Board of Trustees holds tuition, fees, room and board rates steady

The Board of Trustees of Illinois State University approved tuition, fees, and room and board rates for new freshman, transfer, and graduate students for the 2017-18 academic year. The rates reflect no cost increase over the previous academic year.

New undergraduate, full-time students from Illinois will pay $370.25 per credit hour in tuition for the 2017-18 academic year. New students this fall will continue to pay this rate through summer of 2021.

The mandatory fees for the 2017-18 academic year for full-time, new students will be $81.84 per credit hour. Revenue from fees will continue to allow the University to fund operational costs, provide for debt service, and meet repair and replacement reserve requirements.

Residence hall rates depend on the type of room (multiple occupancy, single or super single), with rates remaining the same as those charged in the previous academic year. Students will pay $2,667 for a multiple occupancy room, $3,601 for a multiple occupancy room in a suite, $3,547 for a single room, $4,080 for a super single, $4,134 for a single in a suite, and $4,560 for a super single in a suite, during the 2017-18 academic year. Cardinal Court apartments, which were constructed as a public/private partnership, will see a modest increase of 2.0 percent in rental rates.

Dining rates will remain unchanged from the previous academic year. A residential plan that includes seven days of unlimited meals will cost $2,258, or five days of unlimited meals will cost $2,148. A traditional plan of 19 meals per week will cost $2,307, or 14 meals per week will cost $2,180.

New out-of-state, full-time undergraduate students will pay $740.50 per credit hour for the 2017-18 academic year, with those students continuing to pay that rate through summer of 2021. In-state tuition for graduate students in the 2017-18 academic year will be $389 per credit hour. Out-of-state graduate students will pay $808 per credit hour.


Revised budget for Watterson Dining Commons expansion

The Board of Trustees authorized an increase in the budget for the Watterson Dining Commons expansion project. The project, originally approved by the Board of Trustees in October 2015, will provide space for a new culinary support center located in an addition to the Watterson Dining Commons facility.

Trustees approved the increase in the project budget from $8.5 million to $11 million, with funds coming from Campus Dining reserves. The budget increase was necessary because low bids for construction of the facility exceeded the original budget authorization for the project.

The two-story addition to Watterson Dining Commons will support all residential, retail, and catering dining operations on campus. Included in the project are a cold production processing center, full-service bakery, a cook-chill operation, a department training and test kitchen, and additional seating for the dining center.


Presidential contract extension 

The Board of Trustees has extended its employment contract with President Larry Dietz through July 31. The original contract was for a term beginning March 22, 2014, and ending on June 30 of this year.

The Board of Trustees also amended the contract to provide President Dietz a 2 percent salary increase, retroactive to January 1. The salary increase is based on Dietz’s FY2016 performance evaluation and a strong working relationship with the Board of Trustees.


Starbucks store, software upgrades

The Board of Trustees authorized an amendment to the University’s licensing agreement with Starbucks Corporation to provide for a second Starbucks store on campus. The new store will be located on the first floor of the Bone Student Center, as part of the first phase of renovations of that facility. The store will be located next to a new welcome center addition that will be part of the renovations. A Starbucks location opened in Illinois State’s Student Fitness Center in September 2016.

The University’s 10-year corporate licensing agreement with Starbucks was first approved by the Board of Trustees in October 2015 for $2.6 million. The new store will be included in that agreement for an increase in cost not to exceed $5.6 million. Money for the agreement comes from Campus Dining operating and reserve funds.

The Board of Trustees approved the amendment of a contract with StarRez, Inc. to provide upgrades and expansion of software that handles student room and meal plan selection processes. The $650,000 cost of the software upgrades and expansion will be paid with bond revenue operating funds.

The software upgrades will include StarRez’s next generation of student portal, designed to increase student interaction and staff management of the system. The portal allows students to electronically sign housing contracts, submit payments, and select room spaces and meal plans. Benefits of the new portal will include increased security and ease of operation from mobile devices and phones. Other software will streamline the process for planning residence hall room configurations and occupancy needs.


Spending authorization, bus and elevator contracts

The Board of Trustees authorized University officials to expend funds according to the FY2018 Spending Authorization by Object and Function of Expenditure until the Board takes further action on the FY2018 operating budget. FY2018 state appropriations to Illinois State University are not yet known and this action allows the University to meet its financial obligations beginning July 1.

The Board of Trustees approved a two-year agreement with Connect Transit to provide bus transportation services. Under the agreement, faculty, staff, and students can use their Redbird Card as a bus pass to access Connect Transit services. The Board approved a payment of $535,000 for FY2018 and $545,000 for FY2019. Funding for the transit contract comes from student fee revenues. Illinois State has partnered with Connect Transit (formerly Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System) since 1998.

Trustees also authorized a five-year contract with Otis Elevator Company for repair and maintenance services. The $2.8 million contract, paid with general and bond revenue operating funds, will cover the inspection, repair, and maintenance of the more than 100 passenger and freight elevators and vertical lift systems on campus.