The Richmond Register

April 14, 2014

Regents approve smoke-free campus policy

Tuition going up 5 percent


Special to the Register

RICHMOND — The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents on Monday approved a tobacco-free campus policy and set 2014-15 rates for tuition, housing and meal plans.

Effective June 1, the use of tobacco on all property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the university will be prohibited.

The tobacco-free policy, which replaces the smoke-free zone policy that had been in effect since 2006, covers all Eastern facilities and grounds. It also prohibits the use of tobacco in vehicles owned, leased or rented by EKU as well as in personal vehicles while on university property.

EKU joins more than 1,100 colleges and universities nationwide that have enacted similar tobacco-free policies. A task force of more than 30 faculty, staff and students developed the new policy according to information provided by the university.

“It’s the right thing to do (and) it’s the smart thing to do,” said EKU President Michael Benson.

The board also approved an approximate 5 percent increase in resident undergraduate tuition – $192 more per semester for full-time students. EKU still ranks “in the middle of the pack among Kentucky public universities” on tuition, according to the university.

University housing rates will increase by an average of 5 percent, but actual costs vary according to residence hall and features.

Meal plan rates will go up approximately 2.75 percent, consistent with South Region Consumer Price Index projections.

Benson, Board Chair Craig Turner and David McFaddin, executive director of government relations, all expressed gratitude for the Kentucky General Assembly’s support of higher education and EKU.

“We are treating this $66.3 million appropriation as the first gift in our capital campaign,” Benson said.

The appropriation funded the second phase of the university’s New Science Building.

The board conducted its 2014 retreat in Frankfort, spending a portion of the day meeting with legislators. It was believed to be the first time any university board had met as a group with Kentucky lawmakers.

“It has been a great session, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do,” said McFaddin, adding that the positive results stem from a “clear, concise message that we took all across the state.”

The board conducted Monday’s meeting in the Rowlett Building, its first ever in the facility, where it heard a presentation from the College of Health Sciences. It had lunch in the Burrier Building café.