Board of Trustees

Penn State’s board of trustees OK tuition increases, freshman class size

Here’s a recap of some highlights from Friday’s board of trustees meeting at the Fayette campus.

•  Tuition rates have been set for 2013-2014 at all Penn State’s campuses. At University Park, it’ll be $8,045 each semester for freshmen and sophomores and a little higher for juniors and seniors depending on their majors. That ends up being $16,090 for the whole academic year.

The tuition rates were included as part of the approval for the university’s $4.42 billion operating budget, which also was approved Friday. The budget provides for “modest” raises for employees effective Oct. 1.

•  Penn State’s incoming freshman class numbers 17,000, an increase of 800. At University Park, 8,200 students have accepted their admissions offer and paid their deposit. That’s what the university calls a “paid-accept.” The number of freshmen who show up at the start of the fall semester is typically lower after what the university calls the “summer melt.”

•  Anne Riley and David Jones are back on the board of trustees, though this time with the emeritus status that rewards trustees who’ve served 12 years with distinction. The board conveyed the status with relative ease, despite dissenting votes from Anthony Lubrano and Edward “Ted” Brown. Those two think the board should hold off on honoring Riley and Jones until late coach Joe Paterno is honored.

For Riley and Jones, emeritus status won’t give them votes, but it gives them a chance to offer insight to the board and represent the board at graduation ceremonies.

•  Two Penn State professors whose children attend the on-campus Bennett Family Center addressed the board during the public comment period, blasting the decision to outsource the management of the center to Hildebrandt Learning Centers Inc. Dozens of parents have objected to the move because they do not want the teachers and staff at the Bennett Center to lose their Penn State benefits.

“We have a right to make a decision that affects the welfare of children at Penn State,” associate art professor Sarah Rich said.