Regents approve new dorm plans

Also, a Board of Regents subcommittee approved a gradual $2,000 tuition surcharge on Carlson School of Management undergraduates.

Matt Herbert

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved schematic plans Friday for a new residence hall and dining facility on Fourth Street.

Construction of the $62.5-million building, which will replace the 1701 University Ave. SE classrooms, is scheduled to begin in March. The residence hall is expected to open in August 2013.

With the number of freshman students at the University expected to increase to between 5,300 and 5,600 in the next five to 10 years, the board noted that another housing facility is needed.

The University is looking to reduce the number of students living in expanded housing spaces — rooms that have been converted from lounge spaces and expanded single-bed rooms — and increase the number of transfer students living on campus. These changes would require an additional 600 beds.

The building will be funded by University bonds as well as rent charged to students living in Housing and Residential Life facilities.

The building was originally projected to cost $38 million in February. In early summer, the estimated cost reached $55 million.

The proposed 227,000 square foot building will include 290 double bedrooms, 15 single bedrooms and five single bedrooms with private bath units. Also included is a 350-seat dining facility.

In addition to housing and dining in the new dorms, there will also be spaces for lease for greek chapters without houses and multicultural groups.

Two greek spaces and one space for a multicultural group will be used by the groups to hold meetings and socialize, said Orlyn Miller, director for capital planning and capital management. These spaces are not for living, but members of the groups could also lease out bedrooms in the building if desired.

“By including the greek community in the new dormitories with housing and space, we’re reinvigorating the [greek] community and aiding their academic achievement and experience at the University,” Regent Dean Johnson said Friday.

Miller said the area is a prime location for students.

“It’s great, desirable location, with convenience to the heart of the academic campus, sports facilities and Dinkytown,” Miller said.


Carlson Tuition Surcharge

A Board of Regents subcommittee approved a gradual $2,000 tuition surcharge on Carlson School of Management undergraduates.

The full board is expected to approve the hike in March, supported by President Eric Kaler and Interim Dean Sri Zaheer

Funding decreases from the state have made it difficult for Carlson School to hire enough faculty. Since the opening of Hanson Hall in fall 2008, the number of Carlson School undergraduates increased by 20 percent.

The proposed surcharge will be levied on all undergraduate students enrolled in Carlson School’s Bachelor of Science in Business degree program. Other public Big Ten schools also charge different tuition or fees for their undergraduate business programs.

The $4.9 million in revenue gained from these charges would go to hiring new faculty and staff, as well as surcharge relief for students who receive Pell grants and U Promise scholarships. The first charge would be $250 a semester for 2013 and $1,000 a semester in 2016.

Terrance Paape, a student representative to the board, thought the surcharge would be excessive for many students.

“I just feel like $1,000 is a lot to one student, especially for someone who comes from [a] middle-class family,” Paape said.

Zaheer said the increase is not unreasonable to ask students to pay.

“It’s not unreasonable in terms of where we’re trying to go with this particular proposal,” Zaheer said.

Full board discussion will take place in February, with proposed action in March.


Sullivan Honored

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Thomas Sullivan was honored at Friday’s Board of Regents meeting. Sullivan is stepping down from the position at the end of the year, after seven years at the post. Sullivan will return as a faculty member of the Law School where he previously served as dean.