Transportation budget proposed


Staff & Wire Reports



In this Jan. 14, 2019 file photo Mike DeWine speaks before being sworn-in as the 70th Governor of Ohio alongside his wife Fran, center right in Cedarville, Ohio. DeWine's administration on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 recommended increasing the state gas tax by 18 cents a gallon beginning July 1 and annually adjusting that tax for inflation to provide sufficient funding for maintenance of roads and bridges. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool, file)

In this Jan. 14, 2019 file photo Mike DeWine speaks before being sworn-in as the 70th Governor of Ohio alongside his wife Fran, center right in Cedarville, Ohio. DeWine's administration on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 recommended increasing the state gas tax by 18 cents a gallon beginning July 1 and annually adjusting that tax for inflation to provide sufficient funding for maintenance of roads and bridges. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool, file)


Governor’s administration proposes gas tax increase

By LISA CORNWELL

Associated Press

Thursday, February 21

CINCINNATI (AP) — Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration on Thursday recommended increasing the state gas tax by 18 cents a gallon beginning July 1 and annually adjusting that tax for inflation to provide sufficient funding for maintenance of roads and bridges.

Ohio’s Department of Transportation director, Jack Marchbanks, introduced the Republican governor’s $7.43 billion transportation budget proposal to the House Finance Committee. The gas tax included in the two-year budget would be adjusted annually with the consumer price index to ensure sufficient funding going forward, Marchbanks said.

He said revenue raised the first year, by increasing the current 28-cent tax to 46 cents, equates to roughly $1.2 billion and will be split between the department and local governments.

Marchbanks told legislators that without more revenue in the face of the “impending transportation crisis,” there will be no funds for any highway improvement projects in the state and roads will deteriorate. Statistics show that deteriorating road conditions lead to more crashes, which lead to more fatalities, he said.

“Gov. DeWine understands that maintaining the integrity of our roads and bridges is not only important to our economy; it is important to the health and welfare of our citizens,” Marchbanks said.

If the Legislature approves the recommendations, the proposal would provide the department in fiscal year 2020 with $750 million additional dollars in revenue to pave roads, fix guardrails, fill potholes, clear snow and ice, maintain bridges, and improve safety, Marchbanks told the committee. He said it also will provide local governments with a significant increase in the funding, including $1.6 million for every county in the state.

Marchbanks has previously said that contracts for road maintenance that totaled $2.4 billion in 2014 may drop to $1.5 billion in 2020, and a $1 billion gap remains in the department budget.

A transportation crisis is looming despite “all of ODOT’s multimillion-dollar cost-saving efforts to make our agency leaner and more efficient,” he told committee members Thursday.

The department realizes that asking Ohioans to pay higher fees for roadway use is “no small task,” but hopes that most will understand the importance of responsible and sufficient transportation funding, the director said.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that Tom Balzer, president of the Ohio Trucking Association, and Grace Gallucci, president of the Ohio Association of Regional Councils, commented on a potential tax increase in testimony to legislators this week.

Balzer said that the state and local governments have immediate transportation needs, and the gas tax raises immediate revenue.

Gallucci pointed out that while questions remain about whether the gas tax is the fairest way to assess users of Ohio roads, it is a way to get needed money right away.

Jon Honeck, senior policy analyst for the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, said Thursday that the association fully supports the proposed increase and thinks it will go a long way toward “restoring a strong partnership between the state and county governments in addressing infrastructure needs.”

The House Democratic Leader, Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes, said in a statement Thursday that the proposed increase “is a tremendous amount of money to working people, families and seniors.”

“We’ll be evaluating the governor’s proposed tax increase and working with our Republican colleagues to determine a path forward that doesn’t overburden people living paycheck to paycheck,” said Sykes, of Akron.

CCAO SUPPORTS MOTOR FUEL TAX INCREASE

The County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) supports the Ohio Department of Transportation’s budget plan that would increase the motor fuel tax by 18 cents per gallon, with future increases indexed to consumer price inflation. This action will help restore a strong partnership between the state and local governments in addressing the state’s infrastructure needs. County governments are responsible for the maintenance and repair of over 26,000 bridges and 29,000 county road miles.

