Board of Trustees
Thomas C. Bailey has been Executive Director of the Little Traverse Conservancy since November, 1984. Before joining the Conservancy, he spent six years with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and several seasons as a Ranger with the US National Park Service. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Lake Superior State University by Governor Snyder in 2016. He previously served on the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Michigan State Parks and Outdoor Recreation; the National Land Trust Council; the Michigan Water Resources Commission; the Michigan Great Lakes Protection Fund Technical Advisory Board, and boards of several other non-profit organizations. He was co-founder of the Top of Michigan Trails Council and also co-founder of Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy, Michigan’s state association of land conservancies. He was also founder of the Dark Sky Coast Association, dedicated to helping people to enjoy and protect the view of northern Michigan’s spectacular night sky. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Park and Recreation Resources from Michigan State University, where he also pursued graduate studies in land use, resource economics and environmental law. In the 1970s, he worked as a citizen representative and lobbyist for several local, state and national conservation groups.
Douglas R. Bovin
Doug Bovin is a native of the Upper Peninsula and has two degrees from Northern Michigan University where he was named alumnus of the year, 1995. He has a distinguished career in public service, serving as Gladstone mayor (4 terms), county representative and board chair (Delta County) for 16 years, Michigan state representative and assistant leader for four years. He was a teacher, mentor and department head in the Escanaba School system, where he retired. He served as Munising City Manager for over ten years, recently retiring. He has served on a number of county and regional boards, national and international committees and commissions. He and his wife Bonnie are parents of two, grandparents, and world travelers He was appointed to the LSSU Board in 2011.
James P. Curran, Chair
Husband of Carolyn, Father of three sons and grandfather of three.
I received a BS degree from The Ohio State University and a Masters degree from Wayne State University.
For 36 years, I worked in state and local government. I led Governor Blanchard’s prison expansion program during the 1980’s. In Wayne County MI, I established the Office of Community Development, the Office on Aging and the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act office. I acted as Secretary to the Wayne County Building Authority while the new jail; morgue and youth home were constructed. I helped manage the Wayne County Jails and its Community Correction Program.
My community activities consisted of being an elected official in the City of Grosse Pointe. I was President of the National Community Directors Association. I was a member of the Governor’s Task Force on Jail Overcrowding and the Governor’s Office Work Group on Shared Public Services/Regional Placemaking. The Legislature asked me, in 2007, to co-chair The Legislative Commission on Governmental Efficiency.
I have the opportunity, in retirement, of mentoring individuals who are struggling with issues around addiction. I also serve on two non- profit community boards that provide Services to people in need.
I consider it a privilege to serve on the Lake Superior State University Board of Trustees.
Mark W. Mercer D.D.S.
Dr. Mercer is a 1973 graduate of LSSU with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree from the University Of Detroit School Of Dentistry in 1979. Following graduation he opened a private dental practice in St Ignace Michigan. Dr. Mercer also works with his wife, Dr. Johnna Driscoll at her dental practice in Petoskey Michigan. He served on the LSSU Foundation Board from 1982 to 1995 and as its chair in 1987 to 1988. He currently is the chair of Mackinac Associates, the fund raising arm of the Mackinac Island State Parks Commission. He has also served on several other foundation boards in the past.
Dr. Mercer and his wife and daughter live in Harbor Springs Michigan and have two other grown children.
Rodney M. Nelson, Second Vice Chair
Rodney M. Nelson joined the Mackinac Straits Health System as CEO in September of 1999. He holds a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration from Lake Superior State University, Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Prior to joining Mackinac Straits Health System he was the Executive Director, Systems Development for Lenawee Health Alliance in Adrian, MI.
Mr. Nelson has served on numerous boards such as the American Hospital Association Council for Small and Rural Hospitals; Lenewee American Heart Association Board; Lenewee United Way Board; Hudson/Morenci/LHA Advisory Board: Faye Foundation; Diane Peppler Resource Center Board; St. Ignace Lions Club; MHA Small & Rural Hospital Council; VitalCare & Hospice, Inc., MHA Legislative Policy Panel and St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Trustees for the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.
