By Denise Dick
Youngstown State University trustees approved a tuition increase, implemented a transportation fee, passed the 2014 budget and reversed course on most of the changes in hiring policies.
The actions came Wednesday at the trustees’ regular meeting.
Last April, the board enacted changes requiring trustee approval for university hiring. Previously, board ratification was required, but that often occurred after the individuals who were hired began working.
Later, trustees changed the policies again so that faculty and coach appointments didn’t have to be approved before the individuals began working. Then the Rich Center for Autism said the policy created a hardship for that facility, too, and the board considered an exemption.
After a few more meetings and a letter this week from four former trustees cautioning against the changes, trustees returned all of the policies to their former form except for the one dealing with upper-level administrators who have multiyear contracts. That includes the provost, vice presidents, university general counsel, deans, associate vice presidents of information technology; budget, planning and analysis/treasurer and enrollment management; several executive directors and the director of equal opportunity and policy compliance.
The appointments must be approved by trustees before those hired may begin work. Previously, trustees were consulted in the decisions, but their vote wasn’t required before they began working.
All other new hires may start their new jobs before ratification of the board.
Trustees also approved a $177.2 million operating budget for fiscal year 2014, which begins July 1. It’s $1.5 million less than the fiscal year 2013 operating budget.
“We have carefully crafted a budget that allows us to invest in world-class programs that help ensure the continued success of our students while also streamlining and developing even greater efficiencies in our operations,” Dr. Sudershan Garg, trustees chairman, said in a news release.
The board also approved a 2.43 percent tuition increase for resident undergraduate students, boosting the per-semester charge from $3,856 to $3,959. For nonresident undergraduates who live in the region, it increased 2.74 percent, and 1.69 percent for nonregional undergraduates.
The increase for resident graduate students is 3 percent. For nonresident graduate students who live in the region, the increase will be 3.23 percent while nonregional graduate students will pay nearly 32 percent more.
The undergraduate tuition increases still keeps YSU’s tuition below the statewide average of $10,058 annually for comprehensive public universities.
Trustee Harry Meshel cast the only vote against the tuition increase.
Beginning this fall, students also will pay a $115-per-semester transportation fee, applicable for fall and spring semesters. It will be mandatory for students enrolled for at least six credits. It’s optional for those with five or fewer credits. The fee will be $58 for summer semester.
The fee is less than the $120-per-semester parking permit fee students now pay to park on campus.
The money from the fee will be earmarked for replacing the M2 parking deck on Lincoln Avenue.
Trustees also named the student government suite in Kilcawley Center the Anderson Student Government Suite in recognition of President Cynthia E. Anderson, who retires June 30. She’s been president for three years and with YSU since 1979.
The panel also passed a resolution to name the Katherine Glinatsis Kartalis Team Room in Williamson Hall. Kartalis is a 1959 business education graduate. She and her husband, Andrew, committed a $500,000 gift — $50,000 to name the team room and $450,000 to establish an endowed scholarship through the YSU Foundation.
Trustees passed another resolution to name the Cliffe College of Creative Arts and Communication. E. Wayne Cliffe Jr., a former city resident, was a U.S. Army medic during World War II, and he signed an irrevocable gift agreement providing $1.375 million to YSU upon his death. The Cliffe family previously established a fund to support a visiting artist series program at YSU.