Council of Trustees meeting summary 3/22/24

Highlights of the council’s quarterly business action

Published by Hayden Schultz, Date: April 1, 2024
Trustee Robert S. Taylor discusses policy changes in Friday’s Council of Trustees quarterly business meeting. Taylor was one of two members who voted against a portion of student fee increases. He acknowledged changing economic situations but cited concern in SRU and PASSHE’s vision for affordable education, where he said they continue to “nickel and dime” students.

This is a summary of the SRU Council of Trustees meeting; this is not a representation of the meeting in its entirety.

SRU’s Council of Trustees discussed university plans and approved actions in the Russell Wright Alumni House on March 21 and 22.

Highlights included the approval of increased student fees, turfing of the McFarland Field, a reported increase in enrollment of undergraduates at SRU and an initiative to reach former SRU students who may qualify for a degree based on new program requirements.

Student fees increase

The Council of Trustees approved a student fee increase funding auxiliary operations such as housing, dining, recreation and student center costs.

The recreational and student center fee increases were approved in a 9 to 2 vote.

The dining fee passed unanimously and the housing fee increase passed in a 10 to 1 vote.

SGA previously approved a motion to support the fees prior to the council’s consideration.

Fees were explained in a Rocket report detailing the Feb. 19 SGA meeting.

McFarland intramural field turfing

The council discussed the turfing of McFarland Field, often used for intramural sports.

According to the council, SGA is expected to allocate between $1 million and $2 million in startup costs, and Campus Recreation will cover ongoing maintenance.

The council stated this would allow for a longer window of use throughout the year and rental opportunities.

SRU enrollment

Enrollment at the university continued its positive enrollment form, building off of data from earlier this year during SRU’s Spring Town Hall.

Spring enrollment was reportedly up by 1.1% compared to 2023, but still down from pre-pandemic numbers. Spring 2024 saw 7,790 undergraduate and graduate students versus Spring 2020’s 8,252.

Adversely, graduate applications were down to 404 in the fall 2024 semester from 485 in the fall 2023 semester.

Regarding the decline in graduate applications, the council stated in a presentation slide that “the remaining declines are signal digits and are representative in across (sic) the colleges.”

Degree audit reach out

SRU plans to reach out to former students who previously did not qualify for a degree under old programs to drive admissions.

Under changes to degree programs, former students may now qualify for or be within a few credits of a degree at the university.

Other happenings

Details regarding additional motions, including the 2024-2025 fiscal budget, are available via SRU’s official press release linked here.

The council convenes next on June 13-14.


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