The Board of Regents approved increased tuition, housing costs and meal
plan costs during its April 23 meeting.
Cost of attendance increased
The tuition increase was 3 percent. This increase is the second lowest in the state only being higher than Morehead State University which increased tuition by 2.5 percent, said Barry Poynter, senior vice president for finance and administration.
Undergraduate, in-state students paid $8,996 for the year in 2018-19. For 2019-20 academic year, undergraduate, in-state students will pay $9,266.
Housing was increased about 4 percent, Poynter said. Different residence halls increased by different amounts ranging from a 1 percent increase for Walters Hall and an 8 percent increase for Palmer, Sullivan and Burnam.
The cost of meal plans increased by 3.5 percent for students and a 4.6 percent increase for faculty and staff meal plans. The cost was increased due to EKU’s contract with Aramark, EKU’s food service provider. The contract requires an increase of specific amounts each year and the increase for the 2019-20 school year is 3.5 percent.
Lewis Diaz, Alan Long, Lynn Taylor Tye, Bryan Makinen, Laura Babbage, Nancy Collins, Jason Marion and Holly Wiedemann voted in favor of the increases, but Ryan Wiggins, the student regent, voted nay for all three increases.
The board initially held a hearing concerning these increases on April 18. The hearing only had a small crowd and no one asked questions according to a Progress reporter who attended the hearing.
No discussion took place during the board meeting with regards to the increases.
Lunch with students
The Board of Regents met with student groups on campus during lunch prior to the Board of Regents Quarterly meeting at 12:30.
Members of the aviation program, Greek Life and the track and field and cross country teams were honored at the meeting.
“The students involved in each of these programs have given something extra,” said Kristi Middleton, the chief external affairs officer for EKU.
Each group was introduced and then recognized by the regents. Students were able to interact with the regents and voice their concerns about their particular organization's needs.
The aviation program voiced concerns about needing more faculty and space. These issues were further discussed during the regular scheduled quarterly meeting at 12:30.
“The whole board is here, we are here to support you,” Board of Regents Chair Lewis Diaz said to members of the Greek community.
Lewis Diaz, Alan Long, Lynn Taylor Tye, Bryan Makinen, Laura Babbage, Nancy Collins, President Michael Benson, Jason Marion and Holly Wiedemann were present for the lunch.
The two major construction projects still in progress at EKU are Powell Student Union and the new Recreation Center.
Powell is currently at 39 percent completion. Construction has cost $10.35 million and used 15 percent of the $2.58 million contingency and reserve fund.
The renovations to Powell are mostly occurring on the inside of the building, said Kelly Crocker, project administrator in the department of capital construction and project administration.
Powell is expected to be completed in January, according to the graph in the meeting agenda.
The new recreation center is 53 percent completed. It has cost $21.12 million thus far and has used 45 percent of its $3.40 million contingency fund.
The recreation center is expected to be completed in October due to its construction being ahead of schedule.
Other business at the Regents meeting
The board heard from Tim Ross of the aviation program. Ross gave a brief synopsis of the history of the program before expressing his concerns about the program being understaffed.
Ross stated that a number of students in the program have been unable to begin training due to an insufficient number of staff.
Jason Marion, associate professor in the department of environmental health science, was sworn in as faculty regent. Richard Day, Marion’s predecessor as faculty regent, was honored with a resolution to celebrate his service to the board and university.
Matthew Winslow, former chair of the Faculty Senate, presented his final report to the board. Winslow has met his term limit for serving on the Faculty Senate. Marco Ciocca will replace Winslow as Faculty Senate chair.
Caelin Scott, a staff council representative; Ryan Wiggins, student body president and student regent; President Michael Benson and Lewis Diaz presented reports to the board.
The board approved the following items by unanimous vote:
- Feb. 22 Board Meeting Minutes,
- Personnel Actions presented by
- The report from the Council on Academic Affairs,
- Academic Policy 4.7.12P, Faculty/Staff Academic Travel with Students,
- Addendum to Recommendations for Retirement Transition Program Participants for 2019-20,
- Administrative Policy Revision 1.1.1P, Policy on Policies,
- Naming Policy and Special Consideration for College of Science Signature Program Campaign and
- Recommendations for Promotion and Tenure.
Student reactions to the Board of Regents decisions
The EKU Board of Regents approved on Tuesday to increase tuition by 3 percent, meal plans by 3.5 percent and housing by an average of 4 percent. The Progress hit the streets around campus to get reactions from students. Here is what they had to say about the hikes.
“I represent the students’ interest… I didn't find that it was in the students best interest for them to have to pay more for those things both so that can afford to be here and that they come here in the first place. My message to students is to try to understand. I understand why students are going to be upset because it is more money that they will be paying to live in dorms, eat food on campus and even attend class and just be a student at this university, but it is going to pay dividends. The reason these increases are happening is to provide money and to provide opportunities for students,” said SGA President Ryan Wiggins.
“Right now I’m flat broke. If tuition goes up, it will affect me more long term than short term. I’ll still be broke, but for longer,” 20-year-old sophomore environmental health science major from Richmond, Daniel Winn said.
“I’m not getting any help from my parents, I’m not getting any help from the government, I’m having to take out loans and trying to do what I can so it’s really hard,” said Kaitlyn Creech, 19-year-old, sophomore communication disorder major from Jamestown.
Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the correct voting members of the Board of Regents.