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December 18, 2015

SVSU Board approves $12 million renovation of Zahnow Library

Room and board rates set for next two years

By JJ Boehm

The Saginaw Valley State University Board of Control approved spending up to $12 million to renovate SVSU’s Zahnow Library during the Board’s regular meeting Friday, Dec. 18.

“Modern libraries continue to be at the heart of teaching and learning for universities, but the ways in which today’s students study and learn are much different than they were a generation ago,” said SVSU President Donald Bachand. “Our students have told us that they want more flexible study spaces, more support services, and we are making these changes to better serve them.”

Funding for the project includes a $1.5 million gift from the Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation in Saginaw.

“From our earliest days, the Wickes Foundation has supported SVSU’s determined and persistent quest to provide exceptional learning opportunities for students from our region, our state and our world,” Bachand said. “We are grateful for their continued generous support.”

SVSU expects to receive additional private donations to support the renovation. The remainder of the project will be financed through existing funds reserved for campus construction and renovation.

The Board also approved room and board rates for the next two fiscal years, as part of the auxiliary services budget that covers self-supporting services such as housing, campus dining, and the Bookstore.

The total weighted increase for 2016-17 will be 3.17 percent; the increase for 2017-18 will be 2.2 percent. For incoming freshmen who choose to live in the First Year Suites, annual room and board will be $8,736; those who wish to reside in the more modern Living Center residence halls will pay an additional $500 for a total of $9,236.

For returning students whose meal plan participation is voluntary, rates range from $4,300 for a two bedroom unit in Pine Grove Apartments to $6,850 for a single efficiency unit in University Village.

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 $24,450 for Get Outside for a Healthy Inside.
  • Passed a resolution to congratulate the 2015 SVSU men's soccer team which qualified for the NCAA Division II national tournament for the fourth time in five years.
  • Passed a resolution to congratulate the 2015 SVSU women's volleyball team which qualified for the NCAA Division II national tournament.
  • Passed a resolution to grant undergraduate and graduate degrees, as 637 students are expected to complete degree requirements at the end of the fall semester.
  • Approved sabbatical proposals for 10 faculty: Jesse Donahue, political science; Larry Hatcher, psychology; Ming-Tie Huang, physics; Ava Lewis, nursing; Hong Park, economics; Arra Ross, English; Gary Thompson, English; Vetta Vratulis, teacher education; Bing Yang, biology; and Scott Youngstedt, sociology.
  • Reappointed the accounting firm of Andrews Hooper Pavlik to serve as SVSU’s auditors for the 2016 fiscal year.
  • Approved compensation for the 2016 calendar year for executive staff. President Bachand’s salary was set at $275,000; it was also announced that the Board and Bachand have a verbal agreement on a new contract through June 2019. Bachand earned $256,250 in 2015.

“The university has enjoyed a remarkably successful year in terms of fundraising success, student enrollment, and external accreditation of academic programs,” said Scott Carmona, chair of the Board.  “We are pleased with the leadership President Bachand is providing and the direction SVSU is headed. We want this progress to continue.”

    The Board also established compensation for Deb Huntley, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, whose salary for 2016 will be $220,000, and James G. Muladore, Executive Vice President for Administration and Business Affairs, whose salary will be $210,000.