Trustees approve new housing, changes in employee insurance costs

December 16, 2011

Indiana State University continues to upgrade campus housing to improve facilities for students and meet new building standards put in place since many existing structures opened their doors in the 1960s.

The ISU board of trustees Friday authorized the university president and board treasurer to seek state approval for a new housing project adjacent to Lincoln Quad on the north side of campus, a complex that is home primarily to fraternity and sorority members.

Construction of infill (replacement) housing for 352 students is designed to ensure that the total number of beds remains the same when Lincoln Quad is renovated.
Renovations to provide more student privacy by reducing the number of students in each room results in fewer beds per building, explained Diann McKee, vice president for business affairs and finance.

Construction of replacement housing is scheduled to begin next summer on the site of parking lots north of Hulman Memorial Student Union. Cost of the project is not to exceed $24 million, with funding coming from residence hall reserve funds and the sale of bonds by the university. The project would be the first new student housing construction at Indiana State in more than 40 years.

Trustees approved an overall increase of 2 percent for 2012 in the cost of health insurance for active employees and an overall increase of 5.5 percent in the health care plan for retirees. The increase includes a 2.6 percent shift in the share of costs paid by retirees as part of a five-year plan to increase the total contribution from retirees to 33 percent, the same as active employees.

The university is implementing several changes in its health care plan designed to both control expenses and ensure greater safety, McKee said. Those changes provide for physician review for specific drugs; concurrent drug utilization review to better guard against drug interactions, allergies and duplication; and a formulary co-pay tier requiring members to pay $20 plus 50 percent of the cost over $20 per fill for prescriptions that are not on the formulary list. There will be no change in co-pay for prescriptions on the approved formulary list.

There will be no changes in the university's dental coverage or optional vision coverage.

Trustees authorized issuance of $4 million in parking system revenue bonds to help finance the university's $4.85 million purchase of the non-transit portion of the Cherry Street Multi-Modal Transportation Facility from the city of Terre Haute.

Trustees previously authorized the purchase in February. The action will give the university control over the facility's 626 parking spaces, which will be operated as part of the campus parking system. The action will help the university address the need for additional parking on the south side of campus with the move in 2012 of the Scott College of Business to the Federal Building at Seventh and Cherry streets, McKee said. At the same time it will free up city funds for other downtown development projects, according to Cliff Lambert, executive director of the Terre Haute Redevelopment Department.

In other action, trustees:

• Approved University Handbook clarifications endorsed by the Faculty Senate designed to bring consistency and clarity to faculty terminology
• Approved a moving/relocation expense policy developed to comply with IRS requirements for employee reimbursement of relocation expenses
• Approved a $600 course fee for a new Ph.D. in educational leadership course to be offered in partnership with the Kokomo-Center Township School Corp., pending Indiana Commission for Higher Education approval.
• Approved a revised staff salary schedule reflecting a 3 percent increase that took effect Nov. 1.

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-jxgP2Cf/0/D/i-jxgP2Cf-D.jpg - A new campus housing project to accommodate more than 350 students is planned for these parking areas to the north of Indiana State University's Hulman Memorial Student Union.

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu