The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control set room and board rates for the 2018-19 academic year during the Board’s regular meeting Friday, Dec. 16. The rates are part of SVSU’s nearly $31 million auxiliary operations budget, which covers self-sustaining operations such as housing, dining, and conferencing.
Room and board rates will increase by an average of 3.7 percent for the 2019 fiscal year, including planned technology improvements. Students living in the First Year Suites will pay $8,874 for their housing and meal plan for the upcoming 2017-18 academic year; that will rise to $9,096 in 2018-19. Students residing in M.J. Brandimore House or a Living Center residence hall will pay $9,378 for their housing and meal plan for the upcoming academic year; that will increase to $9,986 for the 2018-19 academic year.
SVSU’s student housing is rated as No. 1 in Michigan and No. 19 in the nation out of 1,398 U.S. colleges and universities evaluated by the website Niche. The rankings were calculated using a weighted formula where 70 percent of a school’s score came from students’ satisfaction with their housing. (https://colleges.niche.com/rankings/best-college-dorms/)
The Board also approved a new accelerated certification program in the College of Education. The program was developed in response to a request SVSU received from the Michigan Department of Education to provide an expedited path for displaced workers and others seeking to start a new career as an educator. There is a teacher shortage across the United States and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts nearly 700,000 new jobs in the education field through 2024.
Under SVSU’s new program, students who have completed a bachelor’s degree previously will be able to complete their teacher certification in one year. The program features a classroom residency, meaning these students will be teaching in K-12 classrooms as they complete their course work.
The Board granted emeritus status to Jo Brownlie and Eric Gilbertson. Brownlie has worked at SVSU since 1985, and for the past 15 years, she has served as director of SVSU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which has grown from a few hundred members in its inaugural year (2001) to nearly 2,000 members in the current year. Gilbertson served as SVSU’s president from 1989 to 2014, and currently serves as an executive-in-residence. During his presidency, he oversaw enrollment growth and the addition of numerous campus buildings, while also implementing a number of new programs to serve students.
In other action, the Board:
• Passed a resolution congratulating the SVSU Student Association for their leadership in this year's “Battle of the Valleys” fundraising competition. In one week, SVSU raised more than $26,000 for Hidden Harvest, a non-profit organizations the helps the hungry in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
• Passed a resolution to congratulate the 2016 SVSU men's soccer team which qualified for the NCAA Division II national tournament for the fifth time in six years.
• Passed a resolution to congratulate the 2016 SVSU men’s cross country team, which ran to 10th place finish at the 2016 NCAA Division II National Championships.
• Passed a resolution to congratulate the 2016 SVSU women's volleyball team which qualified for the NCAA Division II national tournament for the second consecutive year.
• Passed a resolution to grant undergraduate and graduate degrees, as 685 students are expected to complete degree requirements at the end of the fall semester.
• Approved the confirmation of board members for previously authorized charter schools.
• Appointed Kate Nigro to the board of directors for the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum.
• Approved sabbatical proposals for 11 faculty: Sherrin Frances, English; Jules Gehrke, history; Brandon Haskett, music; James Hitt, philosophy; Ken Jolly, history; Jeff Koperski, philosophy; David Nichols, philosophy; Patrick Pan, mathematics; Evelyn Ravuri, geography; Danilo Sirias, management; and Jennifer Stinson, history.
• Granted an honorary degree in canine support to Roxie Rose Reno, a service dog that has accompanied graduating student Alan Reno throughout his years at SVSU.
• Affirmed the Board’s establishment of a police department oversight committee.
• Reappointed the accounting firm of Andrews Hooper Pavlik to serve as SVSU’s auditors for the 2017 fiscal year.
• Approved 2 percent raises for the 2017 calendar year for executive staff. President Donald Bachand’s salary was set at $280,500; Bachand earned $275,000 in 2016. Deb Huntley, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will receive a salary of $224,400 and James G. Muladore, executive vice president for administration and business affairs, will receive a salary of $214,200.