News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

December 13, 2013

ISU's Dede Plaza to get makeover

Trustees want President’s contract extended, approve health costs

TERRE HAUTE — Indiana State University trustees are pleased with the performance of university president Dan Bradley — so pleased, they want to talk with him about a contract extension.

During Friday’s trustees’ meeting, board president Randy Minas said trustees want to explore the possibility of extending Bradley’s contract beyond June 30, 2016, when it will expire.

“We will put in place a process to consult with various university constituents, including faculty, staff and students,” Minas said. “We’ve asked legal counsel Melony Sacopulos to coordinate this process with trustees Ed Pease and Dave Campbell.”

In 2011, trustees approved a new, five-year contract that extended through June 30, 2016.

After the trustees meeting, Minas explained the board has initiated the talks. “He [Bradley] has done a fantastic job. The board is very supportive and happy with where we find ourselves today. … We’re trying hard to make sure he stays longer.”

Bradley said he would be “very happy” to talk about a contract extension. He became ISU’s 11th president on July 31, 2008.

In other matters, ISU’s iconic fountain is in store for a facelift.

The university’s board of trustees Friday approved plans to renovate Dede Plaza, which was constructed in 1989. The project will include replacement of pavers and concrete sidewalks, construction of a new seat wall around the fountain, additional planting beds and upgrades to an existing seating terrace, which has become a popular place for students to study and socialize during warm weather.

Cost of the project is estimated at $1.5 million, with funding to come from private gifts and interest income. Work is scheduled to begin following spring commencement in May and be completed in time for the start of the fall semester in August.

In other action, board members approved an overall 5 percent increase in employee health insurance rates for 2014, including a 1.6 percent shift in employees’ share of expenses in the third year of a five-year plan to increase the employee share to 33 percent of total costs.

Employees can pay less for health coverage by participating in a wellness program and either not smoking or quitting smoking.

Wellness participation provides a $30 per month rate decrease incentive for 2014. There is also a $50 monthly surcharge added to the rate for employees who wish to use tobacco products.

Employees can avoid the $50 monthly tobacco surcharge by enrolling in a tobacco cessation program.

Union Health Systems has provided health screening services for employees. There have been 14 sessions in recent months and participation is voluntary, said Diann McKee, ISU vice president for business affairs.

To qualify for the $30 per month rate decrease, employees must complete a health risk assessment questionnaire and participate in a health screening.

Ninety percent of employees who participate in ISU’s health plan have completed the questionnaire and health screenings, McKee said. Also, 92 percent of insured employees have completed a non-tobacco use affidavit or are enrolled in a tobacco cessation program, she said.

The wellness program was offered to all benefits-eligible employees, regardless of whether they were enrolled in the health plan.

In other action, Indiana State trustees:

• Approved increases in graduate and international undergraduate admissions application fees to support technology upgrades and increased compliance requirements. The domestic undergraduate application fee remains unchanged at $25.

The new admissions application fees are $45 for graduate, domestic; $65 for undergraduate, international; and $65 for graduate, international.

• Trustees approved some changes affecting applicants for fall 2014 housing.

All applicants (first time and returning) for residence hall or university apartment housing must pay a non-refundable $20 application fee and a required $150 initial payment. That $150 initial payment becomes non-refundable as of July 1 preceding the academic term for which the housing application was submitted.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or sue.loughlin@tribstar.com.

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