Bowling Green State University

BGSU eyes some programs for collaboration with UT, others for elimination

By DAVID DUPONT                 BG Independent News The Faculty Senate wound up its activities for the academic year Tuesday with a report on the fate of several academic programs. Provost Rodney Rogers gave an update on the process for identifying programs that are offered both at the Bowling Green State University and University of Toledo, with an eye for eliminating some and collaborating on others. The review was mandated by the Governor’s Task Force on Affordability and Efficiency. The state identified 50 duplicated programs. The criteria to evaluate them was the number of students enrolled and the number of graduates from the program. Of the 50, 34 programs were identified as worth maintaining on both campuses because of “robust” enrollments. The last 16 fell into different categories. Four were already in the process of being eliminated. The bachelor’s degree in athletic training has been eliminated because it can no longer be accredited. A master’s degree has become the accepted credential in the field. Also, a teacher education program has been absorbed into Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) Integrated Sciences. Two business programs – Accounting Technology/Technician & Bookkeeping with four graduates and. Business/Commerce, General with 11 – are being considered for elimination. Three programs are being repositioned within their colleges and will continue. Film Studies, for example, has low enrollments because the university now offers a film production major. When considered together, the two programs have 163 students. Another program in Theatre and Film, a Bachelor of Arts degree in drama, provides a liberal arts option in theater as well as the option for double major. The university is awaiting the results of…


BGSU faculty honored for excellence

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS The University recognized a group of its highest-achieving faculty April 13 during the annual Faculty Excellence Awards. Faculty were honored for research, teaching, creative arts, service, leadership, advising, mentoring and more during the celebratory event in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Joining President Mary Ellen Mazey on the stage were alumnus David Levey, chair of the BGSU Board of Trustees, who gave credit to his undergraduate faculty for launching him into a successful life; Dr. Rodney Rogers, provost and senior vice president; and Dr. William Balzer, vice president for faculty affairs and strategic initiatives, who led the event. “All of BGSU takes great pride in the work and accomplishments of our faculty,” Rogers said. “Time and time again, we hear stories about a particular faculty member who changed a life, challenged a student, opened a door to new possibilities. That’s what makes BGSU such a great place.” Three faculty received the Professorship of Excellence title. The Professorships of Excellence are presented to faculty holding the rank of full professor who have achieved outstanding success in teaching, research, creative arts or service and whose work merits special recognition. The title is held for three years, and brings additional support for its duration. Dr. Cynthia Baron, theatre and film, was named Professor of Research Excellence. Dr. Mikel Kuehn, musicology, composition and theory, was named Professor of Creative Arts Excellence. Dr. Kefa Otiso, geography, was named Professor of Service Excellence. The Master Teacher Award, selected and presented by the Student Alumni Connection, was given to Dr. Andrew Gregory, School of Earth, Environment…


BGSU taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University is in it for the long haul when it comes to sustainability. Under the terms of the American University and College Presidents’ Climate Commitment, which BGSU president Mary Ellen Mazey signed with almost 700 of her peers, the university will work to reduce its carbon footprint by an average of 4 percent a year, leading to being carbon neutral by 2040. Monday marked the kickoff for Earth Week activities on campus. A short ceremony to mark the occasion was held outside McFall Center with those gathered moving to place green pinwheels outside the student union. The theme is “Action Today, Better Tomorrow.” Nick Hennessey, BGSU’s sustainability manager, said Monday that the university is close to reducing its carbon footprint by 4 percent annually, but hasn’t done so yet. “We’re working on it. We’re taking a big chunk of it. We’re right where we want to be.” He’s looking forward to finalizing the university’s greenhouse gas analysis. “The most change has occurred in the last year,” he said. Renovation of buildings helps, Mazey said. She’s proud of the number that have earned LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – Certification. When the Harshman Quad, the Family and Consumer Science building, and West Hall come down this summer that will have “a major impact on our energy consumption,” Mazey said. Hennessey said the effort to reduce the carbon footprint also got a boost from the city. Now 40 percent of the electricity supplied to BGSU comes from renewable sources. Mazey praised the Friday Nights Lights Out program through which student…