He was awarded by American Hospital Association and the Michigan Health and Hospital Association as the 2007 State of Michigan Grassroots Champion on May 8, 2007. He was appointed by Governor Snyder to the Lake Superior State University Board of Trustees for an eight year term. He was honored as the St. Ignace Ambassador of the Year in 2010. He currently serves on the MHA Legislative Policy Panel. Mr. Nelson and his wife Nancy reside in St. Ignace, Michigan.
Randy is a lifelong resident of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. He has been in the Insurance Business for over 30 years and handles a large book of Commercial Insurance. He has worked at The Hartford Insurance, Auto-Owners Insurance, John Keyser Insurance Agency, Bonacci/Pingatore Associates, and he is currently the owner of Madigan/Pingatore Insurance. Randy is a Class of 1979 graduate of Lake Superior State University where he holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management from the Lukenda School of Business. Randy has Professional Designations of Certified Insurance Counselor as well as Licensed Insurance Counselor.
He has been very active in his community from the Chamber of Commerce to the local University and numerous charities. Randy is a past president of UP Agents as well as the local Lions Club. He also served four years on the Economic Development Commission Board for the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Prior to currently serving on the Lake Superior State University Board of Trustees, Pingatore also served as a founding member of the LSSU Foundation Board.
Ann E. Parker, Vice Chair
Ann E. Parker CAE, is Chief Operating Officer at the Small Business Association of Michigan. SBAM is a statewide trade association that helps small businesses succeed by promoting entrepreneurship, leveraging buying power and engaging in political advocacy.
Parker has been with SBAM for nineteen years, first serving as their Director of Government Relations. In her current capacity as COO, Parker oversees budget and finance, human resources, facilities management and governance.
Parker achieved the Certified Association Executive (CAE) in 1997. The CAE is the highest professional recognition in the association management field. Ann also holds a bachelor’s degree in social science from Michigan State University
Sandi Frost Steensma
Sandi Frost Steensma is President and Founder of Kennari Consulting, a regional fundraising consulting firm specializing in annual fundraising, capital campaigns, planned giving, endowment fundraising, strategic planning and grantwriting. Sandi has more than 20 years of experience in successful fundraising serving as a consultant and/or serving agencies. She worked as a consultant for another regional firm for eight years prior to founding Kennari Consulting in 2007 and served Hospice of Michigan as statewide Corporate Director of Development and as Executive Director of the Grand Rapids office.
Sandi has worked with many types of non-profit agencies including arts organizations, educational institutions, health care agencies, social services agencies, libraries and associations. She has served on the Association of Fundraising Professionals Board of Directors and has trained at local, statewide and national conferences. Sandi holds her BA from the University of Colorado and her Masters of Management from Aquinas College. She is a graduate of Leadership Grand Rapids and was a 2007 Fellow in the Michigan Political Leadership program at Michigan State University.
Sandi is active in many community organizations and served as an elected County Commissioner serving Cascade Township, Lowell Township, Bowne Township and Caledonia Township from 2007-2014. Her colleagues elected her Chair of the County Commission in January 2010, 2011 and again in 2012.
In January 2014, Governor Rick Snyder appointed Sandi to the Lake Superior State University Board of Control, an 8-member Board that serves as the governing board of the University. Additionally, Sandi currently serves as an active member of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) and the SBAM Leadership Council.
Former Board service includes the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Cascade Community Foundation, Kent Community Hospital, Arbor Circle, the Multi-Cultural Association of Professionals, Junior Achievement, and the Grand Rapids Rotary among others.
Sandi is a 2015 YWCA West Central Michigan Tribute Award recipient. She was also a 2015 EPIC Award Small Business of the Year finalist from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. The Grand Rapids Business Journal named Sandi one of the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan in 2014, a bi-annual honor she also received in 2008, 2010, and 2012. In 2001 and 2007, Sandi was named an Athena Nominee by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and was a finalist in 2014 and 2015. Sandi was further honored in 2011 as one of Inforum’s Inner Circle, an honor she also received in 2009. And, Sandi was named one of the Five Outstanding Young People of Michigan in the mid-1990’s.
In January 2014, Governor Rick Snyder appointed Sandi to the Lake Superior State University Board of Trustees.
