Ball State Board of Trustees approves tuition increase, names Park Hall multipurpose room after Alan Hargrave

<p>The Ball State Board of Trustees met in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center June 18, 2021. This was the first meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began where trustees were allowed to meet without masks if they have been fully vaccinated. <strong>Grace McCormick, DN</strong></p>

The Ball State Board of Trustees met in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center June 18, 2021. This was the first meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began where trustees were allowed to meet without masks if they have been fully vaccinated. Grace McCormick, DN

The Ball State Board of Trustees approved an increase in tuition rates, among other financial approvals, at its meeting June 18.

Tuition and mandatory fees will increase at 1.45 percent for each of the next two academic years, according to a university press release sent out after the meeting. 

Alan Finn, vice president for business affairs, said while tuition costs are increasing again, it will be the lowest year-to-year increase in total student expenses the university has seen in 20 years.

“I think the most important thing for all of us is keeping this great education affordable for our students,” Finn said. “Once again, we are recommending a tuition increase at the [Indiana Commission for Higher Education] recommended level.”

Finn also recommended keeping the costs for room and board, dining and parking the same, which the board approved. 

He said Ball State’s room and board costs are already some of the highest of public institutions in the state, and keeping these costs at their current level will make Ball State more affordable for students and help them as they come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Also at the meeting, the board approved a resolution to name the Park Residence Hall multipurpose room after Alan Hargrave, associate vice president for student affairs and director of housing and residence life.

Vice President for Student Affairs Ro-Anne Royer Engle (left) reads a resolution to the Board of Trustees in the L.A. Pittenger Student Center June 18, 2021. Royer Engle proposed the Park Residence Hall multipurpose room be named after Alan Hargrave, associate vice president for student affairs and director of housing and residence life (right), which the Board of Trustees approved. Grace McCormick, DN

Hargrave has worked at Ball State since 1986, and Ro-Anne Royer Engle, vice president of student affairs, highlighted the many contributions he has made to the university during his tenure, including overseeing the construction of four residence halls and the renovation of seven residence halls. 

“It has been one of my life’s great joys to serve Ball State,” Hargrave said.

Royer Engle said she had kept the resolution a surprise, and Hargrave was unaware he would have the multipurpose room named after him.

“Thank you very much,” Hargrave said. “I’m overwhelmed.”

Royer Engle said Hargrave will be retiring with emeritus status, meaning he will keep his official academic title in retirement, on June 30.

The board also approved a 1.5 percent increase to the faculty salary pool, as well as four additional days off for Ball State faculty and staff between Christmas and New Year’s Day in 2021.

President Geoffrey Mearns said he learned the value of spending time with family and friends during the pandemic and wanted to reward faculty and staff for their resilience and hard work.

“My confidence is grounded in observing how we actually overcame [the COVID-19 pandemic], and that it was because of the unwavering commitment and dedication of our faculty and staff,” Mearns said.

The board concluded the meeting by honoring Rebeca Mena, the student member on the Board of Trustees, as this was Mena’s final meeting.

Mena was sent off with an honorary chair, as well as words of praise and encouragement from the other board members.

“You are always willing to share your insight that we needed as a student, and to how this is affecting your fellow students, and you also brought a perspective of someone of color,” said Renae Conley, chair of the Board of Trustees.

The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Oct. 1.

Contact Clayton McMahan with comments at cdmcmahan@bsu.edu or on Twitter @ClaytonMcMahan_.

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