Ithaca College Trustees Hold Meeting

03/17/2005

Contributed by David Maley

Meeting in New York City February 23–24, the Ithaca College Board of Trustees voted to adopt a budget for 2005–6, discussed the College’s planned fund-raising campaign, and approved funding for several capital projects.

The budget sets next year’s Ithaca College tuition at $25,194, with associated fees for room (standard double occupancy), board, and health insurance at $10,315. Prior to any financial aid discount, this brings the total cost of attending Ithaca College in 2005–6 to $35,509, an increase of 5.23% from this year.

In announcing the rates, President Peggy R. Williams noted that the increase reflects the College’s ongoing commitment to providing the best possible academic and residential experience for its students.

“The budget will help fund the development of new academic programs, the beginning phase of a new student information system, technology updates to classrooms, and improvements and renovations to several academic facilities and residence halls,” said Williams. “In addition, we will continue to fund our new first-year reading program as well as support the continuing development of other new programs for the first-year student experience, an all-college honors program, and additional theme residence halls. The budget also seeks to address external pressures, such as the rising costs of utilities and health care, the need to maintain competitive salaries for faculty and staff, and reduced financial aid support from the New York State and federal budgets, while allowing us to continue to move forward in implementing important parts of our institutional plan.”

Williams pointed out that the College maintains an ongoing effort to make an Ithaca education accessible for all students through a comprehensive institutional financial aid program.

“We continue to work very hard with the state and federal governments to ensure that important assistance programs are available for our students and families. Governor Pataki’s proposed budget for New York includes significant cuts to the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP). I urge New York State residents to contact the governor and their state legislators, encouraging them to adopt a budget that supports access to higher education and that maintains and enhances TAP and HEOP. Information on how to voice support for these and other critical programs can be found at www.cicu.org. At the federal level, President Bush’s budget proposal calls for the elimination of the Perkins Loan program and no funding increases for the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and work-study programs. The impact of these programs on individual families and colleges and universities is significant.”

Williams also noted that Ithaca’s 2005–6 tuition is still lower than the 2004–5 tuition of 18 out of 20 regionally competitive private institutions with which the College has compared itself for the past two decades. “Through solid fiscal management and appropriate investment in our programs and facilities, Ithaca College has been able to offer an outstanding educational experience consistently cited in college guides and national publications as one of the ‘best values’ in higher education.”

At the board meeting, trustees were updated on the early stages of the comprehensive campaign, which includes fund-raising for an athletics and events center and a new School of Business building. Representatives from Sasaki Associates discussed their recent assessment and review of the Ithaca College master plan for future campus land use and development.

The board approved nearly $20 million in spending on two major projects—the renovation of the Garden Apartments residence complex and replacement of the College’s underground electrical infrastructure—which will be paid for through bonds issued last year by the Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency. Smaller-scale projects, which will be funded through anticipated year-end cash flows, will include renovations to the Center for Natural Sciences, upgrades to HVAC systems in several academic buildings, and repairs to the College’s London Center building.

The board also heard a presentation on a proposed wind power tower project, which would be paid for primarily through a grant from the New York State Electric Research and Development Authority. While the amount of power generated by the tower would be fairly minimal relative to the overall electrical needs of the College, the project would serve as a valuable academic laboratory for students.

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