Trustees Approve 2019-20 Housing and Dining Rates, New Foundation Board Directors

Ferris State UniversityGRAND RAPIDS – Ferris State University’s Board of Trustees approved housing and dining rates for the 2019-20 academic year, three new board directors for The Ferris Foundation and more at its regular meeting on Friday, Oct. 5 at the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building in Grand Rapids.

During the 2009-10 academic year, Ferris’ room and board rates ranked second-highest among Michigan public universities. As a result of intentional efforts to ease the financial burden on students and families, including a zero-percent increase in 2018-19, last year the university’s room and board rates ranked fifth-lowest among Michigan public university peers. In the 2019-20 academic year, the housing and dining rate is set at $10,042, an increase of 1.5 percent from the previous year. This comparative number is based on a two-person residence hall room and the silver/bronze meal plan, the most comparable meal plan available at the other state universities.

Trustees also approved Ferris alumnus Adel Makki, of Detroit; alumnus Terry Stewart, of Saugatuck, Michigan and Fountain Hills, Arizona; and John Fenn, of Shelby Township, Michigan, a 2007 recipient of a Ferris Honorary Doctorate in Business and Industry, as the newest members of The Ferris Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Makki is the director of Pharmacy Operations at Pharmascript, a Farmington Hills-based long-term care pharmacy, Pharmascript of Shelby, in Shelby Township, and Red Cap Pharmacy, in Jackson. He received his Doctorate of Pharmacy from Ferris, in 2005. In 2016, Makki created the “Dr. Adel A. Makki Scholarship Endowment,” to help fund the graduate education of Ferris College of Pharmacy students.

Stewart, a 1969 Ferris graduate, established the Terry L. and Cynthia R. Stewart Scholarship Endowment in support of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration students. Stewart previously served on The Ferris Foundation Board of Directors from 2009 through 2012. He retired in 2001.

Fenn founded Fenn and Associates Surveying, Inc., in 1978. The company is a leading land surveying, civil engineering and consulting firm. Through the Fenns’ generosity, in 2005, Ferris dedicated the John R. and Lynda D. Fenn Digital Photogrammetry and GIS Laboratory. In 1998, he created the John R. and Lynda D. Fenn Surveying Annual Scholarship. Fenn is now retired.

In other action, the trustees approved:

  • a final general fund operating budget, $209.1 million, and a final housing/dining budget, $32.1 million, for the 2019 fiscal year;

  • an FY 2020 capital outlay project request for a Center for Virtual Learning. Each state university is asked to submit its one top-priority project within the context of a five-year capital outlay planning document, as prescribed by the state. The total estimated cost, for the approximately 64,000-square-foot facility, is $29.5 million. The center, on the Big Rapids campus, would house academic programs that incorporate a significant virtual learning component and that need a modern facility. These programs include Digital Media, Information Security and Intelligence, Career and Technical Education, Teacher Education and online. The Center for Virtual Learning will draw these programs together at the core of the Big Rapids campus, adjacent to FLITE, the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education;

  • phase one of the Hagerman Pharmacy Building project which is focused on the first floor of the facility’s west wing. The administration has retained Integrated Design Solutions, for design, and Rockford Construction Company, for construction management, to assist in the project’s planning and implementation. The $4.8 million phase-one budget includes $3.06 million in gifts and pledges. The renovation is expected to begin by December 2018 with phase one substantially completed by August 2019.
  • ratification of a six-year contract between the university and the 150-member Clerical Technical Association. The new contract includes a 1.5-percent salary increase in years one though five, a 1.75-percent year-six increase. The last contract expired June 30, 2018;

  • seven appointments to the boards of directors of FSU-authorized charter school academies;
  • a contract amendment for an additional campus for Grand Rapids-based Lighthouse Academy in East Jordan, for a one-year period, before transitioning to a permanent facility in Charlevoix;
  • conditional authorization for New Hope Public School Academy, in Saginaw; and
  • reauthorization for New Bedford Academy, in Lambertville.

The trustees are chair Paul E. Boyer, of Ada; vice chair Lori A. Gwizdala, of Bay City; secretary Ana L. Ramirez-Saenz, of Caledonia; immediate past chair Gary L. Granger, of Byron Center; Robert J. Hegbloom, of Clarkston; Amna P. Seibold, of East Grand Rapids; Rupesh K. Srivastava, of Wixom; and LaShanda R. Thomas, of Grosse Pointe.

The next regular meeting of the Board is Friday, Dec. 14 in Big Rapids. Committee meetings begin at 3 p.m. followed by the 4 p.m. full board meeting.

PHOTO CAPTION: Students enjoy some of the activities available in North Hall on Ferris State University's Big Rapids campus.  In the 2019-20 academic year, the housing and dining rate is set at $10,042, an increase of 1.5 percent from the previous year. This comparative number is based on a two-person residence hall room and the silver/bronze meal plan, the most comparable meal plan available at the other state universities.