“We are grateful for Governor DeWine’s strong leadership on this issue,” CCAO President Julie Ehemann said. “This proposal will help counties address critical needs in our transportation system, including over 1,800 bridges that are eligible for immediate replacement and another 6,000 that are eligible for repair.”

“It is clear that Ohio must improve and expand its transportation infrastructure to meet the economic challenges of the 21st century, and Ohio’s counties are committed to partnering with the state to make this happen,” she added.

The state’s motor fuel tax has not increased since 2005. Given expected changes in automotive technology, CCAO also supports including electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles in any potential fee increases.

The County Commissioners Association of Ohio advances effective county government for Ohio through legislative advocacy, education and training, technical assistance and research, quality enterprise service programs, and greater citizen awareness and understanding of county government.

Ohio State University trustees approve technology-assisted learning initiatives

Board also approves hiring of university’s first chancellor for health affairs

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University Board of Trustees has approved a second equipment lease with Apple, Inc., to continue the Digital Flagship initiative and outfit first-year students with iPads. The board also approved expansion of the digital textbook pilot program, which reduces textbook costs significantly.

Trustees also approved personnel actions including the hiring of Dr. Harold L. Paz as the university’s first chancellor for health affairs. Paz will manage the $3.7 billion Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center enterprise, including all seven hospitals in the health system. He will also oversee the university’s seven health-science colleges in partnership with the provost and more than 20 research institutes. (See related news story.)

The board also heard committee reports about the impact of the Time and Change strategic plan across the university, including data and outcomes, highlights and future actions.

Provost Bruce McPheron updated trustees Friday on the independent investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Dr. Richard Strauss.

“At the board’s last meeting in November, we heard from individuals in our community who shared their experiences. We respect their courage, and we are grateful to all those who have come forward,” McPheron said.

Earlier this month, Ohio State informed alumni and former student-athletes that the university will cover the cost of professionally certified counseling services needed by former students as a result of Dr. Strauss’ conduct during their time at Ohio State. The university has engaged the firm Praesidium to facilitate confidential access to support resources.

“Praesidium is a nationally recognized leader in preventing and responding to incidents of sexual abuse, and we continue to encourage individuals in need of support resources to contact Praesidium,” he said. “Under this

arrangement, former students have access to counseling services that are comparable to what we make available to students who are enrolled at Ohio State today.”

In addition, he said that those who had already pursued counseling because of what they experienced related to Dr. Strauss will have access to additional resources available through Praesidium.

“On a separate front, we are working with the federal court to arrange for mediation pursuant to its established processes. We appreciate the court’s care and attention to this matter,” McPheron said.

McPheron reaffirmed that the independent investigation is of the highest priority for the university. For almost a year, Ohio State officials have encouraged members of the community who were affected by, or had knowledge of, Strauss’ behavior to participate in the investigation.

“I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that we remain steadfastly committed to understanding the extent of Dr. Strauss’ misconduct and to responding appropriately. That has been our guiding principle since last spring when we first heard of these horrible and profoundly disturbing experiences from decades ago,” McPheron said. “The investigation is nearing its conclusion, and, based on what we learn, the university will address the past and continue to take action to support a better and safer future.”

Equipment lease authorized

Trustees authorized the university to enter into additional equipment lease schedules with Apple Inc. that will provide new iPads with tools to all incoming students on all campuses, including freshman and transfer students this year. The authorization continues the university’s Digital Flagship initiative, which includes a student-success plan, an IOS design laboratory and university-wide opportunities to learn coding skills.

In the first year of the program, more than 11,000 students received a Digital Flagship student technology package and more than 90 percent of the distributed iPads are currently active at any given time.

More than 750 students attended a Digital Flagship event in autumn, including sessions focused on study skills, note-taking strategies, time management, digital creativity, app training and app development basics.

