Ball State, ISU to Raise Room And Board

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Ball State University and Indiana State University trustees have approved increases in room and board for the 2015-16 academic year. BSU students will pay 4.5 percent more than the current rate. ISU bumped up fees by nearly 3 percent. December 12, 2014

News Release

MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State University Board of Trustees Chair Rick Hall today expressed satisfaction in today's board actions approving room and board rates for the 2015-16 academic year, as well as the financial report and biennium budget proposal.

"Ball State University continues its commitment to providing high-quality academic and student life experiences while controlling costs in the best interests of our students, especially Indiana students," Hall said.

Ball State students enjoy high-quality housing and dining at competitive rates that rank among the lowest in their peer group. These amenities are expected in today's competitive marketplace, said Kay Bales, vice president for student affairs. The increasing number of upperclassmen who decide to live on campus, data from various student surveys, and comments from prospective students and their parents demonstrate that Ball State's up-to-date housing and dining options are key to attracting and retaining students.

Returning students who chose the premium plan will see no increase in their room and board rates, said Bernie Hannon, associate vice president for business affairs and assistant treasurer. New students will pay a rate that is 4.5 percent higher than the current rate. Based on historical trends in returning students, the average overall increase will be 3.5 percent for all students.

"The residence halls and dining services are self-supporting, and rates are established to cover operating costs as well as renewal and replacement costs," Hannon said. "The university has emphasized renewal of these facilities in recent years in response to student feedback and to remain competitive in the marketplace."

Recent additions include Thomas J. Kinghorn Hall, Park Hall, Jamba Juice, Quiznos and Tom John Food Shop. Renovations include DeHority Complex, Woodworth Commons, the Student Center Tally Food Court, Noyer Center Dining and Studebaker East Complex. Currently, Johnson Complex A is undergoing an extensive renovation.

The board also reviewed the state budget submission. Julie Halbig, vice president for governmental relations, gave a presentation that detailed the Indiana Commission for Higher Education's funding recommendations, projected available state funds and the recommendations for Ball State. Budget hearings will begin in January and must be completed by April 29, she said.

University President Paul W. Ferguson presented Ball State's submission to the budget committee on Wednesday; he will return to the Statehouse during the upcoming legislative session to appear before the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee with Ball State’s submission.

In other business, the board approved changes to the university's investment policy that bring it line with current laws and processes. These changes, along with a revised internal audit and advisory services charter, revised job description for the department's director and other items related to the organization and operation of that department, were discussed in the last trustees' meeting.

As part of the revisions, the board approved an amended whistleblower policy, which now includes the option of reporting suspected violations to a non-university outlet, EthicsPoint. This option is available around the clock, every day of the year, via phone or Internet. Employees will soon receive details about contacting EthicsPoint, along with a copy of the revised policy.

In addition, the board approved the naming of the John S. and Beverly L. (Hoover) Johnson Executive Seminar Room in Teachers College. The Johnsons have a combined 76 years of service as teachers and have been outstanding supporters of the university.

Source: Ball State University

December 12, 2014

News Release

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Indiana State University students selecting standard housing and meal plans will see an increase of less than 3 percent in the cost of room and board for next school year.

University trustees approved a new fee structure on Friday. That's earlier than in previous years in order to give students more time to plan their budget and choose from expanded housing options.

Rates for a standard residence hall room and meal plan will rise by 2.9 percent to just under $9,000 per year. Students can choose to pay more for rooms with additional amenities. Juniors, senior and graduate student may apply for apartment suites in a new housing/retail complex at 500 Wabash Ave. scheduled to open in August.

Trustees also approved changes in employee health care coverage that reflect a 6.3 percent increase in monthly premiums and higher co-pays, made necessary by a number of factors, including double-digit increases in claims costs. Rates will continue to be lower for employees who participate in wellness screenings and don't smoke and the university will also continue to offer lower subsidized rates for employees earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

In an effort to strengthen Indiana State's leadership in an emerging field, trustees approved a new bachelor's degree in unmanned systems. An unmanned systems minor has been in place for the past three years. Sixty students have already graduated with the minor and nearly 100 more students from nearly a dozen programs are in the pipeline.

Demand in the field is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years and Jack Maynard, Indiana State's provost and vice president for academic affairs, says the new major will help the university and the state of Indiana secure their positions as a leader in the new technology.

"Just as computer systems are used in every aspect of human life today, unmanned systems will eventually be embedded in every field and industry," Maynard said. "This program is designed to accommodate the unique demands for entry and advancement within the aerial, land and water/robotics workforce of the future."

The new degree must also be approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

In other action, Indiana State University trustees:

-Approved new minors in outdoor recreation leadership and non-profit leadership as well as a non-licensure minor in early intervention in the elementary, early and special education program

-Approved merging the department of elementary, early and special education with the department of curriculum, instruction and media technology to form the department of teaching and learning

-Approved formation of a department of multidisciplinary studies and the elimination of the interdisciplinary studies unit and department of philosophy

-Acknowledged receipt of the 2013-14 report from the President's Council on Diversity and 2013-14 audited financial statements

-Approved changes in board bylaws to refer to the trustees' president as "chairperson" to avoid the confusion of having both a board president and the university president and to create a standing finance committee

-Approved changes in the University Handbook concerning faculty roles and responsibilities, academic departments and department chairpersons• Approved a series of minor revisions to Staff Council bylaws

-Published proposed handbook language spelling out actions that would allow the university president and/or provost to immediately re-assign an employee or faculty member as well as a new policy on amorous and familial relationships that would be more inclusive than an existing nepotism policy.

Source: Indiana State University