the Board of Trustees meeting on April 24 was approved by the board. The major approvals were an increase in room and board rates for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year, policy changes, the changing of the program names for certain colleges and the re-signing of the Biggby Coffee Shop lease in the Bronco Mall.
There are a lot of stylistic changes that will be made in the upcoming few years and a lot of these changes come into play with the hike in Room and Board rates. Room and Board rates were raised 3.12 percent, effective for the 2019-2020 academic year.
Two policies that were changed were the Conflict of Interest Policy Facility and the Space Naming Policy. The major changes to the Conflict of Interest Policy was combining small, existing polices, into a larger universal policy. In regards to the Space and Naming Policy, the changes made were that the Board of Trustees now has sole authority in naming buildings for the future.
Additionally, the current Title IX policy is under review and is getting updated. There is still time online to provide input regarding the Title IX Policy. It is an anonymous website, where users can provide your name if they would like, but feedback will be submitted directly to the two consultants regarding the Title IX Policy updates. The board seeks as much feedback as possible, and the survey is available here.
Multiple different majors and colleges will undergo name changes due to WMU’s desire to help students obtain a job with a more up-to-date degree name. A majority of these changes are administrative changes, meaning that the resources that are used to teach the students won’t change, it is just the actual names of the majors, minors, schools, etc.
Some of these changes are deleting the accelerated program for the Master of Arts in Earth Science which will then lead to creating the accelerated program for the Master of Science in Earth Science. They will be deleting the Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and will be creating the Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media and Journalism as well as additional changes.
A small, but steady change is happening for Biggby Coffee. They were approved to renew their lease for the upcoming school year. This new lease will stretch for two years.
Some new things coming soon will be the South Neighborhood Apartment Complex will be completed for Fall 2020 with the approved name of Arcadia Flats due to its location near the Arcadia River. Dunbar Hall will start construction and is to be completed by Fall 2022, and work on the College of Aviation building renovation and addition is going to start and will be done by 2020.
“Next week we will begin work to take down McCracken Hall so we can move forward with the building of the new Student and Dining Center which will serve as the hub of student engagement on our campus,” Vice President Anderson said.
President Montgomery was also honored and recognized with his acceptance to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences during the meeting. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the oldest societies in the world and it was founded in 1780 by John Adams and John Hancock. The society recognizes individuals who “exhibited exemplary behavior and accomplishments, and they want to encourage these citizens to advance the public good,” according to board member James Bolger.
“President Ed Montgomery has been recently recognized for his outstanding leadership and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to the Class of 2019,” Bolger said.
Some of the academy members that President Montgomery will be joining will be Benjamin Franklin, Margaret Mead and Albert Einstein. He will also be joining some of his previous classmates, like First Lady Michelle Obama and Purdue president and former Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels.
The next Board of Trustees meeting will be Wednesday June 26 at 11 a.m. in the Bernhard Center.