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BGSU's Ribeau wins praise, says no to raise

Because of a technical error, a story about a Bowling Green State University board of trustees meeting on Dec. 16, 2003, was published on Page B1 of yesterday's edition. Here is the correct story from Friday's BGSU trustees' meeting. We apologize for the inconvenience.

BOWLING GREEN - Bowling Green State University President Sidney Ribeau said thanks but no thanks to a raise in his salary on Friday.

University trustees gave Mr. Ribeau rave reviews but said they would respect his wishes to keep his annual salary at $286,443 and use the university's resources to continue moving BGSU forward.

"It's certainly unanimous that Dr. Ribeau has done an outstanding job at the university for the past 9 1/2 years and continues to do so," Edward Ferkany, president of the board of trustees, said after a 50-minute executive session with the president.

"His evaluation overall is certainly outstanding. We couldn't be any more happy than we are now to have him as our leader of this university," Mr. Ferkany said.

Last year, trustees extended Mr. Ribeau's contract through July 1, 2008, and gave him an $8,443 raise in his base salary.

As he did with the $8,100 pay increase granted the year before, Mr. Ribeau gave the money back to BGSU.

He put last year's raise toward the BG Experience, a program that encourages students to think critically about their values, and toward a scholarship fund named for his father, Bernard.

"Given what we're trying to accomplish now, we need to put all our mental and fiscal resources into getting the job done," Mr. Ribeau said after the meeting.

Earlier in the meeting, trustees put their support behind an initiative Mr. Ribeau has identified as a priority for the university this year: partnering with businesses and organizations to boost economic development and address social needs and rewarding faculty who contribute to that effort.

Also Friday, trustees accepted the gift of a two-story brick house at 700 South Wintergarden Road that was purchased in May for $750,000 by the Bowling Green State University Foundation for use as a presidential home.

Mr. Ferkany said trustees had been unsuccessful at working out a lease with the foundation, which decided instead to give the property to the university.

The house sits on 5.74 acres. The foundation will retain ownership of an adjacent 13.36-acre parcel that it purchased at the same time for $350,000.

Mr. Ribeau, who lives in a condominium he owns just off West Wooster Street, said he and his wife plan to move into the Wintergarden Road home by late spring or early summer.

BGSU trustees also voted to purchase a 40,612-square-foot warehouse off Dunbridge Road for $1.7 million that will be used to store equipment and supplies.

University spokesman Kim McBroom said BGSU rents warehouse space in various locations to store everything from beds and office furniture to lawnmowers.

Trustees also learned that the University Bookstore plans to share its profits with students by committing about $150,000 a year to scholarships.

Chris Dalton, senior vice president for finance and administration, said that since the bookstore moved into the recently renovated Bowen-Thompson Student Union in 2002, its sales are up, and it now wants to "give back" to its customers.

Plans call for $100,000 in scholarships to 25 undergraduates who demonstrate financial need; $30,000 to support faculty and graduate students who work with those scholarship recipients on community engagement projects; $15,000 for travel awards to graduate students wanting to attend academic conferences, meetings, and performances, and book scholarships to 50 incoming freshman with financial need.

Jeff Nelson, director of the bookstore, said the bookstore generates about $12 million a year in sales - about 65 percent of which comes from the sale of new and used textbooks.

Mr. Nelson said the store has traditionally set aside profits for capital improvements, but since it is in a new location, it did not foresee the need to build up that account.

In addition to the bookstore in the Student Union, BGSU operates stores at its Firelands campus in Huron and a new shop on Main Street in Bowling Green.

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