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Board of Trustees action items from February 21

The Board of Trustees of Illinois State University acted on a facility naming, academic programs, contracts for office space and student health insurance, the opening of the campus Multicultural Center, and building systems in Watterson Towers residence halls.

The Board of Trustees authorized the naming of room 120 of Illinois State’s Alumni Center as the Ron and Mary Kathleen Beales Alumni Engagement Suite. The naming is in recognition of a generous gift from the Beales in support of the University’s Alumni Engagement area.

The Board gave its approval to the creation of a Bachelor of Science degree program in computer systems technology within Illinois State’s Department of Technology. The move formalizes the department’s current academic sequence in computer systems technology into a stand-alone major. Coursework within the major focuses on preparing professionals for the management and supervision of technical computer systems in industrial settings.

Illinois State was given authorization to complete a comprehensive program and master plan for a new engineering program. Trustees approved $875,000 to hire consultants for further educational planning and investigation of programing and space needs. Funding for the project comes from general revenue university reserves. Through a public selection process, the University chose Cannon Architects as the consulting firm for the project. Mechanical and electrical engineering programs are the focus of the plan, as they leverage existing faculty expertise in academic departments across campus.

Trustees approved the renewal of a lease on office space within the College Place Uptown building in Normal. The lease agreement with MCP Uptown Owners, LLC will be for a term not to exceed 10 years, including an original lease period and subsequent renewals. Annual rent for 4,172 square feet of first floor space will begin at approximately $75,000 plus maintenance charges, and annual rent for 31,327 square feet of second floor space will begin at approximately $601,000 plus maintenance charges. Funding for the lease comes from general revenue resources.

The Board gave its approval for the renewal of a contract with Aetna Student Health for the University’s student health and accident insurance plan for the 2020-2021 policy year. Under the new contract, the student health insurance rate will be $281 for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters and $211 for the summer 2021 session. Those figures represent an increase of 3.9 percent over the previous policy year.

Trustees approved a performance bonus of $48,000 for University President Larry Dietz. As stipulated in the President’s contract, the yearly bonus is based on performance criteria outlined by the Board of Trustees.

Trustees authorized a renovation project to prepare a campus building at 301 S. Main St., Normal, for its new role as Illinois State’s Multicultural Center. The $5.5 million project will include the design and construction of meeting and program spaces, a kitchen, computer lab, reflection room, and administrative offices for staff, student organizations, and satellite support services. Funding for the project comes from auxiliary facilities system (AFS) bond revenues and/or planned 2020 bond series proceeds. Current plans call for the new Multicultural Center to open in the fall of 2020. Input from multiple campus stakeholders and information on multicultural centers at other campuses helped to shape the vision for Illinois State’s center.

A project to reconfigure and repair the surface of the Bone Student Center visitor parking lot was given approval by Trustees. The current surface of the parking lot is asphalt and is severely deteriorated. The $4.1 million project will reconfigure the lot into two separate parking areas and construct a new north campus entry pedestrian gateway path leading to the Bone Student Center. The lots will be resurfaced in concrete and new LED lights and poles will be installed.  The project also includes the installation of a new parking payment ticketing system. Funding for the work comes from auxiliary facilities system (AFS) reserves and/or bond proceeds from planned 2020 AFS bond series.

The Board authorized the replacement of air handling units in mechanical penthouses on the roofs of the Watterson Towers residence halls. The $4.2 million project will include replacement of air handling units and exhaust fans that provide fresh air and exhaust to all 28 stories of the towers. The air handling units scheduled for replacement are original to the building and have exceeded their intended life. Funds for the project come from auxiliary facilities system reserves and/or planned 2020 bond series issuance.

Furniture for suites, lounges, and other informal spaces within the Watterson Towers residence halls will be replaced as part of a purchase approved by the Board of Trustees. The $1.6 million authorization allows Illinois State to contract with vendors for purchase and installation of furniture as part of the University’s long-range plan for housing. Funding for the purchase comes from reserves set aside for this purpose.

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