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Board of Trustees approves degree program, contracts, lease agreement

Large bell surrounded by flowers and set in stone landscaping, with trees and academic buildings in the background

The Founders Bell on the Quad of Illinois State University.

The Board of Trustees of Illinois State University met on July 26, and approved the following:

Master of Science in Computer Science
The Board of Trustees approved the creation of the M.S. in Computer Science program within the School of Information Technology. The new master’s program emphasizes advanced concepts in computer science and programmatic application of those concepts in leading-edge applications. As compared to the existing master’s program in information systems, the master’s in computer science program will provide opportunities for students interested in the more technical side of computing. The program is expected to enroll up to 50 students per year.

Property insurance
The Board of Trustees authorized the University to purchase property insurance for FY 2020 for a premium not to exceed $700,000. Illinois State maintains property insurance with a replacement value of approximately $1.9 billion and business interruption coverage of $250 million. Through its membership in the Midwestern Higher Education Compact, the University is able to purchase coverage from a collection of well-respected and financially sound insurance companies through the insurance broker Marsh USA, Inc. Funding comes from general revenue and auxiliary facilities operating revenues.

Enterprise storage infrastructure upgrade
Trustees approved funding for upgrades to data storage capacity for the University’s IT services. The $1.1 million enterprise storage infrastructure upgrade will significantly increase the storage capacity inside campus data centers to accommodate increasing data storage demands of students, faculty, and staff.  The infrastructure upgrade will also incorporate a virtual test environment providing Administrative Technologies technical staff the ability to develop and test new software and equipment changes prior to implementation, thus reducing downtime. The upgrade project will be paid for with institutional funds.

Solid waste management contract
A five-year contract with Republic Services for solid waste hauling was approved by the Board of Trustees. Illinois State utilizes contracted services to remove solid waste generated throughout campus, which is collected from 27 campus locations. The $1.5 million competitive-bid contract will be paid for using funds from general revenue, bond revenue, and auxiliary services operating accounts.

Lease of property
Trustees authorized the University to lease 10,418 square feet of customized space in the Trail East Building to be constructed at Uptown Circle and Constitution Boulevard in Uptown Normal. Once built, the space will be occupied by a startup incubator being developed by Illinois State University and other community partners to promote technology innovation, entrepreneurship, and local economic development. The five-year lease agreement with Bush Construction Company, Inc. includes annual lease payments of $168,000. The lease rate includes a tenant improvement allowance of approximately $781,350 for customization of the space. Illinois State will be responsible for additional operational costs, estimated at $110,000 per year, for common area maintenance, property tax, utilities, and janitorial service. The University has the option to prepay the tenant improvement allowance for a reduced lease rate and will do so if grant or other external funds become available prior to the building completion. The lease agreement will be paid for using university and grant funds.

Fire services agreement
Trustees authorized the yearly intergovernmental agreement between the Town of Normal and Illinois State for fire protection services for the University. The agreement for FY2020 includes a cost of $592,803. The agreement is modified each year to require a new reimbursement rate that reflects the higher municipal costs associated with providing fire protection services. The Town of Normal uses a price index to calculate the new reimbursement rate that is determined by the Illinois Municipal League and used in other university communities across the state. Funding comes from general revenue and auxiliary facilities system operating revenues.

Foundation support agreement
The Board of Trustees also authorized the extension of a contract with the Illinois State University Foundation for development and fundraising services for FY2020. The contract stipulates that services will be provided for annual cash and in-kind consideration not to exceed $2,760,000. The Foundation, a private corporation, works to solicit, secure and manage private gifts and other resources to support Illinois State’s educational and research mission.

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