Kent State Increases Need-Based Aid, Maintains Same Tuition for Continuing Students
Kent State University is committed to making a college education affordable for all students and their families. Over the last two years, Kent State has dedicated an additional $2 million for need-based aid. For the 2020-2021 academic year, no increases will be implemented for tuition for continuing students or graduate students or to the non-resident surcharge for out-of-state students. Tuition for all continuing students will remain the same.
At its June meeting, the Kent State Board of Trustees approved tuition, room and board rates under the Tuition Guarantee Model for new full-time undergraduates attending Kent State campuses beginning fall 2020. Tuition for the new freshman cohort at the Kent Campus will be $5,716 per semester (an increase of $225). Tuition, room and meal plan costs will be frozen for this cohort for four years. Approximately $600,000 of the revenue associated with this increase will be dedicated to additional need-based aid to enhance university resources in support of affordability and accessibility.
“This increase in need-based aid comes at a critical time when many students and families have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kent State President Todd Diacon. “These scholarships and grants help provide access and affordability to our students so they can pursue their dreams of earning a Kent State degree.”
The Tuition Guarantee Model provides students and their families with a predictable and stable model for planning for the cost of a college degree.
Under the Tuition Guarantee Model, tuition for new freshman cohort students attending Regional Campuses will be $3,234 per semester for lower-division courses (an increase of $127 per semester) and $3,790 per semester for upper-division courses (an increase of $149 per semester).
Detailed information about tuition rates for all students will be posted on the Kent State website at www.kent.edu/tuition.
Board Approves Expenditure Authorization for Fiscal Year 2021
To support the continuity of university operations for Fiscal Year 2021, the Board approved a resolution authorizing university expenditures beginning July 1, 2020, at 80% of the expenditure levels established by the Board for Fiscal Year 2020. This is in line with President Diacon’s announcement on April 27, 2020, to the Kent State community that the university is implementing a series of cuts to reduce its budget by 20% for Fiscal Year 2021, an effort made necessary by an expected 20% reduction in State Share of Instruction ($32 million), as well as projected declines in enrollment and other revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this action, the expenditure authorization of total funds applied for Fiscal Year 2021 will be $527,635,362.
The university plans to recommend a balanced operating budget for Fiscal Year 2021 for the Board’s consideration at its September meeting when additional information regarding student enrollment, university operations into the fall and changes to state support is available.
Board Approves Voluntary Transitional Opportunity for Full-Time Faculty Members
Kent State is implementing a variety of measures to counter the expected budgetary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of those measures was a Voluntary Separation Incentive Program for faculty and staff members that was approved by the Board at its special meeting on May 6, 2020. The Board today approved a post-retirement program for full-time faculty members who voluntarily retire in accordance with the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program. Eligible faculty members can elect this option through June 24, 2020.
The Voluntary Transitional Opportunity includes three years of tiered part-time employment opportunities based on the needs of the academic unit and availability; salary at the rate of 1/36 per credit hour based on the faculty member’s salary at retirement; and eligibility for all terms and conditions available to the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program participants.
The program establishes a cadre of experienced faculty members who could provide part-time instruction and/or administrative duties across academic units. By implementing this opportunity, the university’s overall personnel costs will likely be reduced and academic quality will continue.
Among other Board actions:
- The Board approved the revision in name of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication within the College of Communication and Information to the School of Media and Journalism, effective fall 2020. The school’s new name reflects the more current terminology used in the school’s disciplines.
- The Board approved the revision in name of the Evaluation and Measurement major in the College of Education, Health and Human Services to the Research, Measurement and Statistics major within the Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, effective fall 2021. The major’s new name more accurately reflects the curriculum, student demand and national trends in the field.
- The Board approved the vendor selection for the replacement of the combustion turbine (Gas Turbine #2) in the Kent State Power Plant on Summit Street. The university will enter a contract with Solar Turbines Inc., the original equipment manufacturer and the only company that can provide the combined level of maintenance, repair and service for the combustion turbines. The estimated cost for this combustion turbine is a single expenditure of approximately $1.25 million, which is less than the retail price. It will be funded by revenues from the economic load demand response program.
- The Board approved the vendor selection for electrical services for the Kent Campus ancillary accounts and Regional Campuses accounts. During a reverse auction pricing event held June 2, 2020, Dynegy Energy Services East LLC offered the best overall value. The university will enter into a 22-month contract with the company for the purchase of electricity, not to exceed $850,000 annually or a total spend of $1.56 million over the period.
- The Board approved the vendor selection for an air traffic control simulator system to replace the current outdated system. This system is used by more than 400 students in the Aeronautics Program, and it will be utilized for grants and contracts completed within the College of Aeronautics and Engineering. The college has selected UFA Inc. as the vendor that offered the best overall value. The proposed purchase agreement will be for an initial term of three years at $770,000 with a university option to renew the software licensing and updates for up to seven years at $60,000 each year. The total cost of the agreement will be funded by the College of Aeronautics and Engineering.
- The Board elected the following officers for 2020-2021: Shawn M. Riley, chair; Virginia Addicott, vice chair; and Robin Kilbride, secretary.
- The Board approved a resolution of appreciation to Barbara Broome, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, who will retire as dean and Henderson Memorial Endowed Chair of the College of Nursing on June 30, 2020. Broome earned both her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and her Master of Science in Nursing from Kent State. She returned to her alma mater in March 2014 to become dean of Kent State’s College of Nursing. Broome has led the college at a dynamic time in its history as it has extended its reach and impact as one of the largest and most highly respected colleges of nursing in the state and nation. The Board expressed its deep gratitude to Broome for her contributions to the education of students and the advancement of Kent State.
- In a routine action required by the Kent State Constitution, the Board formally approved the annual election of President Todd A. Diacon, effective July 1, 2020.
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