Students at Murray State University may notice a few increases this fall.
The Board of Regents approved a 5 percent rate increase for housing. It amounts to about $104 to $195 more per student. They say compared to other schools it's still in the middle and lower range.
The residential meal plan will increase by 2 percent at about $30 more per plan. There isn't a proposed rate increase for the commuter plan. The hike is partly due to an increase in food costs as well as employee salaries.
Those salary increases are included in the operation budget that's up 3.7 percent or $6 million totaling to $169.2 million. Vice President of Financial Services Jackie Dudley said they've also added 2 million to the budget for any unprecedented events.
“So, revenues over expenditures of $2 million. That will cover some enrollment decline through our new model if we experience that, cover some state appropriation reduction, or over risk we may have,” Dudley said.
76 percent of that budget covers employee salaries and benefits. The average increase is 1.2 percent depending on salary level, with the larger increases going to the lower paid employees.
The Board of Regents also discussed their strategic plan. They had eight town hall meetings and focus groups to come up with a plan. Their four points of focus are academic quality, student success, community engagement, and research.
Their goal is to increase the number of students in the 18-county region by 20 percent and students from the metro area like Louisville by 50 percent.
They also want the strategic plan to focus on having 50 percent of students that come to Murray State be in the top 25 percent of their high school class. Strategic Plan co-chairman Bob Jackson said they hope to recruit students through a comprehensive marketing plan and by promoting their brand.
“What are our key programs? How are we going to promote them? How are we going to highlight them, and how are we going to sell so our success? What is our brand? I think that is our work and the challenge for the next three to six months and even longer,” Jackson said.
Key stake holders involved in the strategic plan are having an "advance" or retreat to lay out expectations of how they'll progress these measures in July.
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