Bylaws of the Board of Trustees
The Board of Lake Superior State University is vested with the authority to govern this public institution of higher education by virtue of Section 6, of Article 8, of the Constitution of the State of Michigan and Public Act 26 of 1969, as amended.
In their stewardship, the Trustees intend to uphold and foster the highest standards of human conduct and achievement for all members of the University community.
The Board encourages all University staff and students to attain the highest standards of academic excellence, and to demonstrate responsible and ethical standards of conduct to sustain the common good of the University.
The Board of Trustees pledges to uphold all principles of law and sound government in performing its oversight responsibilities.
LAKE SUPERIOR STATE UNIVERSITY BOARD OF TRUSTEES’ BYLAWS
These Bylaws are promulgated to lend guidance and assistance to the University. The Board of Trustees, the President and the entire University community are bound by and shall uphold these Bylaws.
ARTICLE 1.00 MEETINGS
Section 1.01. Organizational and Regular Meeting Dates of the Board. An organizational meeting of the Board shall be held each year (the first regular meeting that is convened after the month of commencement graduation exercises of the University) for the purpose of electing officers and the transaction of business. At the first meeting of the fiscal year, which commences July 1 and ends June 30, the Board shall establish the date, time and location for regular meetings for the ensuing fiscal year.
Section 1.02. Location of Meetings. Meetings shall be held on the campus or any other location designated by the Board.
Section 1.03. Special and Emergency Meetings. Special or emergency meetings may be called by the Chair alone or upon the request of any three Trustees. In addition to Public Notice, as required by law, notice of such meetings shall be given by the Secretary, to the Trustees, which notice shall designate the date, time, place and tentative agenda for the meeting, as well as the manner by which the call for the meeting occurred.
Section 1.04. Notice of Regular Meetings of the Board. The Secretary shall provide notice, either by mail or electronic means to each Trustee at least ten (10) days prior to each scheduled regular meeting. The Notice shall contain the agenda, time and place of the meeting and all necessary information.
Section 1.05. Public Notice of Regular Meetings of the Board. The Secretary shall give public notice of all meetings of the Board, as required by law and these Bylaws. Public Notice shall be given by prominently posting a copy of the notice at the principal office of the Board and other campus locations. The notice shall specify the date, time and place of the meetings, and the address and telephone number of the Board Office. Once each year, the Secretary shall give public notice of the schedule of the Board’s regular meetings for that respective fiscal year, which notice shall include the date, time and place of each meeting. Change or alteration of any information contained in the original notice requires that the notice be posted anew in the same manner.
Section 1.06. Public Access and Addresses. All regular, special and emergency meetings of the Board shall be open to the public. Persons shall be permitted to address the Board in accordance with the law and under rules established and recorded by the Board. These rules shall be made available to the public upon request.
Section 1.07. Agenda for Meeting. An agenda shall be prepared in advance of each meeting by the President in conjunction with the Secretary and the Chair. The agenda, together with all supporting documents, shall be furnished to each Trustee in accordance with the provisions of Section 1.04. above. Any Trustee, as a matter of right, may cause an item of business to be placed on the agenda of the upcoming meeting by notifying the Chair. Upon Board approval, the President shall be excused from full compliance of the rules under subsection 1.04 whenever critical issues require Board deliberation.
Section 1.08. Rules of Procedure. The rules of customary parliamentary practice contained in Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, shall govern Board proceedings. Section 1.9. Approval of Agenda. Board action for agenda approval shall occur at the beginning of each meeting; however, the order of items may be altered by the Chair. In addition to the provisions of Section 1.07., any Trustee, as a matter of right, may augment the agenda of a meeting under “Other Business” with items of business for action at that meeting.
Section 1.10. Reports and Resolutions. Prior to regular Board meetings, reports of executive officers and proposed formal resolutions shall be presented and distributed in writing.
Section 1.11. Records of Meetings. Minutes of the proceedings of the Board shall be kept by the Secretary or a Board designee. Proposed minutes of each meeting, upon completion, shall be forwarded immediately to the Trustees. Thereupon, minutes shall be considered for approval with any modification and required revisions at the next regular meeting. The Board meeting minutes will be archived in the President’s Office, the LSSU Shouldice Library and on the LSSU website.
