Indiana State University Newsroom

Room and board, employee insurance rates set; Trustees endorse new major

December 12, 2014


Indiana State University students selecting standard housing and meal plans will see an increase of less than 3 percent in the cost of room and board for next school year.

University trustees approved a new fee structure on Friday. That's earlier than in previous years in order to give students more time to plan their budget and choose from expanded housing options.

Rates for a standard residence hall room and meal plan will rise by 2.9 percent to just under $9,000 per year. Students can choose to pay more for rooms with additional amenities. Juniors, senior and graduate student may apply for apartment suites in a new housing/retail complex at 500 Wabash Ave. scheduled to open in August.

Trustees also approved changes in employee health care coverage that reflect a 6.3 percent increase in monthly premiums and higher co-pays, made necessary by a number of factors, including double-digit increases in claims costs. Rates will continue to be lower for employees who participate in wellness screenings and don't smoke and the university will also continue to offer lower subsidized rates for employees earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

In an effort to strengthen Indiana State's leadership in an emerging field, trustees approved a new bachelor's degree in unmanned systems. An unmanned systems minor has been in place for the past three years. Sixty students have already graduated with the minor and nearly 100 more students from nearly a dozen programs are in the pipeline.

Demand in the field is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years and Jack Maynard, Indiana State's provost and vice president for academic affairs, says the new major will help the university and the state of Indiana secure their positions as a leader in the new technology.

"Just as computer systems are used in every aspect of human life today, unmanned systems will eventually be embedded in every field and industry," Maynard said. "This program is designed to accommodate the unique demands for entry and advancement within the aerial, land and water/robotics workforce of the future."

The new degree must also be approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.

In other action, Indiana State University trustees:

• Approved new minors in outdoor recreation leadership and non-profit leadership as well as a non-licensure minor in early intervention in the elementary, early and special education program

• Approved merging the department of elementary, early and special education with the department of curriculum, instruction and media technology to form the department of teaching and learning

• Approved formation of a department of multidisciplinary studies and the elimination of the interdisciplinary studies unit and department of philosophy

• Acknowledged receipt of the 2013-14 report from the President's Council on Diversity and 2013-14 audited financial statements

• Approved changes in board bylaws to refer to the trustees' president as "chairperson" to avoid the confusion of having both a board president and the university president and to create a standing finance committee

• Approved changes in the University Handbook concerning faculty roles and responsibilities, academic departments and department chairpersons• Approved a series of minor revisions to Staff Council bylaws

• Published proposed handbook language spelling out actions that would allow the university president and/or provost to immediately re-assign an employee or faculty member as well as a new policy on amorous and familial relationships that would be more inclusive than an existing nepotism policy.

Photo: - Indiana State University students may apply for apartment suites in a new housing/retail complex in downtown Terre Haute that is scheduled to open in time for the 2014-15 academic year. (architect's rendering)

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or