Winter session is coming for BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In moving to a new calendar with shorter sessions, Bowling Green State University is not entering uncharted waters. In his review of the progress on adopting the new calendar John Fischer, vice provost for academic affairs, said that BGSU was behind the curve as one of the last public institutions in the state to cling to the 16-week semester. The University of Toledo is switching this fall. BGSU is planning to implement the new calendar in fall, 2018. The Board of Trustees accepted the new calendar in concept at its last meeting. No other approvals are needed. Still that doesn’t mean the university can simply cut and paste what its sister institutions have done. Fischer said when they surveyed to see how other universities have handled particular issues, they got a variety of answers. And there are a lot of issues as demonstrated by the questions posed by members of the senate. The new calendar would have a 14-week semester in fall and spring, with one week of exams. That trims one teaching week. Fischer said that BGSU now exceeds the required number of “contact hours” required by the state. This will bring in line with state regulars. The current schedule has 2,370 contact minutes a semester, 2,250 of which are in class meetings and 120 minutes for an exam. The new schedule would be a total of 2,250 contact minutes with, 2,100 for class meetings and 150 in an exam period. Fischer said that the longer time devoted to exams will make that period even more important. He said Provost Rodney Rogers, who…


Market holds the key to a sustainable future, Lamb Peace speaker contends

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Speaking on the day that Donald Trump started reversing the country’s commitments to combat global warming, author and entrepreneur Hunter Lovins had some news for him. “The era of fossil fuel is over,” she said. “I don’t care what Mr. Trump does.” Lovins, the founder of Natural Capital Solutions and author of 1 books with another in the works, is a proponent of using capitalist solutions to combat global warning. Tuesday night she took the stage at Bowling Green State University as the Edward Lamb Peace lecturer to promote her views. In his introduction, political scientist professor Mark Simon noted that the lecture series originally started dealing with military threats to world peace. When the Cold War ended, it was determined that environmental issues now posed the greatest threat to world peace. Lovins was the latest in a long line of noted environmentalists to speak. Climate change has already sparked or contributed to conflicts in Darfur and Syria, and driven 65 million people from their homes, Lovins said. That will only get worse as the global temperatures rise. The Middle East is projected to become too hot to live in by the year by 2040. A study funded by NASA found that “total system collapse will be difficult to avoid” if current patterns of resource depletion and economic inequality continue. That means no water, no food, and no money. Lovins cited a survey that found that the eight richest individuals on the planet control more wealth that the bottom 50 percent. As bleak as that picture is, she took a different tack, inspired in…


BGSU rally to oppose white supremacy set for today (March 22)

A rally to protest postings on campus by the white identity group Identity Evropa will be held today (March 22) at 3 p.m. on the steps of the Education Building at Bowling Green State University. The group put up posters on the BGSU campus as part of a national recruiting campaign. The group organizing the rally, Fight Back Against White Supremacy, said more calling cards” have been left since and the group has posted on social media. In a news release, Ashley Philipp, one of the organizers, said the BGU administration “as still not made any active steps to quell the growing unrest of the student population or deter the offenders.” When the first flyer appeared, the administration issued a statement condemning the fliers and reasserting that it “does not tolerate hate, racism, sexism or intolerance.” (http://bgindependentmedia.org/hate-group-posts-fliers-on-campus/) Philipp said there is a possibility the rally will have to be moved because of problems getting a permit from the university. If that’s the case, those gathered will march to the green space on the southwest corner of the intersection of Church and W. Wooster, across from the police station.


State universities face tough battles in Columbus, Mazey says

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News President Mary Ellen Mazey apologized for being the bearer of bad news to the Bowling Green State University Faculty Senate, Tuesday. A storm front is approaching the university from Columbus, and though Mazey said she hopes the worse effects could be forestalled, she knows it won’t be easy. “We have our work cut out for us” she said of the state budget. Gov. John Kasich’s proposal calls for a 1-percent increase in state support in the first year of the biennial budget and no increase in the second. This would be paired with a freeze on tuition and freeze. Now it’s up to the House to fashion its proposal. Mazey said the state’s university presidents were focusing on three areas as the House begins working on the higher education budget. Mazey seemed confident that a proposal that would shift the cost of buying textbooks from students to the university was fading. “I think we’re making progress,” she said. The proposal to have university pay for textbooks in exchange for levying a new $300 annual fee “does not seem to be getting a lot of traction in the House,” she said. The governor’s plan, Mazey said, is not academically sound. Also the financing was not adequately researched. It would not benefit all students and would create a new bureaucracy to administer. The state’s university provosts have shaped an alternative policy that would require universities to submit a plan to reduce textbook costs by fall, 2018. In the meantime university officials would gather the data needed to formulate that plan. The plans would involve hiring professional…


BGSU closing Forrest Creason golf course at end of season (Update)