SECTION 2.00 QUORUM AND VOTING PROCEDURES
Section 2.01. Quorum. A quorum for any meeting shall be a majority of Trustees appointed and serving.
Section 2.02. Voting. Ayes and nays shall be called and entered upon each vote. Affirmative action of the Board shall carry by a majority of the Trustees appointed and serving, except where a greater number otherwise is required.
Subsection 2.02 (a). To adopt the operating budget, appoint or dismiss the President, establish tuition, and other motions that the Board from time to time may specify, requires a vote of a majority of the Trustees appointed and serving.
Subsection 2.02 (b). Action on all motions to adopt the operating budget, establish tuition and room-and-board rates, buy or sell real property, authorize the University to enter into a lawsuit or other motions deemed appropriate by the Chair, or any Trustee, shall be by roll-call vote.
SECTION 3.00 BOARD OFFICERS
Section 3.01. Election of Board Officers. At the first regular meeting of the fiscal year meeting, the Board, by majority vote of the Trustees appointed and serving, shall elect the following:
Subsection 3.01 (a). For a term of one year, elect and install all Board officers, a Chair, First Vice Chair, Second Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Secretary and Treasurer shall be University staff members and each shall serve at the pleasure of the Board.
Subsection 3.01 (b). Board officers shall hold office until their respective successors are elected and installed. Vacancy in any office, except as provided in Section 3.02 (b), shall be filled for the unexpired term of the previous holder of that office by a majority vote of the Trustees appointed and serving.
Section 3.02. Duties of the Officers. The officers of the Board shall perform the duties expressly enjoined upon them by the laws of the State of Michigan, by these Bylaws, by any guidelines established by this Board, by parliamentary custom and practice, and such other incidental duties as may be deemed traditional within each respective office. Enumerated duties of the respective officers of the Board are the following:
Subsection 3.02 (a). The Chair shall preside at Board meetings. Subject to the provisions of Article I, Section 1.03. above, the Chair may call the Board into special session when deemed appropriate, whether by the Chair’s election or upon the petition of three Trustees.
Subsection 3.02 (b). Whenever the Chair is absent, incapacitated or otherwise temporarily unavailable, the First Vice Chair shall assume the role of acting Chair and preside at Board meetings; whenever the Chair and First Vice Chair are both absent, the Second Vice Chair shall act as Chair and preside.
Subsection 3.02 (c). Whenever the Chair, First Vice Chair, and Second Vice Chair are all absent from any meeting, the Trustees present at the meeting shall elect a Chair, pro tempore.
Section 3.03. Filling Unexpired Terms. Election to fill the unexpired term of a Board officer shall be by a majority vote of the Trustees appointed and serving.
SECTION 4.00. ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS
Section 4.01. President. The Board shall hire a President to serve as chief executive officer of the University and as an ex officio, non-voting Trustee of the Board.
Subsection 4.01 (a). The President occupies the leadership role in fostering and promoting education, research and public service.
Subsection 4.01 (b). The President shall promote, support and otherwise protect the common good of the University.
Subsection 4.01 (c). The President shall manage and direct all University affairs, subject to and within the confines of, the policies and directives of the Board.
Subsection 4.01 (d). The President may issue directives and executive orders in consonance with existing Board policies and shall implement all Bylaws, rules, regulations and directives of the Board.
Subsection 4.01 (e). The President shall oversee the preparation of an annual operating budget to be submitted and recommended to the Board.
Subsection 4.01 (f). The President shall exercise such other powers, duties, and responsibilities as are essential to the performance of all enumerated duties expressly and occasionally delegated by the Board.
Subsection 4.01 (g). Although ultimate responsibility rests with the President, he or she may delegate authority to members of the University Administration, faculty and staff.
Subsection 4.01 (h). Delegating of major areas of authority, as may be defined by the Board, must have the prior consent of the Board.
Subsection 4.01 (i). The President is charged with the duty of developing, maintaining and promoting protocol in relations with the Trustees.
Subsection 4.01 (j). The President serves at the pleasure of the Board and should a vacancy in the presidency occur, the Board shall appoint an acting president until a successor is hired.
