University to see increased tuition among parking, housing fees

Parking and housing increases, the University budget, enrollment and a new master’s degree program were just a few of the topics discussed at Friday’s Board of Regents meeting.

The board approved a five percent tuition increase for the upcoming academic year. This will increase the amount a full-time, in-state student pays by $174.00. This increase is projected to add $4.9 million to the operating budget and is to help offset the 1.5 percent that was cut from state funding.

Student Regent Jeremiah Johnson said that the state needs to start bearing more of the financial burden.

“We will eventually be more expensive than private institutions,” he said.

The overall University budget for the 2014-15 year is $163 million. This is a 3.8 increase from last year.

On-campus housing rates will increase by four percent for the upcoming year.

Parking fees will increase by $20 as well and will bring an additional $136,000 in revenue for the University.

The general parking fee will increase from $55 to $75 and the freshman parking fee with increase from $35 to $45.

The board approved a new master’s degree program in economic development. Students can expect to see the degree instituted this upcoming fall 2014 semester. Several new minors were also approved.

Enrollment last year dropped by 1.7 percent, although the number of freshman increased by 23 percent. For fall 2014, enrollment is projected to increase by 0.9 percent.

The total enrollment for the University is 9,781. The total in spring of 2013 was 9,943 students.

Faculty and staff can expect to see a one percent raise if the University obtains its revenue projects from enrollment. The total from the raises would be approximately $900,000.

The board voted to extend the education tuition waiver to apply not only to children, dependents and spouses, but to domestic partners as well.

The University’s current total for capital projects  was discussed and totals $30 million. These projects are expected to be completed within 2014-16 and includes the new engineering and physics building.

Construction for the building is expected to take 15 to 17 months and be completed by fall of 2016.

The board approved a new chairman and vice chairwoman as well. The new chairman will be Harry Lee Waterfield II and Sharon Green will serve as the vice chair. Constantine Curris, who was the previous chair, will remain on the board for one more year.

Marilyn Buchanon, who served as Curris’ vice chair, is stepping down after being on the board for 19 years. She was recognized for her service at the meeting.

Since her appointment to the Board of Regents, terms have been limited to two consecutive terms.

Other items of business included a new energy savings plan contract that will determine energy saving solutions for the University.

Electrical upgrades costing $2.1 million were discussed for Waterfield and Pogue Libraries.

Since Waterfield was turned into a library in 1978, the building has seen few changes to the building’s infrastructure, including the electrical system.

A $60 per semester increase for equine stalls  was also passed.

Robert Pervine was reappointed as the associate provost for graduate eduction and research. Jackie Dudley was reappointed as the vice president of finance and administrative services and Fred Dietz was appointed as vice president for enrollment management.

A number of faculty members were awarded tenure and promotions at today’s meeting:

Lloyd Seaton, Frances Smith, Susanna Bloomdahl, William Jones, Heidi Ortega, Michael Flinn, Wafaa Fawzy, Aleck Leedy, Donald Adongo, Timothy Schroeder, Brian Hoover, Dana Manley, Ashley Ireland, Michael Kalinski, Brent Menchinger, Christopher Mecklin, Robin Zhang, Omar Yayenic, Meagan Musselman, Lynn Patterson, Beth Rice and Christopher Trzepacz were among that faculty members who received promotions and/or tenure positions.

Story by Rebecca Walter, News Editor and Ben Manhanke, Staff Writer