Board of Trustees approves 3.95 percent hike of room and board fees

The MSU Board of Trustees approved a hike of 3.95 percent to a double room and a silver meal plan, increasing the overall rate to $9,154. 

In total, students will be paying $344 more for food and housing in the 2014-15 year. The board passed the raise unanimously and with no public discussion.

The vote came just one day after MSU Students United petitioned the board to place a freeze on tuition hikes. Administrators have proposed a 3 percent tuition increase for the 2014-15 school year, which will amount to about $385. The board likely will vote on the proposal at its June meeting.

Board Chairman Joel Ferguson said in a previous interview with The State News that the board is refusing to acknowledge the petition presented by Students United, which had more than 3,000 signatures as of Monday.

During the meeting, he said MSU Students United's attempts were laughable.

"I got a call from The State News last night and they wanted me to comment about students who were going to picket our meeting and protest about tuition and I can't help myself, but I couldn't laugh candid," Ferguson said. "I said if they're going to go out and demonstrate and try to keep tuition down, they're in the right county but they're in the wrong building. They should be at the state Capitol."

Ferguson said MSU always strives to do more with less and that an increase in state funding does not necessarily mean MSU will be getting the same amount as peer institutions.

Also during the meeting, members of the Graduate Employees Union and the Union of Non-Tenure Track Faculty stood "in solidarity" to ask the board to more urgently address the renewal of contracts and sooner appointment times for instructors and other non-tenured faculty.

June Youatt was officially appointed as provost for MSU at the meeting and gave an emotional thank you following her appointment. Youatt was formerly the university acting provost.

In addition, the board moved to approve the construction of a new welcome center in the horticulture gardens.

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