Infrastructure improvements, technological support and recruitment initiatives have been approved by the SIU board for the Edwardsville campus.
During its regularly scheduled meeting on the Carbondale campus this week, the board also approved an alternate tuition rate for active military members to enhance their educational opportunities.
The board approved a $481,000 contract with Haier Plumbing and Heating Inc., of Okawville, to perform Phase 3 of the $4.3-million Water Distribution System Valve and Hydrant Replacement project.
Since much of the SIUE exterior water distribution system dates to the campus’ original construction, valves used to control the system and the hydrants have been failing. Phase 3 addresses priority valves among the 300 valves and hydrants that need to be addressed. Work will begin during summer 2019 and be funded by Facilities Management Plan funds. Approval of additional phases will require further board consideration as funding is identified.
The board approved a 48-month lease and purchase program for computer stations on the SIUE campuses that will service approximately 2,700 workstations at a $300 annual cost per workstation. SIUE will use the Dell program that was bid through the Midwestern Higher Education Compact as a cooperative purchase with the Illinois Public Higher Education Cooperative.
The agreement continues a successful 20-year computer leasing program that has provided high-quality computing services for a predictable expenditure that includes shipping, installation, parts and repair service. The workstations are replaced every four years as the university receives the benefits from the latest technologies, while removing obsolete, failing computers. The program’s total value is $3,240,000. Funding is provided from each individual user’s departmental operating fund.
Attempting to better serve inquiries regarding student financial aid, the board approved a $165,000, one-year contract with CMD Outsourcing Solutions Inc., of Baltimore, Md., to provide call center support for SIUE’s Student Financial Aid Office. CMD will manage the 25,000 annual phone calls that SIUE receives and provide answers to frequently asked questions, as well as individual account inquiries. Four one-year renewal options will be available through June 2024 with a potential total cost of $814,692. Funding will be provided through state appropriations.
To enhance SIUE students’ ability to study abroad, the board approved SIUE’s participation in the International Student Exchange Program, emulating a long-term practice at the Carbondale campus. SIUE will offer students the opportunity to participate in ISEP, an exchange organization comprised of 300-plus universities in more than 50 countries. The exchange program involves trading places where the SIUE student pays a fee of $5,983.90 to cover general student fees, housing and meal plan, matriculation and transcripts, and the institution abroad waives all such charges. When foreign students arrive at SIUE through ISEP, their tuition, fees, housing and meal plan, and other related fees are waived. As a result, SIUE students will enjoy more study abroad locations at a cost similar to studying at SIUE.
In an effort to serve active military personnel, the board approved an alternate tuition program for active duty military member undergraduate and graduate students at SIUE. Students, who are active duty military members, serving in a reserve unit or component of the National Guard (excluding those on Individual Ready Reserve), and who are enrolled fall 2019 or after, will pay an alternate tuition rate per credit hour equal to the maximum allowable benefit provided by the Department of Defense’s Military Tuition Assistance Program. All mandatory fees will be waived for these students. Also, the Schools of Business and Engineering differential tuition surcharges will not be applied to active duty military students. The alternate tuition rate will not apply to professional level programs.
The special tuition rate allows SIUE to compete with other regional institutions that already offer this rate.