BOT approves FY 2021 budget, other action items

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

The Eastern Board of Trustees met Friday afternoon and all action items on the agenda.

There were also several announcements in the report from the Board Chairperson Barb Baurer. Lynette Drake, who has been serving as the interim vice president for student affairs since January 2016. Prior to that, she was the director for health services beginning in 2001.

Also announced in the report was the IBHE’s approval of Eastern’s nursing program, the latest step in getting the program put in place. President David Glassman said that the nursing school will be called the Gail and Richard Lumpkin School of Nursing.

The board then approved all action items, beginning with the approval of a contract with Washlave, a company in Tampa, Florida, to lease and maintain new laundry equipment on campus. The new equipment will also have a mobile app that allows students to check on the status of their laundry and the availability of machines. The contract will not exceed $110,000 annually.

The board also approved the purchase of new digital displays and sound equipment in Lantz Arena, all of which will be paid for by donor funds. The project will include two video display boards, two ribbon boards and an upgraded sound system.

A 2 percent increase in tuition for new students beginning in Fall 2020 was also approved. The rate will be $308.04 per credit hour, up from $302 per credit hour for students who started in Fall 2019.

Next was a 2.3 percent increase in room and board rates for the residence halls and Greek Court beginning in the fall.

There were also several increases to student fees that were approved by the board. The increases total $7.72 per credit hour, capped at 12 credit hours. So a student enrolled in 12 credit hours or more will be paying an additional $92.64 in student fees.

They are a $4.01 increase to the union/bond revenue fee to be used for the operation budget of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, a $2.90 increase to health and pharmacy fee to be used for the operation of the medical and counseling clinic and a $0.81 increase to the grant-in-aid fee, which will provide more financial support to students.

Eastern treasurer Paul McCann, in his last board meeting as interim vice president for business affairs, said the Eastern will still be the lowest-cost regional university in Illinois, even with the increases in tuition and fees.

The board also approved the budget for fiscal year 2021, which will begin July 1, and the preliminary budget for FY 2022. McCann said a balanced budget is projected and the appropriation from the state will remain flat. Even with the increases in tuitions and fees, there is a decline in tuition revenue because the university is graduating more students than are coming in.

The board approved the non-indentured reserves,  the FY 2020 athletic budget and a master contract between the university and the Alumni Association.

First readings of a proposed amendment to BOT policy and a proposed revision to BOT regulations took place.

Once the action items were all taken care of, the board presented information items, mainly updates on many capital projects taking place on campus. The construction of a new science building was discussed. The project is still in the pre-design phase and construction is tentatively scheduled to begin early in 2022, with over $118 million appropriated for the project. I will be located in the are south of Tarble Arts Center.

Other projects discussed were upgrades to McAfee Gynmasium, HVAC upgrades for Old Main and Blair Hall, campus electrical upgrades, the completion of HVAC and plumbing upgrades in the Life Science Building, classroom remodels in Klehm Hall, the repair of the north steps of Booth Library and the remodeling of the Victory Suite at O’Brien Field.

 

Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]