News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

May 2, 2014

Board OKs funds for Sycamore Towers

Code of conduct revised to address Indiana Lifeline Law, sexual assault

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State University continues to move forward with a high-priority upgrade of student housing.

The ISU board of trustees on Friday authorized financing for the first phase of a major renovation of the Sycamore Towers complex, scheduled to begin later this month.

Sycamore Towers consists of four, 12-story buildings near the southwest corner of campus.

The $20.7 million renovation of Mills Hall will be financed by $3.5 million in housing and dining reserve funds and the sale of up to $17.2 million in bonds. The project will be completed by August 2015.

Trustees also authorized the development of plans for the second phase of the five-year Sycamore Towers project. The second phase, starting in 2015, includes renovation of Blumberg Hall at a cost of $22.5 million and also would be financed through reserve funds and bonding.

Board members approved a 2014-15 operating budget of $158.5 million. It reflects a 4.1 percent increase over this year, primarily a result of a 1.95 percent student fee increase and expected continued enrollment growth.

The budget reallocates $1.1 million to help fund salary increases and other priorities. A 2.5 percent increase is projected for salaries, plus amounts set aside for faculty and staff target-salary programs. Criteria for pay raises will be determined this fall, pending final enrollment figures and a review of budget conditions at that time.

However, the budget sets a minimum salary of $10 per hour, effective July 1, for all full-time, benefits-eligible positions, compared with the current minimum of $9.34 per hour. The new spending plan includes a 5 percent increase in health insurance costs.

Trustees also:

• Approved President Dan Bradley's recommendation to name the track-and-field portion of a planned riverfront athletics complex “Gibson Track and Field,” in recognition of the philanthropic support of the Max and Jacquie Gibson family of Terre Haute.

• Adopted a revised student conduct code, a process that has taken 1 1⁄2 years, said Carmen Tillery, ISU vice president for student affairs. She described it as a “major overhaul in terms of language and updates,” the first major revision in about 15 years. The code of student conduct is now more user-friendly for students and provides greater clarity in language and procedures.

Changes include amnesty for reporting alcohol-related health emergencies under the Indiana Lifeline Law. Also affected is language related to sexual assault, an area receiving heightened attention from the Obama administration.

The revised code includes an expanded definition of sexual violence and provides links to resources available, including a sexual violence, prevention and response website.

• Set room-and-board rates for Reeve Hall, a new student housing facility set to open this fall that will include premium-plus rooms with deluxe amenities and private bathrooms.

• Approved new Master of Science and doctorate degrees in athletic training and a new minor in counseling.

• Authorized the university treasurer to seek state approval for a $2.7-million roof replacement of the Science Building.

• Approved, pending Faculty Senate action, University Handbook changes for course outlines and syllabi to emphasize timely feedback to students and a list of required texts and course materials. It must include an explanation of how course grades will be determined.

• Elected new officers for 2014-15 with Robert Baesler of Terre Haute as president, David Campbell of Indianapolis as vice president, Tanya Bell of Brownsburg as secretary and Norm Lowery of Terre Haute as assistant secretary.

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