Board of Trustees approves increase in student fees, room and board rates


 Trustees Marc Strauss (left), John Butler (middle), and Robert Marshall (right) chat during an executive session during the Board meeting Monday afternoon.

By Kelly Bauer

The Board of Trustees (BOT) voted to approve all the university’s recommendations, including increasing the room and board rate, increasing student fees and approving the proposed salary guidelines.

The university requested the BOT approve an aggregate average student fee increase of 7.91 percent, including a 17.59 percent increase in the Student Health Insurance contract. NIU President John Peters emphasized that “students can opt out of the health insurance fee if they provide proof of insurance.”

The recommendation was unanimously approved by the BOT, which then unanimously approved a 1.9 percent increase in the room rate and a 0 percent increase in the board rate; Peters said he was very pleased with the recommendation.

The board then approved an item to change salary guidelines. The university recommended that those with salaries up to $110,000 see a 2.5 percent increase; those with salaries between $110,001 and $160,000 see a 2 percent increase; and those with a salary greater than $160,001 see a 1.75 percent increase. All increments associated with this guideline would be implemented effective Jan. 1, 2012, if approved. The increase will not necessarily apply to all; faculty and staff employed by the university on or before Dec. 31, 2010, who remain employed, will be eligible for the increment “subject to university procedures,” according to the university’s proposal.

The Board also honored former trustee Manuel Sanchez for his work with the BOT and NIU. Sanchez, an alumnus, was a founding member of the Board in 1996 and served as its Chair from 2001 to 2003. Sanchez said he has been appointed to the Illinois Sports Facility Board and was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

“I’m ending my status as a trustee, not my status as a diehard NIU Huskie alumnus,” Sanchez said.

BOT Chair Cherilyn Murer expressed condolences to the families of Moses Mutuku and Tim Emmons, two NIU faculty members who died in recent months. The Board also reported a deceased accountancy alumnus left about $1.7 million – or the whole of his estate – to NIU, which the university is in the process of receiving. Murer said the deceased was humble and “didn’t want any recognition.”