Tuition increase, on-campus projects voted on by Board of Trustees

An increase to the cost of tuition, bringing a gender equity center to campus and a report from University President George Ross were discussed at the Board of Trustees meeting on April 29 in the President's Conference Room in the Bovee University Center.

Tuition was increased to $405 per credit hour for undergraduate students, $548 for masters and specialists and $627 per credit hour for doctoral students. Tuition dollars made up the main revenue source of CMU's operating budget this year at 60 percent. State appropriations funded 17 percent. A total of 3,492 students are slated to graduate at the end of this semester, including 2,446 bachelorette, 865 masters, 76 doctoral, 15 specialist and 90 certificates.

"We need to change (the university's) revenue so it isn't so dependent on tuition," said Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services Barrie Wilkes. "We are going to be modifying the budget model we use. We have between 3 to 4 million dollar budget issue we need to address."

Lansing senior Jamila Ayoubi gave public comment during the meeting, and said there is a need for a women and gender equity center on campus.

"It is important that women and gender minorities have a safe space to form a sense of community," Ayoubi said. 

She said enrollment, retention and graduation rates and the satisfaction of women students would increase if the center was brought to campus. Ayoubi said she created a four-week petition and collected 250 signatures to approve the proposal for the gender equity center.

"We urge the board to approve this proposal for the benefit of this university and its students and the community," Ayoubi said.

The president delivered a report on different campus initiatives and retention efforts including the creation of the vice president for advancement. Bob Martin was hired for the position in February.

The main priority for the vice president of advancement is to reach out to alumni, Ross said. A lot of funding comes from individuals, he said.

"There is a lot of love for CMU on the alumni base, but the culture of giving back has not frankly been there," Ross said. "State funding allows CMU to operate just 61 days of the year. The rest is largely (provided) by our students and their family." 

The president said he hopes to see 3,500 new freshman at CMU in the fall, but even coming close to that number would be an accomplishment. 

"Recruitment today involves the entire campus community — especially as students and parents become more engaged as a consumer," Ross said.

A peer review team from the Higher Learning Commission came to campus to interview hundreds of faculty, students, staff and alumni, Ross said.

The final report will be complete in September.

Ross also recognized Dean of the College of Education and Human Services Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson for being chosen as a Fellow by the American Counsel of Education for the 2016-17 academic year. 

"While on-campus education will always be the focus of CMU, we must supplement satellite and online degree (programs) for those who need other options of access for quality, feasible education," Ross said.

Six new online programs are available to students, including a masters in health administration, masters of arts and special education, two new concentrations in the sports administration program as well as a deafblind intervener certificate.

"To address campus inclusion and diversity we have hired The Barthwell Group — a women-owned firm from Detroit," Ross said. "The group conducted a series of individual interviews with students, faculty and staff on campus."

Ross said the research from the Barthwell Group along with input from a campus-wide survey the university conducted this fall will help identify the next step to making CMU an inclusive community.

Additional funding in the amount of $465,000 was requested at the meeting to upgrade the Sac Pool. Originally, $2.248 million dollars was requested. 

"Once we started the project, we realized it was not enough," said Certified Public Accountant William Kanine. "(The rennovation) will keep it going for another 20-25 years."


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Editor-in-Chief Kate Carlson is a senior from Lapeer who is majoring in journalism with a minor in ...

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