Shaun Lucas

On Sept. 21, 2022, the Millersville University Council of Trustees held one of their quarterly meetings at Gordinier Hall and over Zoom. The meeting was open to the public, featuring attendees to share thoughts on campus affairs.

As per Millersville’s website, a Council of Trustees is present in all Pennsylvania State-owned universities. The Council is responsible for discussing budgetary matters for the university, along with evaluating the performance of the university president. The Council is made of 11 Governor appointed members, one of which being a student member nominated by campus leaders to then be approved by the chancellor and appointed by the Governor.

“The trustees are an active, valuable supporting force for Millersville University. The [University] President frequently consults with trustees on University issues and they assist with public relations and advancement,” the Millersville University website says. “Trustees further support the University by serving actively on the Strategic Advisory Council, Honorary Degree Committee, the boards of affiliated organizations and capital campaign cabinets. They also participate in various other University events.”

The meeting began with Chairman Michael Warfel approving the meeting notes for the June 15, 2022 meeting and welcoming Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Mary Beth Williams, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Carlos Wiler, and Interim VP for Finance and Administration Debbie Newsom to their first public Council meeting. Warfel also welcomed Dr. Lara Willox, Dr. Marc Harris and Dr. Carol Runge to their first public meeting.

University President Dr. Daniel Wubah then reflected on the Spring 2022 semester, recapping on the following announcements made in his “State of the ‘Ville” address: Wubah mentioned the first EPPIIC awards being given, having 6,789 total enrollment this semester and the efforts being put forth towards stabilizing enrollment, once again thanking new administration members attending first Council meeting, mentioning $98 million raised in the “Imagine the Possible” campaign, praising Millersville sports teams such as the Women’s Cross Country team starting the academic semester well and expressed excitement towards Homecoming 2022.

“We are still on the runway towards the end of this pandemic…our COVID Monitoring Team (CMT) has been tracking the monkeypox virus.” Wubah said. “And I am glad to say, according to our CMT, there have been no known cases of monkeypox on this campus.” Wubah mentioned the CMT will help the Council monitor monkeypox and make decisions on how to manage the campus going forward.

The Alumni Association approved of $20 thousand in sponsorships for Homecoming weekend and $1000 towards sponsoring legacy families and current student tickets for a recent Millersville University night at the Lancaster Barnstormers event. The association looks to create a strategic plan to complement the university’s structure and to further educate board members through diversity efforts.

Association of Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties (APSCUF) of Millersville President Dr. Kelly Banna states seeing students face-to-face this semester has “been wonderful,” also mentioning that network issues during the beginning of the semester have been resolved.

Student Government President Lindsay Griffiths mentioned SGA’s “Adopt a Highway” initiative, along with plans to host SGA’s first alumni event over Homecoming weekend. On Oct. 20 at 7:15 p.m., SGA is hosting a housing open forum. SGA’s membership increased by 11 new members in Fall 2022. Griffiths mentioned improvements with dining, along with positive feedback from Millersville organization leaders’ presidential retreat.

“In the past, dining has always been one of our greatest struggles. The biggest complaint right now is hours, but SGA has been working with dining and Dr. Williams on solving the concerns of students with dining.”

Millersville University Foundation President Joseph Garner mentioned the foundation’s assets totalled $54,789,553 as of the close of June 30th fiscal year. The foundation also approved two new endowments within their previous meeting. 

Emeritus Status was given to Dr. Kelsey Backles, Chair of the Department of Counseling and Human Development. 

Following the Programs Committee report, Dr. Dominick Manusos, senior Jackson Harral and senior Lauren Coca presented the “Precious Plastics” program. The program is led by an online community who designs devices made to recycle single-use plastic waste. The primary goal through the communities’ efforts is to keep plastic out of landfills to be reused, along with teaching students recycling machinery and promoting creativity.

The team used university’s “Positive Energy” grant funding to purchase and run a shredder, extruder and injection molder machines that students used to recycle plastic bits. The devices aided in student ventures and undergraduate research, such as a student’s Honors Thesis being based on their work designing the extruder with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) club’s assistance. 

For the future, the project’s members wish to find new ways to recycle plastics, such as by selling products designed by students and to eventually create bricks for campus buildings and paths.

Following the presentation, Resource Committee Chairperson Kathryn Ross led a vote towards approval for the 2022-2023 educational and general budget. Warfel put a motion towards the appointments of new Programs Committee Chairperson Brandon Danz, Resource Committee Chairperson Kathryn Ross, and new Governance and Nominations Committee Chairman Dr. Saul Fink. The Administrative Emeritus Status for Dwight Horsey was also approved. 

The Council’s next public meeting will be on Dec. 14, 2022.