Indiana State moves forward on housing upgrades; trustees set 2014-15 budget

May 2, 2014

 

Indiana State University continues to move forward with an aggressive upgrade of student housing.

The university board of trustees on Friday authorized financing for the first phase of a comprehensive renovation of the Sycamore Towers complex, scheduled to begin later this month. The $20.7 million renovation of Mills Hall will be financed by $3.5 million in housing and dining reserve funds and the sale of up to $17.2 million in bonds.

Trustees also authorized the development of plans for the second phase of the five-year Sycamore Towers project. The second phase, starting in 2015, includes renovation of Blumberg Hall at a cost of $22.5 million and would also be financed via reserve funds and bonding.

Board members approved a 2014-15 operating budget of $158.5 million. It reflects a 4.1 percent increase over this year, primarily a result of a 1.95 percent student fee increase and expected continued enrollment growth.

The budget reallocates $1.1 million to help fund salary increases and other priorities. A 2.5 percent increase is projected for salaries, plus amounts set aside for faculty and staff target-salary programs. Criteria for pay raises will be determined this fall, pending final enrollment figures and a review of budget conditions at that time. However, the budget sets a minimum salary of $10 per hour, effective July 1, for all full-time benefits-eligible positions, compared with the current minimum of $9.34 per hour. The new spending plan includes a 5 percent increase in health insurance costs.

Trustees also:

• Approved President Dan Bradley's recommendation to name the track-and-field portion of a planned riverfront athletics complex "Gibson Track and Field," in recognition of the philanthropic support and leadership of the Max and Jacquie Gibson family of Terre Haute.

• Adopted a revised student conduct code to include amnesty for reporting alcohol-related health emergencies under the Indiana Lifeline Law, align the conduct process to enhance learning, provide clear expectations, ensure all rights of students are clearly identified and adjust prohibited behavior to align with national and technological changes.

• Set room-and-board rates for Reeve Hall, a new student housing facility set to open this fall that will include premium-plus rooms with deluxe amenities and private bathrooms.

• Approved new Master of Science and doctorate degrees in athletic training and a new minor in counseling.

• Approved revised flight academy fees to simplify the fee structure, reflect actual rather than projected enrollments and new Federal Aviation Administration certification, resulting in a 3.3 percent decrease from this year's fees.

• Authorized the university treasurer to seek state approval for a $2.7-million roof replacement of the Science Building.

• Approved changes in the composition of ex-officio student affairs committee members to include representation from the Division of Student Affairs and University College.

• Approved, pending Faculty Senate action, University Handbook changes for course outlines and syllabi to emphasize timely feedback to students and delineation of course materials.

• Approved handbook revisions to reflect changes in the definition and voting rights of regular faculty and the time governing the constitution of standing committees to facilitate consistent operation and earlier beginning of committee work in a new academic year.

• Elected new officers for 2014-15 with Robert Baesler of Terre Haute as president, David Campbell of Indianapolis as vice president, Tanya Bell of Brownsburg as secretary and Norm Lowery of Terre Haute as assistant secretary.

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/Campus-Scenes/Buildings01/Sycamore-Towers/i-bB5cjx2/1/3X/10_11_11_residence_hall-8965-3X.jpg - Indiana State University's Sycamore Towers, a nearly 50-year-old student housing complex seen in this 2011 photo, is in line for a complete renovation - a project expected to take four to five years to complete. (ISU/Tony Campbell)

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu