The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control approved spending $770,000 to upgrade WiFi in campus residence halls during the Board’s regular meeting Monday, Feb. 16.
Joey Rexford, president of the SVSU Student Association, told the Board that wireless connectivity has been students’ number one issue during the 2014-15 academic year.
Following today’s Board approval, SVSU will install new access points to provide better coverage, double the amount of available bandwidth, and will increase network coverage to accommodate an average of five wireless devices per residential student. Recent estimates have shown SVSU's 2,722 residential students currently have around four devices each, on average.
“We have been working diligently to find an affordable and functional solution,” said James Muladore, executive vice president for administration and business affairs.
Work on the upgrades will begin quickly. Students can expect to see some noticeable improvements during the remainder of the winter semester.
The Board also approved spending up to $415,000 to purchase and outfit a mobile water analysis laboratory for the Dow Science and Sustainability Education Center at SVSU. All of the funding comes from a previously announced grant from the Dow Chemical Company Foundation.
Zahnow Library also will see up to $350,000 in renovations to provide space for the Center for Academic Innovation, among other improvements.
The Board also authorized a new public school academy, Hinoki International School. Michigan’s first dual-immersion Japanese-English elementary school, Hinoki is one of only a few such schools nationwide to teach students all subjects in English and Japanese. The curriculum was developed in partnership with education experts at Eastern Michigan University as part of a $560,000 federal charter school implementation grant. Hinoki becomes the 20th charter school currently authorized by SVSU.
For the 2015-16 school year, Hinoki will enroll students in grades K-5 at a new facility in Farmington Hills that it will share with Schoolhouse Montessori Academy’s preschool programs. The SVSU Board approved a three-year contract with Hinoki.
In other business, the Board:
• Approved granting tenure for 11 faculty:
? Kay Castillo, Assistant Professor of Medical Laboratory Science
? Monika Dix, Assistant Professor of Modern Foreign Languages
? Andrea Frederick, Assistant Professor of Nursing
? Kylie Jaber, Assistant Professor in Economics
? Brandon Haskett, Assistant Professor of Music
? Kaustav Misra, Assistant Professor in Economics
? David Nichols, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
? Arra Ross, Assistant Professor of English
? David Rzeszutek, Assistant Professor of Theatre
? Ross Singer, Assistant Professor Communication
? Vetta Vratulis, Assistant Professor of Teacher Education
• Approved a request from Waterford Montessori Academy, a previously authorized charter school, to expand to serve additional locations.
• Approved an amendment to the agreement with Wolverine Academy, a previously authorized charter school. Wolverine sought to enter into separate contracts with SVSU for its Detroit and Saginaw locations. The Board approved a one-year contract to this effect.
• Appointed a nominating committee for May Board elections.
• Approved the Board of Control meeting schedule for the 2015-16 academic year.