Trustees discuss student housing, health care costs
Housing and health care came to the forefront when the MSU Board of Trustees met last week at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island for their annual retreat.
Though no decisions are made at the retreat, it gives the board the time to discuss some of the important issues affecting the university.
Trustee Joel Ferguson said the board spent an extended period of time on how to attempt to save money on the rapidly escalating costs of legacy health care.
“If we don’t solve that soon we’re going to have a major tuition increase problem on our hands,” Ferguson said.
Much of the session was focused on where the university is at today, said Trustee Melanie Foster.
“We’re going to have to make some difficult choices going forward,” Foster said.
“It’s just not specific what these choices are going to be.”
The board also reviewed the performance of MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon over the past year, agreeing unanimously that she has excelled at her position, Foster said.
“She’s done a wonderful job and she’s done a great job with her team also,” Ferguson said.
The board particularly approved of Simon’s efforts in leading development and fundraising, Foster said.
Revoking Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s honorary degree, MSU’s satellite schools in Dubai and Michigan and the name change of the Ralph Young Fund, MSU’s athletic fundraising, to the Spartan Fund were also discussed.
Another topic discussed was the aging housing system on campus.
Vennie Gore, vice president of Housing & Food Services, gave a presentation on what MSU needs to do to keep its dorms and apartments interesting to students.
“We have to compete with our housing after students are no longer freshmen and want to go out to houses and apartments,” said Trustee Faylene Owen.