Subsection 4.02. Secretary of the Board. The Secretary of the Board shall perform the following duties:
Subsection 4.02 (a). Keep all records of the transactions of the Board;
Subsection 4.02 (b). Keep the minutes of each regular and special meeting of the Board and disseminate all minutes to the Trustees;
Subsection 4.02 (c). Give written notice to each Trustee of approved changes in the date, time and place of all meetings of the Board; and
Subsection 4.02 (d). Perform such other duties as from time to time may be designated by Trustees and the Board.
Subsection 4.02 (e). Collect a signed conflict of interest statement on an annual basis from each member of the Board of Trustees at the first regular meeting of the fiscal year and in accordance with University policy. University policy will guide the types of conflicts that should be disclosed with the understanding that Board members should have no personal financial interest in any financial transactions with the University.
Section 4.03. Treasurer of the Board. The Treasurer shall have the authority and responsibility to administer financial matters.
Section 4.04. Secretary-Treasurer. The Board may appoint one person to serve as both Secretary and Treasurer.
Section 4.05. Limitation of Powers. No officer shall have the power to incur obligations or to dispose of the Board’s real and substantial property and funds except pursuant to Board action.
SECTION 5.00 RESPONSIBILITIES AND RESERVE AUTHORITY
Section 5.01. Powers the Board Shall Exercise.
- hire and terminate the employment of the President;
- assess the President’s performance on an annual basis
- adopt, revise or reaffirm the mission, goals, objectives and priorities of the University;
- assess University programs, including curricular offerings, to assure compliance with established Board policy and to assure that such programs meet all appropriate standards, and upon careful analysis, propose approval, change or deletion;
- maintain financial solvency and protect and preserve the assets of the University; and
- preserve institutional autonomy and independence; and
- maintain University relationships.
Section 5.02. Final Authority Reserved to the Board. The Board of Trustees, being a body corporate with statutory responsibility to govern the University, is ultimately responsible to provide oversight for the institution’s financial and academic policies; and the Board upon proper notice and at its discretion may act as a final appeal board.
Section 5.03. Performance, Evaluation and Personnel Management. The Board retains authority and oversight powers in the following:
- developing procedures for both evaluating and assessing the performance of all aspects of the presidency;
- granting tenure and promotion in academic rank and approving sabbatical leaves.
Section 5.04. Bylaws. The Board retains authority to exercise oversight powers in adopting and modifying these Bylaws.
Section 5.05. Financial Matters. The Board retains authority to exercise oversight powers over the following:
- approval of operating and capital outlay budget requests that are submitted to the State;
- approval of the annual operating budget;
- establishment of all tuition and student fees;
- review of all endowments prior to acceptance;
- acceptance of all private, State, Federal, and institutional grants and gifts;
- appointment of the external auditing firm;
- the annual financial audit; and
- investment policies.
Section 5.06. Contracts. The Board retains authority to exercise oversight powers over the following:
- approval of proposed collective bargaining position, strategies and negotiations, as well as approval of the agreements that may result; and
- contract policy, with component authority to be delegated to the President.
Section 5.07. Student Policy, Degrees and University Programs. The Board retains authority to exercise oversight powers over the following:
- the criteria for residence and non-residence classifications, for assessing tuition rates;
- all admission and retention policies;
- the assessment of programs, including approval to delete academic programs;
- all policy governing intercollegiate programs, including intercollegiate athletics;
- the conferral of degrees and the granting of diplomas; and
- the approval of the recipients of honorary degrees and special awards.
Section 5.08. University Property. The Board retains authority to exercise oversight powers in the:
- naming of facilities and memorials;
- authorizing all entry into property and facility leases, as lessor or lessee, which are longer than one year’s duration and in excess of $50,000; and
- establishing the sale and purchase price of real property, and authorizing the conveyancing thereof.
Section 5.09. Board Trustees Ineligible for Certain Posts. No Trustee while serving shall be eligible for appointment as Secretary or Treasurer of the Board, or be employed by the University.
SECTION 6.00 AUTHORITY
Section 6.01. Authority to Act. The authority of the Board is conferred upon it as a body corporate; accordingly, decisions and directives must solely emanate from Board action.
