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Board of Regents meeting includes discussion on a block tuition pricing model and recommendations for the 3D Arts Complex renovations

The June 10 meeting welcomed EMU professors, athletes, coaches, and even competitors in joining the meeting as well as big announcements including tuition prices, financial aid, and campus renovations for students.

The Board of Regents for Eastern Michigan University met for their regularly scheduled board meeting on June 10, 2021.

Topics of discussion during the regular board meeting included block tuition pricing model, the passing of the recommendation of the renovations to create a 3D Arts Complex, an increase in financial aid for the 2021-2022 school year for students by $3.5 million, and the goal in boosting four year graduations for students.

Tuition changes were also discussed during the meeting. Section 19 calls for a flat tuition rate recommendation that seeks to boost more four year graduations for EMU students. The block tuition pricing model was passed by the board of regents. “We do have a slight tuition increase, the total calculation comes out to 3.3%,“ said EMU’s President Dr. James Smith.

The model states tuition price changes for undergraduate students taking between 12 and 16 credit hours per fall and winter semesters. For undergraduate students taking below 12 credit hours or above 16 credit hours, a $580 credit hour charge will be applied to those students.

Also discussed during the meeting includes an announcement regarding financial aid increasing to $54.8 million for EMU students. The goal is to help students and their families while pursuing their education. “We’re now at the total portfolio of $54.8 million that goes to financial aid. That covers everything as far as Education First Opportunity scholarship, we match the family contribution of Pell [grant] all the way to full tuition, it covers scholarships for things such as forensics, debate, athletics, and the Emerald scholarships. All of those are contained within that $54.8 million which is a $3.5 million increase,“ Smith said.

The board of regents supports this increase and hopes it will be a help to students and their families especially during the pandemic. “This increase emerges because of the pandemic and we’re proud of the work we’ve been able to do...” said Board of Regents Chair Eunice Jeffries. “For us to be able to talk about where we’re making our investments in our actual students, is really what we want to see happen."

Section 22 of the meeting was the decision on the recommendation for renovation for an on-campus 3D Arts Complex through donations from the Windgate Foundation and the EMU Foundation for 3D art students. The board of regents approved the capital project and renovation is expected to now begin on the northwest side of EMU’s campus. “We’re looking at completion in 2023,” Jeffries said.

The renovations will provide more space to work and display artwork for 3D art students at EMU. “... I’m hoping from the view of the architectural renderings that the front of the building will have some significant display space,” explained Smith. “We’ll be adding that [building] as a campus tour spot so people can walk and see the 3D artwork that we’re doing. This is going to be bigger space, better equipment, more opportunities and the opportunity to show your work to the greater community.”

The architectural rendering of the proposed 3D Arts Complex located in the Northwest side of EMU's Campus for 3D media art students (Photo courtesy of Eastern Michigan University).

New Business

Tabs B through D also included EMU students to be a part of the meeting and recognized for their accomplishments. First, Tab B athletes from the Men’s Track & Field joined the zoom and received recognition from Resolution: Men's Track MAC Champions for winning the 2021 Mid-American Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships. 

Second, Tab C discussed the resolution for recognition of the EMU Cheer Team for winning the National Cheerleaders Association Intermediate Small Coed Division IA Championship. Alongside the champions was their Head Coach, Mary Spilski. 

Vice President and Director of Athletics at EMU, Scott Wetherbee joined both of these resolutions congratulating and acknowledging EMU’s 2021 Champion athletes.

Lastly, Tab D recognized Osade Imalele for her National Champion title of Persuasive Speaking at the 2021 National Forensics Association Tournament. She represented the EMU Forensics Team during the meeting and her own accomplishment of becoming National Champion.

Two more resolutions were passed regarding the 2020 and 2021 Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award Recipient. The two recipients who joined the meeting and were recognized were Dr. Kate Mehuron (2020) and Dr. Fraya Wagner-Marsh (2021). Background on each award winner are discussed in the resolutions during Tab G and Tab H.

During the Zoom broadcast, Jeffries made commentary towards being hopeful for an audience being in attendance at their next meeting in the fall 2021 semester. Updates and more information can be found on the Board of Regents website. The next meeting will be October 14, 2021.