Approximately 300 faculty and staff have participated in the Digital Flagship Educators program, learning how to use the technology in the classroom.

The Ohio State Discover app launched in May, 2018 to instruct students on using their iPad and other important information.

The cost of the leased Apple products will total approximately $13.7 million.

Digital Textbook expansion approved

The board approved discounted digital textbook fees for summer and autumn 2019 as an expansion of a pilot program to provide digital textbooks to reduce the cost of course materials.

Textbook affordability is a key area of focus in the university’s strategic plan.

Creation of the pilot included a discounted digital textbook fee for participating courses that serves as a pass-through fee to collect the cost of the materials. (See related news story)

Basketball ticket prices set

The board approved new price options for men’s basketball tickets for next year. (See related news story.)

Student tickets will remain $9 for both conference and non-conference games. The plan also creates two new price zones in the lower-level seating areas with a slight increase in pricing, while upper-level seating zones will have prices either reduced or unchanged.

Amendments made to Code of Student Conduct

Trustees approved amendments to the code of student conduct regarding jurisdiction, definitions and types of prohibited conduct. Amendments address online conduct, both on and off campus; academic misconduct; and endangering health and safety – including operating a vehicle while impaired, carrying a concealed weapon, submitting/providing false documents/work, drugs and alcohol and other topics.

Construction contracts approved

The board authorized the university to enter into professional services and increase construction contracts for the following projects:

Energy Advancement and Innovation Center. The long-term lease and concession agreement between the university and Ohio State Energy Partners included $50 million for the development of the Energy Advancement and Innovation Center to serve as an experiential hub for energy research and technology incubation. The facility will be located on West Campus. Trustees approved professional services contracts of $3 million. Total project budget is $35 million, to be paid by Ohio State Energy Partners.

Wexner Medical Center Inpatient Hospital – Central Sterile Supply. The project will build a central sterile supply building at Kenny and Ackerman roads to serve the Wexner Medical Center hospitals and ambulatory care centers. Trustees approved increased professional services and construction contracts of $45.7 million. Total project budget is $48.2 million, to be paid with auxiliary (health center) funds.

Wexner Medical Center Inpatient Hospital – Garage (infrastructure and road work). The project will construct a 1,870-space parking garage west of McCampbell Hall, a road and infrastructure. Trustees approved increased professional services and construction contracts of $74 million. Total project budget is $102.1 million, to be paid with auxiliary (health center) funds.

Lease approved

Trustees authorized the university to negotiate and enter into a long-term lease and purchase option for construction and occupancy of a four-story building at the northeast corner of 14th Avenue. and Pearl Street as part of the planned new 15th and High development.

Campus Partners for Urban Community Redevelopment owns the site through Redstone Realty Company, LLC and will build the structure for WOSU Public Media. WOSU will occupy the building through a 30-year lease with Redstone.

Property purchase approved

Trustees approved the purchase of approximately 34 acres of unimproved real property along U.S. 33 and Shier Rings Road in Dublin for $13.2 million for a new ambulatory care facility. The property is owned by the city of Dublin. Terms and price are to be determined; source of funding is Wexner Medical Center.

Both sides have agreed that under certain limited circumstances following close of the sale and conveyance of the property to the university, Dublin buy the property back from the university. This agreement will be memorialized in a Property Reconveyance Escrow Agreement, to be signed simultaneously with the Economic Development Agreement and real estate purchase and sale agreement.

Also, as part of the purchase, trustees authorized entering into an Economic Development Agreement for development of the property that includes agreements regarding public infrastructure work to be performed by the city of Dublin and municipal income tax incentives to be paid by the university.

