Board of Trustees approves new major in health administration, contract renewals

Cassie Buchman, Editor in Chief

The Board of Trustees approved a new major in health administration and renewed several contracts at its meeting Friday.

Health administration is already an option in the health studies program.

Julie Dietz, chair of the health studies department, presented the proposal for the bachelor’s degree.

She said they are not requesting a change in courses being taught or how they are arranged.

Instead, the department wants to “pull (health administration) out of obscurity” by bringing attention to it, Dietz said.

Dietz said before the impact of declining enrollment really hit the university, the program was ranging between 80-100 students.

“That was with it being and buried in the program,” she said. “We could have significant enrollment growth simply by increasing its visibility.”

Students with the option already see themselves as health administration majors, Dietz said.

“Now, they will have the degree and documentation that says ‘Yes, it’s health administration,’” she said. “Health administration is a growing field. Being able to say ‘I made that commitment to my field from the first moment as an undergraduate’ is a very powerful statement of intent for them in pursuing their future career.”

The program already has several links with the School of Business. Dietz said they are working on establishing even closer connections with graduate programs and working on other “creative options.”

The contract for Operating Engineers Local 399 was renewed without any changes except for an increase of 1 percent across the board for year one and year two.

The cost of those increases equals $5,000 each year for both years.

“Whatever their new rate is in the next year, the 1 percent is calculated on that rate,” Rob Miller, general counsel for the university, said.

Contracts for the Painters District Council #58 and Electricians IBEW Local both also got their contracts renewed, without any changes, according to Miller.

Both are governed by the prevailing rate, meaning their wage is set by the department of labor by county.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]