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Trustees focus on campus master plan, budget, and new pharmacy venture

by Mark D. Weinstein, Executive Director of Public Relations

Focused on future opportunities and growth, the January 26 meeting of the Cedarville University board of trustees further refined a 10-year campus master plan concept that is expected to provide new academic spaces and enhance the residential experience for the University’s growing student community.

With final review and announcement of the master plan expected at its May 2018 meeting, trustees reviewed progress on the proposed plan that includes academic facilities, athletic upgrades, a welcome center, additional dining space, and improved infrastructure, including new roads, sidewalks, and greenspace. With the completion of the plan, the trustees also anticipate the launch of a comprehensive fundraising campaign that will further invest in the campus, academic programs, and student scholarships.

During the January meeting, the trustees also approved the 2018-19 budget, a pharmacy resolution for Cedar Care LLC, and the hiring of five faculty members and 10 faculty promotions.

Approved Budget

Cedarville’s operating budget for 2018-19 will rise by 2.6 percent to $92.0 million, while the undergraduate student financial aid budget will increase by 15 percent to $37 million. The board also set the 2018-19 undergraduate tuition rate at $30,070 (a 3.85 percent increase) and room and board fees – which are among the lowest in the state of Ohio – at $7,360.

“In a time where college affordability is a national talking point, we’ve worked diligently to create a budget that helps to make a Cedarville education more affordable,” said Thomas White, president of Cedarville University. “With an increase in financial aid and our three-year degree completion options that we introduced last year, we believe we are continuing to make college more manageable for those who want an excellent education from a distinctly biblical worldview.”

In fall 2017, Cedarville University experienced its largest freshman class in the 130-year history of the institution. One key factor was the university’s continuing commitment to expand scholarship resources for students.

Pursuing a New Venture in Pharmacy

The trustees also approved a retail pharmacy resolution that authorizes Cedar Care LL, established in 2016 by the university as a separate entity, to explore the possibility of opening a pharmacy practice in the Village of Cedarville. The resolution states the proposed pharmacy will provide the benefits of educational opportunities for the university’s pharmacy students and faculty; potential employment for students, faculty, and staff; meet prescription and pharmaceutical needs of the university and the surrounding communities; and contribute to the economy of the Village of Cedarville.

If this venture becomes a reality, Cedarville’s school of pharmacy will join a select few programs across the United States that have the opportunity to partner with an LLC in offering pharmacy services for their local community.

Faculty Appointments

The board approved the hiring of five faculty members, including the first faculty member for the university’s new civil engineering program which will enroll its first students in fall 2018.

Stephen Ronald Ayers, Ph.D., PE, M.ASCE, professor of civil engineering, earned his doctoral degree in civil engineering from the University of Southern Queensland (Australia). His bachelor’s degree is in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern Queensland. Since 2009, he has been professor of civil engineering at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas.

K. Jason French, assistant professor of worship, earned his master’s degree in practical theology from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and his bachelor’s degree in music from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He is in process of completing his Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian worship from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Most recently, French served as the worship pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Justin Lyons, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, earned his doctoral and master’s degrees in politics from the University of Dallas. He also holds a master’s degree in medieval studies from the University of Toronto and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Since 2004, he has been an associate professor of history and political science at Ashland University.

Trent Rogers, Ph.D., assistant professor of New Testament and Greek, earned his doctoral degree from Loyola University of Chicago and Master of Divinity degree from Trinity International University. His bachelor’s degree in classical Greek is from Wabash College. Prior to joining the faculty at Cedarville University, he was a guest lecturer for Urban Cam von Wahlde at Loyola University and a pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Cedarville, Ohio.

Betsy Linnell, assistant professor of psychology, earned her master of science in community counseling from the University of Dayton. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Cedarville University. Linnell most recently served as a supervising professional clinical counselor.

Faculty Tenure and Promotions

With board approval, the following faculty were granted tenure or promotion:


• John Delano, Ph.D., associate professor of information technology management
• Glen Duerr, Ph.D., associate professor of international studies
• Marty Eng, R.Ph., Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice
• Thaddeus Franz, R.Ph., Pharm.D., associate professor of pharmacy practice
• Geoffrey Hollaway, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry
• Robert Paris, Ph.D., associate professor of biology
• Rachel Parrill, R.N., Ph.D., associate professor of nursing
• George Qin, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering
• Denise Simpson, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences


• Katherine Loper, M.S.N., to assistant professor of nursing
• Thaddeus Franz, R.Ph., Pharm.D., to associate professor of pharmacy practice
• Becka Wagner, Ed.D., RN, C.N.E., to associate professor of nursing
• J. Kimberly Higginbotham, RN, D.N.P., to associate professor of nursing
• Robert Paris, Ph.D., to associate professor of biology
• George Qin, Ph.D., to associate professor of mechanical engineering
• Seth Hamman, Ph.D., to professor of computer science
• Margaret Grigorenko, Ph.D., to professor of education
• David Gallagher, Ph.D., to senior professor of computer science
• Heather Kuruvilla, Ph.D., to senior professor of biology
• Murray Murdoch, Ph.D., to distinguished professor of history

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,963 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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