Personnel actions approved

The board approved the following personnel appointments and reappointments:

Osvaldo Campanella has been appointed professor and holder of the Carl E. Haas Chair in Food Industries in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences effective Sep. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2024

Lei Cao has been named associate professor and holder of the William C. and Joan E. Davis Cancer Research Professorship in the College of Medicine effective Dec. 1, 2018 through Nov. 30, 2022

Jared Gardner has been appointed professor and holder of the Joseph V. Denney Designated Professorship in English in the College of Arts and Sciences effective Nov. 1, 2018 through Aug. 15, 2023

Gail Marsh has been appointed senior vice president and chief strategy and implementation officer effective Jan. 1, 2019

Michael Papadakis has been appointed senior vice president and chief financial officer in the Office of Business and Finance effective Jan. 1, 2019

Harold L. Paz has been appointed executive vice president and chancellor for academic health care effective no later than July 1, 2019

Ryan Schmiesing has been named vice provost for outreach and engagement in the Office of Academic Affairs effective Feb. 1, 2019 through Jan. 31, 2024

Benjamin M. Segal has been named chair of the Department of Neurology and holder of the Gilbert and Kathryn Mitchell Chair in the College of Medicine and chief of neurology services for the Ohio State University Health System effective July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2023

Alex Sparreboom has been named professor and holder of the Lucius A. Wing Chair of Cancer Research and Therapy in the College of Medicine effective Dec. 1, 2018 through Nov. 30, 2022

Kay Wolf has been named senior vice provost in the Office of Academic Affairs effective Feb. 1, 2019 through Jan. 31, 2024

Song Guo Zheng has been named professor and holder of the Ronald L. Whisler MD Chair in Rheumatology and Immunology in the College of Medicine effective Jan. 2, 2019 through Jan. 1, 2023

Greg Allenby has been reappointed professor and holder of the Helen C. Kurtz Chair in Marketing in the Max M. Fisher College of Business effective Oct. 1, 2019 through Sept. 30, 2024

Jaideep Anand has been reappointed professor and holder of the William H. Davis Chair in the American Free Enterprise System in the Max. M. Fisher College of Business effective Sept. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2024

Annette Beatty has been reappointed professor and holder of the Deloitte & Touche Chair in Accounting in the Max M. Fisher College of Business effective Oct. 1, 2019 through Sept. 30, 2024

Christopher Cully has been reappointed senior vice president, general counsel and senior advisor to the president effective April 1, 2019

Louis F. DiMauro has been reappointed professor and holder of the Dr. Edward E. and Sylvia Hagenlocker Chair in Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences effective Sept. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2024

Jeff M.S. Kaplan has been reappointed secretary and senior advisor to the Board of Trustees effective May 1, 2019

Bernadette Minton has been reappointed professor and holder of the Arthur E. Shepard Endowed Professorship in Insurance in the Max M. Fisher College of Business effective Sept. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2024

Raymond Noe has been reappointed professor and holder of the Robert and Anne Hoyt Designated Professorship in Management in the Max M. Fisher College of Business effective Oct. 1, 2019 through Sept. 30, 2024

Gregory S. Rose has been reappointed as dean and director of The Ohio State University at Marion effective July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2024

Oded Shenkar has been reappointed professor and holder of the Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management in the Max M. Fisher College of Business effective May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2024

Spring degrees and certificates approved

Trustees approved the degrees and certificates to be conferred at autumn commencement ceremonies on May 5, 2019, to students who have completed the requirements for their respective degrees and certificates.

In addition, the board approved awarding two degrees posthumously: Joshua Song, bachelor of science in food science, magna cum laude; and Matthew Workman, bachelor of science in chemical engineering.

Distinguished Service Awards approved

The board approved the awarding of the university’s 2019 Distinguished Service Awards to:

George Acock

Richard Hollingsworth

Linda Kass

William McDaniel

Gifford Weary

Board of Trustees committee appointments approved

The board approved the appointment of members to the following committees for 2019-20:

Academic Affairs and Student Life Committee:

Clark C. Kellogg, Chair

Cheryl L. Krueger, Vice Chair

Abigail S. Wexner

Hiroyuki Fujita

Alan A. Stockmeister

Elizabeth P. Kessler

Janice M. Bonsu

Alan VanderMolen

Janet Porter

Richard K. Herrmann (faculty member)

Michael J. Gasser (ex officio)

Finance Committee:

Timothy P. Smucker, Chair

Brent R. Porteus, Vice Chair

Alex Shumate

Erin P. Hoeflinger

Alexander R. Fischer

John W. Zeiger

Lewis Von Thaer

Gary R. Heminger

H. Jordan Moseley

James D. Klingbeil

Lawrence A. Hilsheimer

Michael J. Gasser (ex officio)

Advancement Committee:

Erin P. Hoeflinger, Chair

Alan A. Stockmeister, Vice Chair

Clark C. Kellogg

Alex Shumate

Cheryl L. Krueger

Abigail S. Wexner

H. Jordan Moseley

Alan VanderMolen

Janet Porter

Nancy Kramer

Craig S. Bahner

Kristin L. Watt (Alumni Association member)

Catherine Baumgardner (Alumni Association member)

Gifford Weary (Foundation Board member)

Alec Wightman (Foundation Board member)

Michael J. Gasser (ex officio)

Audit and Compliance Committee:

John W. Zeiger, Chair

Timothy P. Smucker, Vice Chair

Brent R. Porteus

Hiroyuki Fujita

Lewis Von Thaer

Gary R. Heminger

Elizabeth P. Kessler

Janice M. Bonsu

James D. Klingbeil

Amy Chronis

Craig S. Morford

Michael J. Gasser (ex officio)

Governance Committee:

Alex Shumate, Chair

Janet Porter, Vice Chair

Timothy P. Smucker

Erin P. Hoeflinger

Alexander R. Fischer

Hiroyuki Fujita

Gary R. Heminger

H. Jordan Moseley

Alan VanderMolen

Michael J. Gasser (ex officio)

Talent and Compensation Committee:

Hiroyuki Fujita, Chair

Alex Shumate, Vice Chair

Clark C. Kellogg

Erin P. Hoeflinger

John W. Zeiger

Lewis Von Thaer

Elizabeth P. Kessler

H. Jordan Moseley

Janet Porter

Michael J. Gasser (ex officio)

Master Planning and Facilities Committee:

Alexander R. Fischer, Chair

James D. Klingbeil, Vice Chair

Timothy P. Smucker

Brent R. Porteus

Alan A. Stockmeister

Gary R. Heminger

Janice M. Bonsu

Robert H. Schottenstein

Michael J. Gasser (ex officio)

Resolutions in memoriam adopted

The board adopted resolutions in memoriam for the following persons:

Michael W. Browne, professor emeritus of both psychology and statistics, who died on Oct. 10, 2018

Donald Bolon Cooper, professor emeritus in the Department of History, who died on Dec. 11, 2018

Felix P. Kollaritsch, professor emeritus in the Department of Accounting and Management Information Systems, who died on Jan. 27, 2019

Stanley K. Laughlin Jr., professor emeritus of law and adjunct professor of anthropology, who died on Oct. 20, 2018

Melvin L. Moeschberger, professor emeritus in the College of Public Health, who died on Jan. 9, 2019

John Francis Underwood, professor emeritus with OSU Extension in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, who died on Oct. 31, 2018

Foundation report approved

The board approved The Ohio State University Foundation report as of Dec. 30, 2018, which includes the establishment of four professorships: The William H. Saunders M.D. Professorship in Otolaryngology, the Burn Jeng Lin, PhD and Sue Huang Lin Endowed ElectroScience Laboratory Professorship, the Umit S. Ozkan Professorship in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the Helene Fuld Health Trust Endowed Professorship for Evidence-based Practice in Nursing and Healthcare; one professorship fund: the Jezerinac Family Civil Engineering Education Endowment Fund; two designated professorships: the Sander and Mechele Flaum Designated Professorship in Fluency and the Joseph V. Denney Designated Professorship in English; one scholarship as part of the Joseph A. Alutto Global Leadership Initiative: the John A. and Kathryne S. Esselburn International Scholarship Fund; one scholarship as part of 100% TBDBITL Scholarship Endowment Initiative: the Timothy P. and Jennifer C. Smucker 100% TBDBITL Scholarship Fund; and 26 additional named endowed funds providing $9.6 million in private support to the university.

