The University’s Board of Regents will have a full agenda when it meets later this week, with nearly $29 million in construction under consideration, a proposal to increase housing rates for students next year and a slew of faculty promotions on the table.
The regents will consider these items at their regular May meeting on Thursday, which by recent tradition will be held on the University’s Dearborn campus.
One of the most important agenda items that will directly impact students this month will be the regents’ expected approval of a recommendation to increase room and board rates for students living in University Housing.
In a communication to the regents, E. Royster Harper, the University’s vice president for student affairs, recommended that the residence hall rates be increased by 3 percent and that rates for apartments at the Northwood complex on North Campus be increased by 1 percent.
Harper wrote in a letter to the regents that the 3-percent increase for most students living on campus is necessary because of an increase in operational expenses and the renovation of Alice Lloyd Residence Hall.
If approved by the regents, the hike would bring the annual charge for a double room with a standard meal plan to $9,192 per student — an increase of $268 from last year’s rates.
Such an increase would still be significantly less than some that have been proposed at other Big Ten schools, like Michigan State University, which approved a 5.1-percent increase to its room and board charges. However, the increase will make the University’s on-campus housing the third most expensive among Big Ten schools.
Regents to consider $28.9 million in construction projects
Regents are also expected to consider three construction projects, which, if all are approved, would cost the University nearly $29 million.
The largest of the projects — at $17.7 million — would renovate approximately 30,000 square feet of the University’s medical campus to make space for a larger emergency department at the hospital.
According to a letter sent to the regents by Tim Slottow, the University’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Ora Pescovitz, the University’s executive vice president for medical affairs, the project would involve renovating 6,400 square feet of space to accommodate moving the Hospital Dentistry Department. The space currently occupied by the Hospital Dentistry Department would then be renovated to expand the University’s Emergency Department.
If approved, the renovation would be scheduled for completion by the winter of 2012.
The regents will also consider a proposal to build a new golf practice facility to accommodate the University’s men’s and women’s varsity golf programs.
In a proposal to the regents from Slottow and University Athletic Director David Brandon, the regents have been asked to authorize the $2.5 million project, which would build a 10,000 square foot facility to provide year-round practice space for the teams.
According to the proposal, the project would be financed by Athletic Department resources and potential donations.
If approved at Thursday’s meeting, another proposal from Slottow would allocate $8.7 million to expand the North Campus Chiller Plant.
According to a communication sent by Slottow to the regents, the project would also pay for extensions to allow more buildings on North Campus to be served by the central chiller plant — a move which Slottow reported is expected to save the University approximately $100,000 annually.
Financing for the project would be derived from both University resources and federal and state funds available to the University through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Michigan Fiscal Stabilization Fund Program.
Construction of the project would be expected to be completed by the fall of 2011 if approved by the regents this month.
Faculty promotions to be considered
The University’s Board of Regents is also expected to consider a handful of faculty promotions for the coming academic year.
Decisions on faculty promotions are typically made at the May regents meeting, though months of review by Deans and the Office of the Provost must take place before the regents consider the promotions.
Names of specific faculty members recommended for promotions to the positions of professor or assistant professor will not be released publicly until the regents approve the promotions at their meeting on Thursday.