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Board Approves 2010-11 Housing Rates, Mission Statements

The Pennsylvania College of Technology Board of Directors on Thursday approved housing rates for 2010-11, as well as mission statements for the college and the college archives.

The approved, per-semester housing rates call for a 2.8-percent increase for Penn College’s most common room configuration (two-bedroom/four-person), which will cost $2,675 in Fiscal Year 2011.

Other standard per-semester rates approved for 2010-11 are: one-bedroom/four-person, $2,150 (2.48-percent increase); two-person efficiency and three-bedroom/six-person, $2,430 (2.92-percent increase); two-bedroom/four-person and double room-Dauphin Hall, $2,750 (2.8-percent increase); and one-bedroom/two-person or single room-Dauphin Hall, $2,885 (2.85-percent increase). The Dauphin Hall rates reflect that unit’s first year of operation. It is expected to open in Fall 2010.

Nonstandard rates for 2010-11 are: single efficiency, $3,500 (2.04-percent increase); December graduate, $3,000 (3.09-percent increase); and Ford Asset/Honda PACT students, $1,075 (5.91-percent increase).

Board of Directors' meeting summarized for college community.Summer rates will be $120 per week (9.1-percent increase) and $24 per night (20-percent increase). The goal of increasing summer-housing rates is to bring them more in line with the weekly cost per semester ($171.88).

Summer conference rates $20 per night for four-person, $35 per night for single bedroom and $60 per night for single apartment will stay the same in order to remain competitive and support the college’s goal of bringing more visitors to campus. The current $18 residence life activity fee and $50 fire safety/prohibited item fee will also remain unchanged for 2010-11.

Elliott Strickland, special assistant for student affairs and student development, said the goal was to keep the increases as low as possible while continuing to allow for important Residence Life programming initiatives.

The college’s mission statement was revised as part of an initiative-based planning process that also considers vision and philosophy (value statements). The entire campus community had the opportunity to review and provide input in a number of forums, and the revised statement was approved by College Council.

“We tried to get it more succinct than the last one,” President Davie Jane Gilmour told the board.

An archives mission statement also was approved by the board. In conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the college’s Penn State affiliation and the ongoing “Countdown to the Centennial” in 2014, the Archive Work Group has been verifying current inventory and clarifying what is appropriate for future collection.

Suzanne T. Stopper, vice president for finance/chief financial officer, reported to the board regarding the audited financial statements for the fiscal year ending June 30. The college received an “unqualified clean audit opinion” from its auditing firm, Larson Kellett & Associates, P.C.

Stopper recapped some of the financial challenges faced by the college in the past year. The sagging national and state economy affected investments, interest rates, grant activity and state funding.

“It was a challenging year for us,” Stopper said.

The board heard a presentation by Carolyn R. Strickland, assistant vice president for academic services, on retention efforts and the Foundations of Excellence program, a nationwide initiative that aims to help colleges devise strategies keep first-year students enrolled. The results of a recent student survey are being evaluated, she said, and a target date of April 27 has been set for a final report to be available for campus review.

“We’ve taken on some pretty big projects in a short period of time,” she said.

John J. Messer, assistant professor of computer science/computer information coordinator, spoke to the board about the course, Information Technology and Society (CSC 124). The core course is taken by nearly all first-year students and provides a foundation for their success in marshaling the technological resources available to them at the college.

In her comments to the board, Gilmour said, “Enrollment for January looks very good.” She added the administration is optimistic about Fall 2010 enrollment, as well.

She said the recent on-campus interviews of five candidates for the vacant provost’s position have concluded.

“It has been a very good process for us,” Gilmour said.

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