BOT gives Glassman authority in FCC auction, approves housing rates

Cassie Buchman, Associate News Editor

Eastern has filed an application to participate in the Federal Communications Commission spectrum auction, according to the Board of Trustees’ report from its meeting Friday. The deadline to file was Jan. 12.

The board voted Friday to give Glassman permission to make decisions regarding Eastern’s participation in the March 29 auction.

Glassman will be allowed to decide whether or not Eastern enters the auction in two months as well as the time and price the university would use as a strategy in selling the spectrum used by WEIU.

Board member Kristopher Goetz asked that Glassman continue to ensure the maintenance and integrity of the educational experience of students in broadcast journalism if given this authority.

Glassman said this was a paramount consideration in whether or not to participate in the auction.

The FCC has issued notices to all stations nationally telling them not to publicly discuss bidding, bid strategies and the bid process.

The board also voted 5 to 3 to not increase the housing rates for fiscal year 2017.

Lynette Drake, the interim vice president for student affairs, said this would be the second time since 1977 that the housing rate has not increased.

“Eastern continues to offer some of the lowest housing rates and greatest value among public universities in the state of Illinois,” Drake said.

She said the proposal not to increase housing rates comes recommended from three students from student government and three students from the Residence Hall Association.

Goetz said the planned expenses for this year as compared with last year are increasing.

Eastern’s expenses to provide housing for students will increase by about 2.3 percent.

He asked how the university planned on bridging the gap between the increase in housing expenses and the steady housing rates.

Drake said the university would use money from the reserve funds as well as continue to use good stewardship with money received from housing and board rates.

Board Vice-Chair Joseph Dively said while he thought it was the right thing to do, especially as it gave Eastern an edge in marketing, he did not think it was sustainable in the long run.

“It’s not something we can do on a routine basis,” Dively said.

Board member Timothy Burke said if the university is not careful, it could exhaust its reserves.

Board member Roger Kratochvil said everyone was hoping something will change and universities would get money from the state.

“We’ve got to exist,” Kratochvil said. “We’ve got to hope they’re going to come through. What else is there?”

At the beginning of the meeting, the board honored late board Vice Chair Robert Webb.

Chair Rene Hutchinson said Webb dedicated much of his 87 years to the efficacy and betterment of public schools, community colleges and universities and affected the lives of thousands of students.

“Let it be resolved that the members of the Eastern Illinois University Board of Trustees, along with the university administration, faculty and staff, hereby express their upmost gratitude to Dr. Robert D. Webb’s commitment to education,” Hutchinson said.

Kratochvil said he remembered Webb as being competitive and smart with a great sense of humor.

“Bob was great at listening to all sides of an issue,” Kratochvil said. “He was great to work with.”

 

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]