Bowling Green State University University announced this morning that it will close its Forrest Creason golf course at the end of the 2017 season. The University determined that the course cannot reverse more than a decade of declining revenues and a mounting operating deficit given the northwest Ohio golf market and national trends. “This is not a decision we took lightly,” said University spokesman Dave Kielmeyer in this mornings statement. “We hired a consultant, developed a study and closely reviewed our options. Even with significant investment to make the course more competitive, it is unlikely that Forrest Creason could be a break-even operation. In today’s higher education environment, we simply can’t ask our students to continue to subsidize the golf course.” Kielmeyer later in an interview said the university lost $120,000 on the golf course in the past year, an expense that has been steadily climbing for the past decade. Usage is also down significantly. With the golf industry taking a hit nationally, it no longer “made any sense” for BGSU to operate a course. The university does not have any firm plans about how the land the course sits on will be used. “We want to get the community involved in the discussion,” Kielmeyer said. That discussion will likely begin in fall. The statement issued by the Office of Marketing & Communications continued: The University study identified the need for significant capital investments to address shortcomings at the course to make it more marketable. Challenges identified include an inadequate clubhouse, no outdoor shelter facilities, no banquet facility or food service, and the need for a new irrigation system. BGSU undertook…


Lee Meserve delivers his swan song in Last Lecture series

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When you teach at a university for 44 years as Lee Meserve has at Bowling Green State University, a lot happens. Yes, there are the budget committee meetings, the lectures and labs, the advising sessions with students, the research, and presenting research results at conferences. There’s discussions of various bodily functions and demonstrations of the male and female sexual response Sometimes there’s even an airborne mouse. Lee Meserve gave a Last Lecture Monday night. Not his last lecture – he doesn’t retire until the end of the semester. But rather a talk in a series sponsored by the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society. The conceit is: If this was the last lecture you would give what would you talk about? In a twist that Meserve relishes, this was in fact his second Last Lecture. Meserve, a professor of biology, used the occasion to review his long career at BGSU. It started not long after receiving his doctorate at Rutgers University. The journey started before then, growing up on a “hard scrabble” dairy farm in Maine where the family milked 25 to 40 cows. The farm was a place he learned that of there was something to do, you’d best get to doing it whether it was fixing the milk parlor floor or the barn roof. That’s a work ethic he brought to academia where a 50, 60 hour week is the norm. He poured himself into the institution to such an extent that his wife, Marge, once gave him a t-shirt that read: “Stop me before I volunteer again.” He didn’t get the message….


Paying for textbooks could put a dent in BGSU budget

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University could take a significant financial hit if a state budget proposal requiring colleges to pay for students’ textbooks becomes law. At a session of the BGSU Faculty Senate in late February President Mary Ellen Mazey said that even with the option of a new $300 annual textbook fee, the cost of providing textbooks would be significant. Mazey reported that the estimates for state aid are a 1-percent increase this year with a freeze in the second year of the biennial budget. She also expects a freeze on tuition and fees, other than the possibility of the new textbook fee. No one, she said, knows how much paying for textbooks would cost. “I’ve heard as low as $6 million and as high as $18 million. That could be a major, major budget cut if we go in that direction.” She noted that the governor had already instructed universities to find ways to control textbook costs. As a result the university has surveyed what it now does to contain those costs and has formed a textbook affordability committee to study how the university could do more. As reported to Faculty Senate late last year, it was clear the BGSU was already doing a lot to help reduce the cost of books for students. The bookstore offers a price comparison program. The library had purchased copies of texts for some of the most popular courses with the most expensive books and makes them available for use in the library. Students can also get books through OhioLink, a cooperative library system that connects higher…


Hate group posts fliers on campus

Bowling Green State University has issued the following statement about recruiting fliers for a white nationalist group that were posted on campus. “Bowling Green State University does not tolerate hate, racism, sexism or intolerance. Last night (March 6, 2017), a national hate group that has been targeting dozens of college campuses all across the country, posted fliers and white separatist symbols on our Bowling Green Campus and at other area universities. The offensive materials have been removed, and we are investigating. The perpetrators could face criminal charges. “These materials are not reflective of BGSU’s core values of showing respect for one another and supporting a culture of inclusion. We encourage members of our community to fight hate and intolerance by reporting incidents of bias – See it. Hear it. Report it.“


