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Trustees Meeting November 2013

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East Carolina University students walk toward Mendenhall Student Center, which opened in 1974. In a Nov. 22 meeting, the ECU Board of Trustees examined plans to create two new students centers, one on the East Campus and one on the Health Sciences campus. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)



PROPOSALS APPROVED
Trustees talk tuition, new student centers


Nov. 22, 2013

By Crystal Baity and Jeannine Manning Hutson
ECU News Services

Medical and dental students at East Carolina University would pay more in tuition next year under a plan approved Nov. 22 by the Board of Trustees during its regular meeting.

The board also approved a fee increase for all students beginning the 2015-2016 academic year to help fund the construction of a two new student centers – one on main campus and one on the health sciences campus.

No tuition increases are recommended for in-state undergraduate students. However, next year out-of-state undergraduate students will see a 6 percent increase in tuition, a total of $1,084, which was mandated by state legislators in the last legislative session.

Revenues from this increase will be used to offset cuts to state appropriations by the same amount, said Dr. Rick Niswander, vice chancellor for administration and finance. That will result in no additional revenue for the university.


Tuition for the Brody School of Medicine would increase $2,000, and the School of Dental Medicine would increase $713 beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year. Those figures represent a 13.72 percent and 3 percent rise respectively.

The additional revenues will enable the medical school to implement innovations in medical education and meet accreditation requirements.


The proposal now goes to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors for consideration.
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ECU vice chancellor Dr. Rick Niswander addresses potential tuition increases during the ECU Board of Trustees meeting.
Even with the increases, tuition at ECU's medical and dental schools remain among the lowest in the country, said Niswander.

Also the trustees approved a maximum student fee of $425 to be phased in over three years, which will help pay for the two student centers. The increase would generate about $9 million in revenue; the total cost of both centers is estimated to be $156.3 million, Niswander said.

The estimated 200,000+ square-foot student center will likely be built between the Mendenhall Student Center and 10th Street. An estimated 70,000+ square-foot building for the health sciences campus would be situated between the East Carolina Heart Institute and Laupus Library on North Emergency Drive.

When Mendenhall Student Center opened in 1974, it hosted events for 37 student organizations and 11,000 students. The health sciences campus was not in existence. Today, 402 student organizations and approximately 27,000 students use the 116,900 square-foot facility.

"Ten years ago when I came, (then Board of Trustees member) Steve Showfety said we need a new student center," said Chancellor Steve Ballard during the trustees' lunch discussion Thursday. "I think the time is right."

Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for student affairs, said students have been actively involved in plans for the centers through focus groups and surveys. Students spoke in favor of the centers and said they believed the fees proposed are reasonable to help fund the new buildings.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Dutton said she talked with nursing students who are excited about the center "because they haven't had a resource like this on the health sciences campus."

Senior Kevin Walker, president of the Black Student Union, said event planning is a challenge at Mendenhall because of limited space. A larger facility would make it possible for more people to become involved in activities on campus.

Trustees also recommended increases in fees that affect only students in a specific program, course or activity. Those fees include increases for electronic dental textbooks and instruments and nurse midwifery malpractice insurance.

Other tuition changes for 2014-2015 would include an increase of $100 per credit hour for students in the master's of public health, the doctorate in nursing and post-master's in nursing programs. Tuition for graduate students in social work would increase by $34 per credit hour.

Students would pay 3 percent, or $140-$160, more per year for campus housing depending on where they live. The cost of meal plans will not increase.

 
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