Board of Trustees raises room and board, OKs PNC as official campus bank

Christina Godfrey

Kent State’s Board of Trustees approved raising room and board rates as well as bringing PNC Bank and Barnes and Noble Booksellers to the university campuses.

The board authorized increasing room and board by almost 4 percent, which would be a $124 increase for a double occupancy room in Eastway. The raise would also increase meal plan rates by 1.84 percent or $35 for a basic meal plan, resulting in an overall increase of 3.17 percent for room and board revenue.          

The money Residence Services receives from the room and board hike can only be used for reinvestment through maintenance, renovations and other building changes to residence halls, said Stephen Colecchi, the board’s vice chair.

In the last five years, Kent State has raised room and board rates at least twice, with its current cost totaling $9,908 for a double occupancy room in Eastway and a basic meal plan, according to Kent State’s website.

The Board of Trustees also authorized the following changes:

  • The relocation of Kent State’s Florence campuses to be moved from Palazzo dei Cerchi and Palazzo Bartolini Baldelli to Palazzo Vettori, a commercial building that would condense Kent State’s Florence campus from three buildings to one for a bigger space, cheaper lease and better location.
  • Establishment of aerospace engineering major, general business major and master’s of geographic information science degree.
  • Establishment of advanced pedagogy in physical education and sports major within the master of education degree in collaboration with the University of Wollongong in Australia.

Gregg Floyd, senior vice president for finance and administration, said it is important to restore the funds the university has used in recent years to maintain and renovate the residence halls on campus.

“This is important to reinvest in the reserves we’ve used on maintenance (of residence halls) throughout the last few years… but we need to replenish the resources we’ve been spending lately,” Floyd said.

Director of University Media Relations Emily Vincent said that because residence halls are self-sustaining entities, room and board rate increases are important to cover costs, especially in meeting the expectations students hold for renovated residence halls.

The board also approved an 80 percent tuition waiver for out-of-state residents attending regional campuses from certain counties in Pennsylvania and West Virginia in close proximity to the Ohio border. The waiver will apply to the current out-of-state tuitionthrough the 2017 spring semester to keep Kent State competitive in those regions.

Board of Trustees approve increases to room and board costs from on Vimeo.

Out-of-state students will pay an additional $10 fee per credit hour if they take online or English as a Second Language classes.

The university will also enter into a new contract with PNC Bank as the official bank for Kent State starting this July.

After the Department of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs issued a request for a new banking service provider, PNC Bank delivered a proposal with the best value, Floyd said.

The initial 12-year contract would cost the university $1.29 million in bank fees, while PNC Bank would owe the university a total of $6.28 million in guaranteed royalties to be the official bank on campus.

The university’s finance and administration officealso issued a request for a new retailer to operate and manage the university bookstore.

Barnes and Noble College suited the needs of the university and provided the best value at about $12 million for a six-year contract and $1.8 million each year the contract is renewed. Barnes and Noble would replace current vendor Follett Higher Education Group and, its online affiliate. 

Contact Christina Godfrey at [email protected].