Regents to meet, discuss fees

By Jerry Lawrence

The Board of Regents will determine student fees and room and board rates at a meeting at Illinois State University in Normal today and Thursday.

The Regents are expected to approve NIU President John La

Tourette’s proposed increases in both areas.

The Regents oversee the operations of NIU, ISU and Sangamon State University in Springfield.

According to Regents Chancellor Roderick Groves’ report, which serves as a blueprint for discussion at the meetings, the increases “are driven primarily by enrollment management initiatives, inflationary pressures and expansion of student programs and services.”

The report also states, “The Chancellor’s Office, in concurrence with the universities, feels that the recommended fees and room and board rates represent the lowest responsible levels for the next academic year.”

NIU’s student fees are expected to increase by $21.08 next year and room and board rates are expected to increase by $160. “The requested $160 increase in room and board rates is justified by declining occupancy rates and the increasing cost of food service and related commodities,” the report states.

The Regents also will review a report on graduation rates and the amount of time taken by students to complete a degree.

The Regents analyze time-to-degree statistics every year to update information. The analysis follows the progress of a freshman class and examines the time taken by the majority of the class to graduate. This year’s report follows the progress of the 1987 freshman class.

The Regents also are expected to approve a refinancing of NIU’s Hoffman Estates Education Center. Bonds to finance the construction of the center were issued after Regent approval on Aug. 15, 1992.

According to the Chancellor’s Report, the interest that would have to be paid by the university on those bonds ranged from 5.2 to 7 percent.

Because interest rates have lowered in recent months, refinancing of the bonds to have them pay lower interest could save the university $200,000 or more, the report states.

The Regents also will discuss current legislative action relating to the Regency universities. The progress of legislation to replace the Regents with individual governing boards likely will be discussed, as well as budgetary legislation for the next academic year.

The Academic and Student Affairs Committee and the Finance and Facilities Committee will meet today, and the full board will meet Thursday morning.