Trustees approve increase in room and board rates

Jackie Valley

The 4.2 increase is the result of rise in energy costs

The Board of Trustees approved a 4.2 percent increase for room and board rates next year at its meeting yesterday in Columbus, citing the rising energy costs as the main factor.

“Costs are going up. Gasoline is going up,” President Lester Lefton said. “It’s being passed on to us as consumers at Kent State.”

The 4.2 percent increase results from the combined 3.9 increase for a standard double room and a 4.7 percent increase for the basic board rate. Amount increases for on-campus residence halls range from $80 to $170 depending on the type of room and building.

Of the Ohio public universities that have reported their room and board increases for next year, Kent State’s 4.2 percent increase falls on the lower end. Miami University and Bowling Green announced 4.6 percent and 5 percent room and board increases respectively.

The board also approved a two-stage increase for parking permits, totaling 21 percent to be rolled out during the next two academic years.

Despite the increase, Lefton said Kent State’s parking fees will remain one of the lowest in Ohio.

“The strategy is to add parking slowly and increase the fees,” he said. “As much as we want to increase the parking, it will be done as a fee.

“There’s no way around it.”

Kent State charged between $50 and $165 for parking permits this year compared to the University of Akron’s $220 fee and Ohio University’s fees ranging from $110 to $330.

With the approved increase, Kent State’s parking permits will cost between $55 and $180 next year and between $55 and $200 for the 2009-2010 academic year.

The Board of Trustees also approved a resolution for Summit Street improvements, granting the university the ability to address traffic problems on the road deemed the third-most congested roadway in its district by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study.

The resolution allows Kent State to pay $1.1 million for its half of the local share between the university and the city of Kent to fund the project.

Lefton said the Summit Street improvements will likely occur three years from now, but the goal is to ensure the safety of students.

“I think they’re going to make the street safer by only making turns in one direction,” he said. “Many of our students have been in accidents in the area.”

In other business, the Board of Trustees approved:

n the creation of two recreational fields and green space in place of the eight small group residence halls that will be demolished at an estimated cost of $2 million for the total project.

n the establishment of a managerial marketing major within the bachelor of business administration program for full-time students.

After the meeting, Lefton said university officials and members of the Board of Trustees visited the Statehouse to “spread the word about Kent State.”

Contact administration reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].