WEST LAFAYETTE - Housing availability and affordability for Purdue University students were among a long list of action items Friday for the university’s Board of Trustees. The board approved holding student room and board rates steady for the 2020-21 academic year on the West Lafayette campus.

This makes the 8th straight year for steady, or even lower, rates.

 “Room and board is the second-largest expense for our students and their families, and as long as we can avoid raising the cost without diminishing our commitment to excellence, it’s the right thing to do,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels.

The university says board rates have been reduced twice, the 2013-14 and 2014-15 academic years.

Other Purdue campuses aren’t so lucky. Rates at Purdue Northwest in Hammond will increase by about 2% and Purdue Fort Wayne will see a nearly 3% hike.

Addressing the reoccurring shortage of student dormitory rooms, trustees also gave approval to the Division of Student Life to lease 79 rooms at Aspire at Discovery Park. Purdue says a total of 1,300 new beds, will become available with the opening of two new dorms.

Other board action:

  • The trustees approved construction of a $40 million facility dedicated to Data Science. Purdue says the building will help the university meet its goal to be a national and global leader in the field of data science.  Assuming construction runs on time, the building is scheduled to open in 2022.
  • The board also approved two new degree programs: a Master of Science in defense engineering and technology, and a Ph.D. in aviation technology and management. The new M.S. in defense engineering and technology with a concentration in expeditionary warfare will be in conjunction with the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, Naval Sea Systems Command.
  • The board has named Chris Ruhl chief financial officer and treasurer, effective January 1. He was also elected to serve as treasurer of the Board of Trustees. Ruhl succeeds Bill Sullivan, who has served in the position since 2014 and announced in June his retirement effective at the end of 2019.

Editor's Note:

The Board of Trustees also approved a $15 million gift from the Bob Rohrman family. In return, the Boilermaker football field will be renamed Rohrman Field at Ross-Ade Stadium. Click here to read that story from Inside INdiana Business.