North American Lighting (NAL) will enjoy a higher profile at Indiana State University after the ISU Board of Trustees today approved the naming of a student success center in honor of the manufacturer, which is making a donation to the university.

The College of Technology's new Student Success Center, located on the first floor of the John T. Myers Technology Center, is now the North American Lighting Student Success Center until Oct. 12, 2021.

The college’s center, which is in its first academic year of operation, is designed to assist students with both academic and post-graduation success.

“On behalf of our students, faculty and staff, I appreciate the North American Lighting’s support and contribution to the College of Technology at ISU,” said Nesli Alp, dean of the College of Technology. “The new student success center is crucial for our students’ success, retention and graduation.”

The college’s center brings together its faculty and staff with other campus partners — Center for Student Success, Career Center, University College, financial aid, mentoring programs, etc. — to assist in the academic success of students.

Headquartered in Paris, Ill., NAL is a regular recruiter of ISU students and currently employs more than 50 alumni, including many in leadership positions.

According to Kara Harris, the college's associate dean, “This partnership will allow the college to work more closely with NAL, integrate them more into our experiential learning, and allow our students opportunities to engage with them at an even higher level.”

Doug Smith, interim CEO of the ISU Foundation, praised NAL’s investment in Indiana State.

“It’s a win for the corporation. It’s a win for the university,” Smith said. “It gives our students the opportunity to interact with a potential employer, and it gives the company access to a pipeline of talent — and the ability to interact with the faculty. There may be research opportunities for a company and its products with a partnership like this one.”

As part of the agreement, NAL will provide funding for three consecutive years to support the College of Technology’s student success center and sponsorships in athletics and the university’s career center. The total three-year commitment is for $75,000, of which $51,000 is for center support.

In other business:

• Trustees approved the recommendation to maintain health benefit coverage and rates for 2019 at the current level.

“It is extremely rare to have a year where the cost of our health benefits remains stable,” said Indiana State President Deborah Curtis. “Our claims haven’t declined, but through the prudent decision to switch third-party administrators, we have realized deeper discounts from providers."

• The board approved changes to a University Naming Policy related to facilities, properties, endowed professorships and academic programs. The major changes establish specific criteria for naming approval; a process for approval and removal of a named facility, property, or academic entity (such as an endowed professorship or academic program); and more detailed financial requirements for donors.

It also adds criteria for non-benefactor/honorific naming; increases academic endowments to current market conditions; and establishes a naming committee, appointed by the president and chaired by the vice president of university advancement, to review proposed naming opportunities.

• Trustees approved an updated Memorandum of Understanding between the university and the ISU Foundation following the restructuring and creation of Division of University Advancement this summer.

Additionally, the MOU calls for the ISU Board of Trustees and the executive committee of the ISU Foundation will meet annually to plan and share priorities.

• Trustees approved conferring an honorary doctor of humane letters to Rep. Clyde Kersey (D-Terre Haute) in recognition of his 32-year career in public service at winter commencement.

Since his election to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1996, Kersey has represented House District 43, which includes the Indiana State campus. Kersey announced last year he would not seek re-election in 2018.

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