Arch named

Trustees approved naming the archway at the bottom of the outdoor staircase between Pfahl Hall and the Blackwell Inn as The Faulkner Family Arch in recognition of significant contributions to Fisher College by Philip G. Faulkner and Suzanne M. Faulkner.

Internal spaces named

The board approved the renaming of internal spaces in Parks Hall, the College of Pharmacy. Room 245A, previous named The Meijer Foundation Pharmacy Skills Classroom, has been reassigned to 256A, based on construction changes. In addition, room 233B will be named the Maryann Z. and Larry Kennedy Sterile Compounding Room in recognition of their significant contributions.

Laboratory named

Trustees approved naming the graduate materials lab in Bolz Hall as The Allan Johnson Materials Research Laboratory in recognition of Johnson’s significant contributions to the College of Engineering.

Waiting area named

Trustees approved naming the reconstructive surgery waiting area at the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center as The Vicki and Ron Linville Reconstructive Surgery Waiting Area in recognition of the Linvilles’ significant contributions to the Stefanie Spielman center.

Airport spaces named

The board approved naming the main lobby and observation deck at the Ohio State University Airport terminal as The NetJets Lobby and The NetJets Observation Deck in recognition of significant contributions by NetJets Inc. to construction of the terminal.

Imaging center named

Trustees approved naming the Advanced Imaging Center in the Eye and Ear Institute The Robinson Advanced Imaging Center in recognition of significant contributions by The Robinson Fund of the Troy Foundation to the Department of Ophthalmology.

Conference room named

Trustees approved naming the pathology conference room in Hamilton Hall The Emmerich von Haam, M.D. Pathology Conference Room in recognition of Haam’s significant contributions to the Department of Pathology.

Amendments to procedure for compensation setting and review approved

Trustees approved the amended and restated Procedure for Setting and Reviewing Compensation for University Executives.

The procedure was first approved in 2015 and has been amended three times since then.

The changes outline frequency and scope of authority for setting and reviewing total compensation for the president and other executives of the university and medical center.

Joint use agreements approved

The board authorized the university to enter into a 20-year joint use agreement with the Boys and Girls Club of Marion County (BGC Marion) to document the value and permit the release of state funds to build a separate, branded entrance for teen members at their current location.

Ohio State was allocated $50,000 in the 2019 state capital bill that is specifically designed for use by BGC Marion. The Ohio Department of Higher Education requires a joint use agreement before state funding can be released to BGC Marion.

The board also approved entering into a 20-year joint use agreement with Smart Columbus to document the value and permit the release of state funds to develop the Smart Columbus Experience Center in downtown Columbus.

Ohio State was allocated $500,000 in the 2019 state capital bill designed for used by Smart Columbus, which will construct the Smart Columbus Experience Center. Ohio State has an opportunity to expand its partnership with Smart Columbus and will benefit from access to the living laboratory, and use of electric vehicles and office and meeting space. The Ohio Department of Higher Education requires a joint use agreement before state funding can be released to Smart Columbus.

In this Jan. 14, 2019 file photo Mike DeWine speaks before being sworn-in as the 70th Governor of Ohio alongside his wife Fran, center right in Cedarville, Ohio. DeWine’s administration on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 recommended increasing the state gas tax by 18 cents a gallon beginning July 1 and annually adjusting that tax for inflation to provide sufficient funding for maintenance of roads and bridges. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool, file)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2019/02/web1_122376249-63a9808fded5402e9004e159932822b4.jpgIn this Jan. 14, 2019 file photo Mike DeWine speaks before being sworn-in as the 70th Governor of Ohio alongside his wife Fran, center right in Cedarville, Ohio. DeWine’s administration on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019 recommended increasing the state gas tax by 18 cents a gallon beginning July 1 and annually adjusting that tax for inflation to provide sufficient funding for maintenance of roads and bridges. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool, file)

Staff & Wire Reports