SECTION 7.00 CONFERRING OF HONORARY DEGREES
Section 7.01. Criteria Related to the Conferring of Honorary Doctoral Degrees. Upon nomination by the President, individual Trustees or any member of the University community, the Board from time to time, may confer honorary doctoral degrees, in recognition of distinguished accomplishment and service. Honorary doctoral degrees that may be conferred are the Doctor of Business Administration, Doctor of Engineering, Doctor of Law, Doctor of Science, Doctor of Literature, and Doctor of Humane Letters.
Section 7.02. Ineligibility to Receive Honorary Doctoral Degrees. Lake Superior State University Board of Trustees members, faculty, and staff may not be considered eligible for receipt of an honorary degree during their term of service with the University.
SECTION 8.00 COMMITTEES
Section 8.01. Standing Committees. Standing committees of the Board are as follows:
- The human resources committee shall monitor the University’s compliance with state and federal laws related to employee benefits, health and safety and initiatives that support the strategic plan.
- the finance and development committee, prior to Board action, shall review and make recommendations on all matters of fiscal and financial impact on the University.
- the academic and student affairs committee, prior to Board action, shall review and make recommendations on all academic programs and student affairs programs.
- the government affairs committee, shall assist the President with identifying opportunities to interact with legislators and key members of the executive branch for the benefit of the University.
Section 8.02. Special Committees. The Chair of the Board may establish special committees.
Section 8.03. Appointments to Committees. All committee chairs, trustees, external parties and ex officio members shall be appointed by the Board Chair, except the Nominating Committee which shall be selected by the Board, and the Chair of the committee shall be elected by committee members.
Section 8.03 (a). The Chair shall be an ex officio member of all committees except the Nominating Committee, on which the Chair may not serve in any capacity.
Section 8.04. Committee Functions. Committees function to make recommendations for full Board consideration and action, and committee proceedings are governed by rules established by the Board.
Section 8.05. Committee Business. Committees function in an advisory capacity. Committees are not vested with final authority to resolve issues. Issues that rise to the level of recommended committee deliberation shall be placed on the agenda for Board action.
SECTION 9.00 PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS OF NOTICE FOR AMENDMENT OF THE BYLAWS
Section 9.01. Notice Requirement for Amendment to Bylaws. Bylaws may be amended at any meeting by a two-thirds majority vote of the Trustees appointed and serving, provided the amendment was submitted to the Board in the notice for the meeting.
Section 9.02. Procedure for Consideration of Amendments. Proposed amendments to Bylaws shall be submitted to the Secretary, who shall thereupon give written notice by mail or electronic means in a regular meeting notice to each Trustee.
Section 9.03. Suspension of Bylaws. Any Article or Section of Bylaws may be suspended at any meeting by an affirmative vote of two-thirds majority vote of the Trustees appointed and serving.
SECTION 10.00 BYLAWS SUBJECT TO CONTRACTS AND PROVISIONS OF LAW AND STATUS OF PRIOR BYLAWS
Section 10.01. Precedence of Bylaws. Provisions of these Bylaws shall take precedence over tradition, custom and the practice of this University where conflict exists; however, federal and State statutes and applicable cases made and provided, as well as contracts and collective bargaining agreements of this University may operate to alter, modify, abridge or extend the force of rules hereof to which these Bylaws are subject.
Section 10.02. Repeal of Prior Bylaws. All previously enacted Bylaws are repealed, effective on the date of adoption of these Bylaws.
SECTION 11.00 BYLAWS SUBJECT TO CONTRACTS AND PROVISIONS OF LAW AND STATUS OF PRIOR BYLAWS
Section 11.01. Precedence of Bylaws. Provisions of these Bylaws shall take precedence over tradition, custom and the practice of this University where conflict exists; however, federal and State statutes and applicable cases made and provided, as well as contracts and collective bargaining agreements of this University may operate to alter, modify, abridge or extend the force of rules hereof to which these Bylaws are subject.
Section 11.02. Repeal of Prior Bylaws. All previously enacted Bylaws are repealed, effective on the date of adoption of these Bylaws.
Adoption Date: May 1, 2015