CU trustees refine 10-year plan

CEDARVILLE — Focused on future opportunities and growth, the Cedarville University board of trustees at its January meeting further refined a 10-year campus master plan concept that is expected to provide new academic spaces and enhance the residential experience for the University’s growing student community.

With final review and announcement of the master plan expected at its May 2018 meeting, trustees reviewed progress on the proposed plan that includes academic facilities, athletic upgrades, a welcome center, additional dining space, and improved infrastructure, including new roads, sidewalks, and greenspace. With the completion of the plan, the trustees also anticipate the launch of a comprehensive fundraising campaign that will further invest in the campus, academic programs, and student scholarships.

During the January meeting, the trustees also approved the 2018-19 budget, a pharmacy resolution for Cedar Care LLC, and the hiring of five faculty members and 10 faculty promotions.

Cedarville’s operating budget for 2018-19 will rise by 2.6 percent to $92.0 million, while the undergraduate student financial aid budget will increase by 15 percent to $37 million. The board also set the 2018-19 undergraduate tuition rate at $30,070 (a 3.85 percent increase) and room and board fees — which are among the lowest in the state of Ohio — at $7,360.

“In a time where college affordability is a national talking point, we’ve worked diligently to create a budget that helps to make a Cedarville education more affordable,” said CU President Thomas White. “With an increase in financial aid and our three-year degree completion options that we introduced last year, we believe we are continuing to make college more manageable for those who want an excellent education from a distinctly biblical worldview.”

In fall 2017, Cedarville University experienced its largest freshman class in the 130-year history of the institution. One key factor was the university’s continuing commitment to expand scholarship resources for students.

The trustees also approved a retail pharmacy resolution that authorizes Cedar Care LLC, established in 2016 by the university as a separate entity, to explore the possibility of opening a pharmacy practice in the Village of Cedarville. The resolution states the proposed pharmacy will provide the benefits of educational opportunities for the university’s pharmacy students and faculty; potential employment for students, faculty, and staff; meet prescription and pharmaceutical needs of the university and the surrounding communities; and contribute to the economy of the Village of Cedarville.

If this venture becomes a reality, Cedarville’s school of pharmacy will join a select few programs across the United States that have the opportunity to partner with an LLC in offering pharmacy services for their local community.

The board approved the hiring of five faculty members, including the first faculty member for the university’s new civil engineering program which will enroll its first students in fall 2018.

Dr. Stephen Ronald Ayers, who will be a professor of civil engineering, earned his doctoral degree in civil engineering from the University of Southern Queensland (Australia). His bachelor’s degree is in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern Queensland. Since 2009, he has been professor of civil engineering at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas.

Also hired were K. Jason French, assistant professor of worship; Justin Lyons, Ph.D., associate professor of political science; Trent Rogers, Ph.D., assistant professor of New Testament and Greek; and Betsy Linnell, assistant professor of psychology.

With board approval, the following faculty were granted tenure: John Delano, Ph.D., associate professor of information technology management; Glen Duerr, Ph.D., associate professor of international studies; Marty Eng, R.Ph., Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice; Thaddeus Franz, R.Ph., Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice; Geoffrey Hollaway, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry; Robert Paris, Ph.D., associate professor of biology; Rachel Parrill, R.N., Ph.D., associate professor of nursing; George Qin, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering; and Denise Simpson, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences.

Following board approval, the following were promoted: Katherine Loper, M.S.N., to assistant professor of nursing; Thaddeus Franz, R.Ph., Pharm.D., to associate professor of pharmacy practice; Seth Hamman, Ph.D., to professor of computer science; J. Kimberly Higginbotham, RN, D.N.P., to associate professor of nursing; Robert Paris, Ph.D., to associate professor of biology; George Qin, Ph.D., to associate professor of mechanical engineering; Margaret Grigorenko, Ph.D., to professor of education; David Gallagher, Ph.D., to senior professor of computer science; Heather Kuruvilla, Ph.D., to senior professor of biology; and Murray Murdoch, Ph.D., to distinguished professor of history.