Oct. 3 BOT meeting: Michigan Achievement Scholarship, Research and Innovation Center and east campus

Arianna Heyman, Features Editor

On Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, the Oakland University Board of Trustees (BOT) met to discuss new initiatives, scholarship opportunities, and economic development. 

President Ora Pescovitz presented her report which included the introduction of a new scholarship being offered to prospective students. New students will have the potential to receive the Michigan Achievement Scholarship where they could be awarded funding up to $5,500. 

“We hope that this will be widely disseminated,” Pescovitz said. “This is based on need, but we want all students in Michigan to be aware of this and it is really exciting for us.”

Pescovitz also introduced a new spirit initiative which she hopes will gain traction. “Golden Grizzlies Saturdays” encourages faculty and students to wear OU merch every Saturday to show their OU pride. 

“[Everyone] can be walking billboards for Oakland University,” Pescovtiz said. 

She also presented information from a Detroit News article on Michigan’s “brain drain” which revealed that many Michigan college students leave the state after graduating. This report disclosed positive news for OU however –– 86.38% of OU graduates remain in Michigan. 

“We’re very proud of the fact that our students, for the most part, remain in Michigan and that is something we work very hard to ensure,” Pescovitz said. 

Finally, Pescovitz addressed Sustainability Awareness Month, which promotes OU’s goal of sustainability through various on campus events such as panel discussions and rallies

“We are building awareness of the multi-layered approach to creating a sustainable campus, a sustainable community, and we very much believe that it is our responsibility to create a sustainable world.”

The BOT also heard from Vice President for Research, David A. Stone, who presented information on OU’s new Research and Innovation Center which will be operational in the winter semester. 

As reported by the Post in 2020, the BOT previously approved the $3.715 million purchase of 2817 Research Dr., located four miles south of campus.

“We’ll begin moving faculty in [for] the winter semester and we hope this will be a catalyst for larger scale projects as well as deeper industry engagement,” Stone said. “It’s almost 50,000 square feet of new lab project and meeting space to support work in mechanical, electrical and industrial engineering as well as computer science.” 

Before the meeting adjourned, Greg Jordan, Director of OU’s Recreation and Well-Being department, addressed the board on behalf of Meadowbrook subdivision residents regarding the potential development of east campus.  

“We would like to express our concern for OU’s position on providing easement for the possible widening of Adams Road,” Jordan said. “We believe there are reasonable alternatives to congestion, traffic flow and safety on Adams that does not require widening between Walton and Avon. These projects have the potential to significantly impact the community, the environment and the quality of life in the subdivision neighborhood.”

Jordan requested that the BOT take the time to hear from subdivision residents before any development occurs.

“We the residents of Meadowbrook subdivision, are requesting that the board and administration consider a recommitment to the process for these proposed development plans,” Jordan said. “Such a process would include community input, public comment, an online survey, transparency and engagement to obtain as much input as possible with constituent groups.”

The BOT had no comments for Jordan and it remains to be seen if the concerns of the Meadowbrook subdivision residents will be addressed.