From Tunisia to BGSU, Amira Hassnaoui advocates for equality

By HOLLY SHIVELY Special to BG INDEPENDENT NEWS From being tear gassed in the streets of Tunisia during the Jasmine Revolution to working for students as Bowling Green State University’s Graduate Student Senate president, Amira Hassnaoui has stayed true to her passion—advocacy for equality of all people. “I care because I care about the human experience,” she said. “We share a lot as humans—more than we think we do.” While she didn’t grow up in a political family, Hassnaoui has time and time again found herself in political scenes, alongside journalists, scholars and underground musicians, fighting for the communities she cares about. Currently, that involves using her passion for advocacy in her Graduate Student Senate leadership role while completing her masters in popular culture. “I really care a lot about my BG community, and I’m so passionate about what I do,” Hassnaoui said. “I’m so involved—it’s because I do care. It’s because I do think that we can be the best. We’re good now, but we can definitely be among the best…That passion was the ribbon of my own experience because I definitely know how it feels.” While Hassnaoui has become the voice for international students, she said she advocates for students, whoever they are. “I don’t believe a lot in just sitting in my office and wait for things to come to me. I’m more of a person like feet on the ground,” Hassnaoui said. Since becoming an active member of the Bowling Green community, Hassnaoui has set forth as an information source and activist. In addition to serving as GSS president, Hassnaoui has additionally spoken on panels, most…


“Activism from Where You Are” theme of BGSU Women’s History Month events

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS “Activism from Where You Are” is the theme of the keynote event in this year’s Women’s History Month celebrations at Bowling Green State University. New York poet and political activist Staceyann Chin will conduct a workshop on the topic Saturday, March 18 , from 5-8 p.m. Chin, an “out” poet and Jamaican national, has starred in the Tony Award-nominated “Def Poetry Jam on Broadway,” has performed in “Voices of a People’s History of the United States,” in one-woman shows off-Broadway and at the Nuyorican Poets’ Café. The workshop, geared toward students, she will share her own story about how a girl “born into denial and contempt can grow up resilient, sane and full of purpose.” The workshop will include a gathering of participants’ family narratives and how those unique narratives can inform their activism. Pre-registration for the workshop is required. Email the Women’s Center at womencenter@bgsu.edu. The overarching theme of the month’s events is “Get in Formation: Women of Color and Contemporary Activism.” Sponsored by the Women’s Center and the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, there are activities for people of all ages. Below is a sampling of what’s happening. The annual “Toss the Tiara,” an alternative dress-up day for boys and girls, takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday (March 4) in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Also on March 18, the National Council of Negro Women Empowerment Conference will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. Pre-registration is also required for this event. Faculty members from BGSU and…


Student retention key concern of BGSU administrators

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University is wants to keep students around long enough to graduate. During Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting Provost Rodney Rodgers and Thomas Gibson, vice president for student affairs and vice provost, discussed the administration’s progress toward achieving its goal of retaining 80 percent of the fall, 2016 freshman class. In spring, 91.5 percent of the students who started in fall were still at the university. That persistence rate, Rogers said, was down a little. But he wasn’t overly concerned. Those students who stayed at the university had more academic achievement. They did better in the developmental math instruction provided in the Math Emporium and had higher grade point averages. Also, they tended to have lesser financial need, he said. All those were signs that more of them will return for a second year at BGSU in the fall. Still the university is going all it can to make sure students who start here continue. That’s important not just for the university’s academic goals, but also for its bottom line. State funding is determined in large part by how many students end up getting degrees. “I want to caution first that persistence rates are not strong indicators” of how many students are retained, Gibson said. The university is looking at data across the board, he said, to determine what it needs to do to achieve its 80-percent retention goal. Gibson said the university has adopted a couple strategies to keep students on campus. He said they are monitoring the progress of students from groups that typically are at greater risk of dropping…


BGSU housing & meal rates tick upward

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News As the Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees acted on increasing the cost of housing and meals, they were being assured that the university was still a good deal compared to most of its sister institutions. Trustees Friday approved housing rate will increase an average of 2.1 percent. The basic double occupancy room rate will go up 2.4 percent to $2,790, up $65 per semester. The cost of rooms will range from there up to $4,030 for what’s described as “a super single.” Meal plans will increase an average of 3 percent. The price of plans for resident students would range from $1,669 to $2,156, with increases of $49 to $63, per semester. The commuter meal plan will be $315, a 2.9-percent increase. Sheri Stoll, the vice president for administration and finance, presented a chart that showed BGSU has second lowest cost in the state for room and board. “We believe our students continue to be very price sensitive,” she said. “We have worked very, very hard to keep a tight lid on room and board fees.” She also noted that the parlor fee for fraternities and sororities will not go up. The fee is assessed annually to each Greek organization, which determines how to pass it along to members. The fee is to cover the costs of common spaces that are used both by those residing in Greek housing and those members who live elsewhere but still use the common spaces. Stoll said dorm occupancy tops 90 percent, but that figure includes the remaining housing in the Harshman Quad, which will close…