Board of Regents eliminates summer commencement, changes housing rates

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By Kelsey Jochum, Kelsey Jochum

On Friday, Jan. 28, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents convened in Lincoln. Set on the agenda were several issues pertaining to each of the four NU universities, concerning both academic and business affairs. Of the many issues discussed and voted upon, four related to UNO.

The first was a proposal to eliminate the summer commencement ceremony in August 2011.

Sponsored by Terry Hynes, the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, the proposal’s goal was to eliminate the costs involved in holding a third commencement ceremony which very often serves the smallest amount of graduates between the three. The proposal was approved, thus eliminating the summer commencement ceremony and focusing on spring as the primary time for graduation, as well as winter for those graduating mid-year.

Secondly, there was a proposal to create a Bachelor of Science Degree in Athletic Training and a Master of Arts Degree in Athletic Training.

According to the Board agenda, Athletic Training was previously only an area of concentration within other majors at UNO such as Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. These programs, until recently, were accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.

However, the Commission had now revised its requirements, making these concentration areas within other degrees ineligible for accreditation.  The two new degrees in Athletic Training will ensure UNO students will still be able to pursue accredited programs in this area. The proposal was approved, considering the new degree programs will follow the same curriculum as the past concentration areas, making it unnecessary to gain new resources.

The third proposal relating to UNO was the statement and budget for the Peter Kiewit Institute remodel. Also approved, the remodel is set to begin in December 2011 and will focus on increased classroom and class lab utilization. The remodel is to be completed in stages, insofar that the building will continue to be occupied during construction. According to the Board agenda, “construction of the project will begin after commitments for all funding are in place and authorization to proceed is received from the President.”

The project is estimated to cost $7,647,338, coming entirely from private donations, and is projected to end in December 2012.

The fourth UNO-related issue was the changes being applied to housing rates for the upcoming school year.

For those living in Scott Village, rates will increase between 3.3 percent and 4.4 percent, depending on the payment plan. Both University Village and Maverick Village residents can expect to see a 5 percent increase on each of the different payment plans. Housing rates for Scott Hall have not yet been finalized, but those residents can expect to see a 5 percent increase as well for their nine-month contracts.

Scott Court, which is set to open in August 2011, has projected its housing rates, which range from $5,880 to $6,180 for twelve months, depending on payment plan, and $4,950 for nine months.

The Board, which meets approximately every six weeks, is not scheduled to meet again until March 11. Melissa Lee, the Communications Manager of the university, said the Board consists of eight elected members, each of whom represent the eight districts across Nebraska, as well as four student representatives from each of the NU schools. The Board of Regents is the top governing board for the university.

Details regarding new commencement ceremonies are forthcoming.

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