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Trustees increase room and board rates

Jenn Smola, Campus Editor

The Miami University Board of Trustees met Friday and passed several resolutions, including a rise in room and board costs and the creation of a winter term next year.

According to Mike Armstrong, trustee and Finance and Audit Committee chair, said room and board will increase by 2.87 percent next fall, up to $10,900. The increase will cover only growing food and operational costs, Armstrong said in his finance and audit committee report.

"It's important to point out the increase covers only rising food and other costs to operate the residence and dining halls," Armstrong said. "It's a side comment, I point that out because some peer institutions use that vehicle for solving other financial problems and we're not doing this."

Junior Cole Tyman, Associated Student Government (ASG) secretary for on-campus affairs, said the increase is understandable and necessary.

"Obviously any fee increases aren't going to be popular among students, but with all the changes on campus-the new buildings that are coming up and all the renovations that are going to be done, I think this is something that's necessary," Tyman said. "I think it's important to make sure that we're fiscally responsible and I think that's something they're trying to do. The university is doing a lot, and a lot of that stuff comes with money and there's definitely inflation and increases in prices of food and housing and energy and all those things, so I guess these are necessary in order to cover those costs."

Some Miami students were not pleased with the announcement of a tuition hike. First-year Isabelle Pascarelli will be living on campus next year due to Miami's second year requirement and will have to pay the increased room and board rates.

"[The rates are] too expensive," Pascarelli said.

The board also approved the implementation of a winter term starting in the 2013-2014 school year. Provost Bobby Gempesaw said the implementation of a winter term will give students the opportunity for study abroad experiences, completing research or internships and taking courses.

"I'd like to say that the proposed winter session will provide great benefits to our students and faculty, to the creation of enhanced academic and other learning opportunities," Gempesaw said.

While the board voted to adopt the winter term resolution, the vote was not unanimous. Trustee Harry T. Wilks said he didn't see the value in creating a winter term.

"I don't see any really important reason to establish this," Wilks said. "It's more vacation for everybody. They can go to Mexico longer...I see very little reason to establish this as far as the students are concerned."

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The trustees also authorized the awarding of contracts to renovate Kreger Hall, which will be updated to house the physics department. According to David Creamer, vice president of finance and business services, the funds for this project have already been appropriated from state funding.

Additionally, the Trustees approved the issuing and sale of general receipts revenue bonds, not to exceed $125 million, to cover the renovation of residence halls, infrastructure upgrades and other capital projects.

The trustees also approved the naming of the new residence hall on MET quad, which will be named after Robert F. Etheridge, vice president emeritus of student affairs. They also approved the rank of emeriti and emeritus on various retired faculty members and administrators, the appointment of Bruce Guiot as Miami's associate treasurer and increasing the maximum number of national trustees allowed on the board from three to six.

The Board also heard reports from the Miami 2020 plan coordinating team, including representatives from each target goal team Each team is in charge of certain parts of the plan, including innovative learning and discovery, a transformational work environment, inclusion and global engagement, dynamic organizational design and effective partnerships and outreach.

Once-Chair of the board Donald Crain said he was impressed by the leadership of the teams as well as the team members.

"I just feel the excitement and enthusiasm from the teams," Crain said.

The board also heard reports from President David Hodge, University Senate Chair James Kiper, Student Body President John Stefanski, Academic and Student Affairs Committee Chair Sue Henry and student trustees Lot Kwarteng and Arianne Wilt.

This article is part of a series The Miami Student is running about the University Archives. All information in the following article was obtained from the University Archives with the help of University Archivist Bob Schmidt.