Lincoln University room, board increasing

Two months after voting to leave in-state tuition unchanged, Lincoln University’s Curators voted Thursday to increase some room and board costs.

All room rates will increase by $80 per student per semester for the fall and spring semesters, and by $40 per student for the summer semester.

And board rates will climb $50 per student per semester, with no change for summer students.

A student living in a dormitory for fall and spring semesters would see their costs climb by $260 a year.

“Fees are going up a very minimal amount,” new President Kevin Rome said after Thursday’s meeting. “When we look at costs, our students are much better situated than, maybe, some other institutions.”

Curators questioned both increases before approving them.

The room rates increase is seen as an exchange for increasing student conveniences by replacing the coin-operated laundry equipment in the dorms with new, leased equipment that wouldn’t require coins to operate.

Curator Cynthia Blosser of Jefferson City asked if administrators looked at using a “debit card system instead of the blanket pay-one-fee.”

But that would be more expensive, LU employee Sylvia Wilson explained.

“The card readers are cost-prohibitive — they run about $1,000 to $1,300 per card reader,” she said, “and we would have to put one in each laundry room in all eight dorms.”

The meal cost increase would pay for the food service to provide meals to students who must stay on campus during the Thanksgiving and spring breaks.

“The breaks are not covered in the (current food service) contract,” Wilson told the board.

Curators also approved a $266,697 contract with Weathercraft Inc. of Jefferson City to replace four different roof levels on Schweich Hall — just south of Young Hall and part of LU’s historic Hilltop Campus facing the Quadrangle — with a new, rubberized “membrane” roofing system, that has a 20-year life.

The contract also includes the replacement of two roof-top HVAC units.

Schweich Hall also has a roof that is slate-covered, which will be replaced with a 100-year warranty material.

“One of the things we’re going to look at immediately is a strategic plan,” Curators President Herbert Hardwick said, now that Rome is on the job.

Curators hope to hold a work session within the next month, he said, to begin that process.

Rome reminded curators the most recent plan “has expired.”

He told the News Tribune after Thursday’s meeting: “I think you look at the successes from the prior plan, and at any recommendations that come from that plan.

“But I think you really need to look at what’s happening now. What are the issues that have arisen?

“And we really need to engage the students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community — and see how they view Lincoln and how we can serve all the different constituents.”

Rome hopes to have a new strategic plan in place next year.

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