Eastern reacts after BOT approves student fee increase


Kevin Hall

Jon Bell, a building service worker for the university, addresses the board of trustees as well as those in attendance of the meeting to discuss solutions that could enhance Eastern’s environment.

Luis Martinez, Administration Editor

Faculty and students react to the recent approval of the student fee increases by the Board of Trustees after the meeting on Friday.

Grant Sterling, chair of Faculty Senate, expressed his disappointment with the approval of the increased fees.

“On behalf of Faculty Senate, I am disappointed that the administration made no effort to respond to our vote to oppose the fee increase,” Sterling said. “Our concern about increasing expenditures for athletics during a time when substantial cutbacks are occurring in academics is well known.”

Sterling also said the resolution submitted by Faculty Senate calling for reforms for athletic funding was known as well.

“To propose a tiny increase in tuition combined with a massive increase in the athletics fee was already a slap in our face,” Sterling said. “I think, at the very least, we were owed an explanation.”

Sterling said the senate heard about the proposed increase through other sources other than the administration.

“Faculty senate does not often publicly oppose a decision of the administration. I think that the fact that we did so should have caused some soul-searching on their part,” Sterling said. “I thought that at the very least the administration would acknowledge our vote and offer some reasons to us for not choosing this disparity in funding.”

Sterling said no such acknowledgment was made.

“I think that the student and faculty at EIU have been betrayed by the administration,” Sterling said. “I feel sorry for the students, senators and audience members alike, who mustered the courage to speak against this proposal, but whose voices were ignored.”

He also said he feels sorry for the faculty members who will lose their jobs as a results of the tuition increase, and students who would be unable to participate in research, attend conferences, or study under a faculty mentor.

President Bill Perry said after the Student Senate met Wednesday he took the senators’ concerns under consideration and revised the proposed student fee increase.

“By practice and tradition, we consult with EIU’s Student Senate on fee increases. Although we are not bound by Student Senate action, we do consider it with care and thought,” Perry said. “With respect to this year’s proposed fee increases, the Student Senate considered a resolution on student fee increases for the next academic year.”

Perry also said during the Student Senate meeting he interpreted the one of the actions made by the senators as a reason to support reducing the athletic fee and placing the funds elsewhere.

“After (a) lengthy and thoughtful discussion, the overall resolution was brought to a vote. The vote was 5 in favor and 11 against,” Perry said. “There was support both for and against the resolution on fee increases.”

Perry said he submitted a final resolution after the Student Senate an alternate one.

“No further action was taken, and the Student Senate did not bring forward any alternate resolution,” Perry said. “With no alternate recommendation coming forward, I reviewed the discussions to further inform my final recommendation to the Board of Trustees.”

Perry said after he made the revisions to the proposal, he informed both student body president, Reginald Thedford, and executive vice president, Catie Witt, of the changes he was going to present to the board.

“If it wasn’t revised, I would have voted no because that is what Student Senate voted on,” Witt said.

Witt said after meeting with Perry and Dan Nadler, and negotiating allocating the dollar from the athletic fee to both student activity fee and campus improvement was the right choice.

“I doubt if they will be comforted by the thought that the money to fund those things will be spent in the football team,” Sterling said. “I fervently hope that this issue will be discussed again in the fall, and that President Glassman will take concrete steps to address the concerns that have been expressed.”


Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]