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Regents Approve Fees,
Other Business

SAN MARCOS - New fees and rates in housing, for meal plans, the general use fee, and for a new Saturday MBA program, as well as two construction and renovation projects were approved Friday by Sam Houston State University's governing board.

The Texas State University System Board of Regents also approved the promotion of Patricia K. Mabry to director of financial aid, replacing Jesse Davis, who retired at the end of December.

Most room rates will increase about $75 per semester, or 8.8 percent. The rate for White Hall, which was $845 prior to the renovation now underway, will increase to $1,500 per semester. The renovation is expected to be completed by July.

The new White Hall two person suite arrangement reduces the facility's overall occupancy and brings it more in line with apartment-type off-campus housing in amenities and cost.

Bobby K. Marks, Sam Houston State University president, told the regents that increases were necessary to offset increased costs of operations, including employee salaries, benefits and insurance, cost of living increases, increased costs of utilities and post office service, increased renovations and repairs and installation of high-speed computer cable in housing facilities.

Under the newly adopted meal plan, there are three options and all will be priced the same--$884 per semester. The 20 meal plan computes to $2.76 per meal for students who want to eat every meal offered in university cafeterias, and will increase 3.3 percent above this year's cost.

Beginning in the fall of 2000, students can also choose the 15 meal per week plan, which includes a $55 bonus card which can be used in the food court in the Lowman Student Center, or a 160 meal per semester plan.

The 160 meal plan would allow purchase of a meal for a friend or family member who might be visiting the campus.

Rick Lester, director of dining services for ARAMARK, which provides SHSU food service by contract, said he feels that students and their parents will like the options.

"I have watched too many parents and students struggle over the decision of which plan to select," said Lester. "Their focus has been on a relatively small amount of money rather than their needs."

Tuition-general use fees, now at $21 per semester credit hour, were previously scheduled to increase to $24 per semester credit hour in fall 2000. Under the schedule approved Friday, tuition-general use fees will increase to $27 in fall 2001, $30 in fall 2002, $33 in fall 2003, $36 in fall 2004, and $39 in fall 2005.

Additional funds generated will be used primarily to raise the overall level of faculty salaries and for staff merit increases.

A fee of $100 per semester credit hour was also approved for 31 courses to be offered by the College of Business Administration in a Saturday Master of Business Administration program scheduled to begin in fall 2000.

The board also authorized the construction of a metal building for the Phase II Agricultural Mechanization Center, which will provide 4,325 square feet of new space for tractor/equipment repair instruction, hydraulics/electronics/power train instruction, tool storage, and a steam cleaning room. Construction is expected to be completed by early summer, at a cost of $299,900.

The board authorized the university to employ Dabhi Engineering Associates, Inc. of Houston to design safety improvements for Johnson Coliseum, including emergency lighting for a safe evacuation of people from the building if necessary, and installation of a back-up generator. Additional safety items will include automatic smoke and heat detectors and upgraded alarm system, all at a cost of $211,000.

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SHSU Media Contact:Frank Krystyniak
Feb. 4, 2000
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