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University Board of Trustees approves higher rates, fees

The University’s Board of Trustees approved increases in room and board rates for the 2017 fiscal year at its Jan. 19 meeting, including a parlor fee for Greek housing.

The Board approved an average 2.4 percent increase in residence hall room rates and standard single rooms specifically. However, rates vary across residence halls, with Conklin seeing the highest increases at 6.7 percent for a double and 5.3 percent for a single room, according to proposed room rates provided by the University.

“We did renovate (Conklin) last summer and that building is also air-conditioned, so we feel it fits very nicely in the tier with Offenhauer and Founders,” Sarah Waters, director of Residence Life, said. Offenhauer and Founders are in the deluxe tier for residence halls, while Centennial, Falcon Heights and the new Greek houses are in the premium tier.

Along with the increase in room rates, the Board approved a parlor fee for Greek housing in addition to room and board to cover the cost of upkeep. In the past, Greek life drew from a fund paid into by all residential students, said Vice President for Finance and Administration Sheri Stoll.

Due to the amenities in the new Greek houses, “we felt that it would be more appropriate to price point the beds just like Centennial and Falcon (Heights) … and create for the first time a Greek parlor fee to supplement (the cost),” she said.

Each Greek chapter will be responsible for determining how the parlor fee is administered within their membership, according to the background information document given to the trustees.

A 2.5 percent increase in meal plan rates was also approved by the Board. The increase “allows (the University) to continue to offer students access to convenient, dependable and quality dining experiences,” Trustee Karen Morrison said while delivering the resolution.

The Board approved a number of academic special course fees to cover technology costs, lab equipment and supplemental materials.

Stoll drew the Board’s attention to the rise in course fees associated with Math Emporium courses. This course has materials that, if not used, will negatively impact the student’s success, Stoll said. By including these materials in the course fee, the cost of the materials is reduced by $45 per student, a cost Stoll said students could pay using financial aid.

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Rodney Rogers presented to the Board the House Bill 64 report on low enrolled courses submitted to the Ohio Department of Education, which it approved.

He also reported on low enrolled degree programs, defined as an undergraduate program with 20 graduates or fewer or a graduate program with 10 graduates or fewer over a four year period.

Of the 24 programs that met this definition, 15 require no action but will be monitored, while nine will be revised or potentially eliminated.

While low enrolled programs are being evaluated, the Board approved a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, a Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Political Science, Economics and Law.

Three new trustees sat on the Board for Friday’s meeting, the first full Board in 18 months, Chair David Levey said. The new trustees are Marilyn Eisele, of Cleveland, Ohio; David O’Brien, of Westlake, Ohio; and Linda Forte, of Detroit, Michigan.

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