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Board approves tuition increase, Peabody demolition at July meeting

A potential delay in the state’s budget could impact Temple’s cash supply, but not tuition.

The Board of Trustees approved the 2017-18 operating budget and the demolition of Peabody Hall at its meeting on Tuesday.

Tuition will increase by 2.5 percent with the new budget, making in-state tuition a base rate of $15,768 and out-of-state tuition $27,024. This is the lowest percent increase since fiscal year 2013, said University CFO and Treasurer Ken Kaiser.

He added the original planning for a tuition increase was closer to 3 percent but the university was able to work it down.

Even though the general state budget will be approved, Temple is still waiting on a separate bill for the state to approve its appropriations of about $150 million — the same as it was last year. Kaiser said the tuition increase was calculated with the flat funding in mind.

He added if the state waits as long as it did in 2015 to approve the university’s funding, Temple could face “cash issues.”

“The concern is just uncertainty, and whenever there’s uncertainty around your funding, it always makes you a little bit nervous,” he said. “I fully expect we’ll get flat funding this year, but  …  the fact that it hasn’t been approved yet and will likely not happen until September or so, it makes me a little nervous.”

The Board also approved more than $7 million in facilities spending, including plans for Peabody Hall and safety upgrades to buildings near the Health Sciences Campus.

The university plans to demolish the former residence hall during winter break and will convert the empty lot to a grassy space students can use while facilities management determines what purpose the new building will serve.

In the facilities committee meeting earlier on Tuesday, committee members discussed whether Temple would be able to build up to use the space — which Jerry Leva, vice president of planning and capital projects for the university, said could be done “without a problem.”

He added that the building would most likely be “multi-use” and include space for administrative offices. The university still needs to determine how it will approach future housing needs, said Ray Betzner, a university spokesman.

In May, The Temple News reported on Temple’s increasing student population, which has expanded further into off-campus housing.

Students took to Twitter to voice their opinions about the demolition of the residence hall.

The rest of the facilities meeting centered around the need to increase the safety of buildings used near the Health Sciences Campus.

The board approved the renovations to a facilities warehouse on 15th Street near Tioga, where facilities management employees will now work from.

Previously, Temple used a warehouse on Germantown Avenue near Venango Street, but a store fire located next to the warehouse in June prompted the move.

The Board also appointed Paul Curcillo as the president of the Temple University Alumni Association — meaning he will automatically serve a three-year term as a trustee. He is also a physician at the Fox Chase Cancer Center and a vice chairman of the Board of Directorsfor Archbishop Ryan High School, the largest high school in the city’s Catholic school system, which is run by the Archdiocese.

Tyrell-Mann Barnes attended his first board meeting as student body president. He announced his administration’s agenda for this year.

TSG will hold its first “Community Appreciation Day” in July with Captain Eileen Bradley, community liaison for Campus Safety Services.

The first week of fall semester, TSG will host Sexual Assault Prevention week.

Barnes added that his administration plans to focus on housing and food insecurity and sustainability on and off campus this year.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was updated to reflect the appointment of Paul Curcillo to be president of the Temple University Alumni Association.

Kelly Brennan

can be reached at kelly.brennan@temple.edu
Or you can follow Kelly on Twitter @_kellybrennan
Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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