Ball State approves new room and board rate plans

Topic: Administrative

February 16, 2007

Ball State's Board of Trustees approved new room and board rates along with new meal plans designed to enhance on-campus residential life and publicly thanked a former board member for his dedication to the university.

The trustees approved a range of rates based on room and meal plan choices. Residence hall basic double occupancy room and board will increase $342, from $6,898 to $7,240. About 1,812 current students will have no increase in rates next year because they are enrolled in the university's premium plan that locks in rates for two years.

The new room and board rates will provide a 3.7 percent increase in the housing budget for 2007-08, necessary to cover rising costs for food and supplies, renovation and maintenance of the residence halls, employee health care and debt service on the residence halls.

The new rate structure incorporates a proposal to enhance residential meal plan options and introduces new commuter meal plans. The changes are designed to provide more choices and flexibility for students. Expanding options for residential meal plans should lead to higher satisfaction and increase retention rates in the residence halls, said Alan Hargrave, associate dean of student affairs and director of housing and residence life.

"Ball State is placing a high priority on enhancing student residential life options, including emphasizing a major renewal of housing and dining units," Hargrave said. "The newest facility will be Park Hall, which will open in the fall. This hall was designed with student input and marks the continuation of a commitment that will substantially modernize our residence halls and offer students the types of housing choices that are important to them."

Park Hall also features semi-private bathrooms clustered around double rooms. A limited number of single rooms also are available. The residence hall will also include a two-story social lounge, laundry facility with online access, a fitness room and technology center.

The other major addition to residential life for 2007 is the newly renovated Woodworth Commons, located in the Woodworth complex. It will feature a two-story atrium and soft seating areas that will remain open around the clock as a place for students to socialize, study or watch television. Dining operations will include a Mongolian grill, spinning salads and an Italian espresso bar.

The trustees also expressed their gratitude for the dedication and service to the university by Richard Moake, who was a trustee from 1991 to 2007. Board members presented Moake, whose term recently expired, with a framed citation.

Moake was honored for providing insight and advice regarding major construction and renovations instrumental in the short- and long-term needs of the university.

"It certainly has been an honor to serve with Dick," said Thomas DeWeese, president of Ball State's Board of Trustees. "He is an architect and his work as a trustee was exemplary, as well as a guiding influence on many building projects that have improved the campus landscape."

Ball State President Jo Ann M. Gora said the university "was blessed" to have a person of Moake's caliber to serve for more than 40 years as a student, an active alumnus and a dedicated member of the Board of Trustees.

"He has given of his time and talents, assisting the university in moving forward in its mission of providing excellent academic programs, research and service for the benefit of Indiana's citizens," she said.

In other business, the trustees approved:

  • awarding of honorary degrees to Andrew Card, who served as White House chief of staff from 2000 to 2006; Hurley Goodall, former state legislator and visiting scholar with the Ball State's Center for Middletown Studies; Judy O'Bannon, former first lady of Indiana; John Brooks Slaughter, president and chief executive officer of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering; and Sara Martinez Tucker, U.S. Under Secretary of Education. Card, Goodall and O'Bannon will receive their degrees May 5 during the university's main commencement ceremony. Slaughter will receive his degree during the December 2007 commencement. Tucker will receive her degree during the May 2008 commencement. 
  • Implementation of the Roth 403 (b) Voluntary Retirement Savings Plan. In addition to the university-paid plans, Ball State employees will have the opportunity to save additional funds toward retirement by deferring a portion of their gross pay through payroll deduction after taxes through this plan.
  • Approved offering additional investment options, known as "life cycle funds," for employees who are participants in the Alternate Pension Plan and Supplement to the State Teacher's Retirement Fund. As information becomes available, the university will offer additional "life cycle funds" to employees once a determination is made that they meet the criteria for retirement investing.
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