Board of Trustees reports gift from President Pescovitz, votes on new campus recreation

Laurel Kraus, Life Editor

The Oakland University Board of Trustees met on Monday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. in Banquet Room A of the Oakland Center. Beginning with the President’s Report immediately following Role Call, President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz focused on the 2017 All-University Fund Drive (AUFD) and its achievements compared to previous years. Other items included two distinguished professor appointments, an extension of the University’s Pouring Rights Agreement with Pepsi and the approval of a lease agreement for a high ropes course on campus.

The President’s report: 2017 All-University Fund Drive

The AUFD is an annual employee and retired employee drive that dates back to the 1970s and is one of the top two annual giving campaigns every year. The proceeds benefit various areas of the university such as scholarships, initiatives, departments and student organizations. This past year, Pescovitz pledged to match 20 percent, or $132,796, of the drive’s overall earnings with her personal funds but decided to round up to $160,000 to provide 16 fundraising groups on campus with $10,000 each.

“Winston Churchill is thought to have said, ‘we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give,” Pescovitz said while introducing the drive.

With the inclusion of Pescovitz’s gift, the 2017 AUFD raised a total of $823,796 through the participation of 1,019 donors, which is a 71 percent increase over 2016.

Distinguished professor appointments

Terri L. Orbuch and Frank Giblin were appointed by Provost James Lentini to the rank of distinguished professor.

Orbuch, professor of sociology, has been at Oakland since August of 1998 where she has grown to gain national recognition as ‘the love doctor’ for her work with interpersonal relationship research. Her EYM (Early Years of Marriage) project is the longest longitudinal study of African American couples. Orbuch’s literary accomplishments include the publication of four books, 11 book chapters and 13 refereed journal articles.

Giblin joined OU in August 1974 and is currently the director and professor of The Eye Research Institute. He is considered one of the world’s leading experts on oxidative stress of crystalline lens, whose work with the formation of cataracts has contributed to science’s understanding of the condition. Through his time at Oakland, he has participated in 50 committees, written 110 peer-reviewed articles and trained nearly 20 post-doctoral researchers.

High ropes adventure and challenge course

Along with the Oakland Center renovations and Hillcrest Hall, a high ropes adventure and challenge course will be among the grand openings on campus in fall of 2018. The course will be placed on three acres of empty property on Walton and Adams through a partnership with Auburn Fly LLC.

The two and half to three hour experience will not only be an addition to campus recreational activities, but will also create the opportunity for student jobs, co-ops and internships.

Normal ticket prices will be between $30 and $50, but a student discount will bring the price down to around $20.

Oakland will join six other Michigan universities with some form of ropes course including the University of Michigan and Ferris State University.

The Board of Trustees will meet next on April 9 at 2 p.m. in the Oakland Center’s Banquet Rooms.