LIMA — Despite decreasing enrollment and revenue over the past few years, the Rhodes State College Board of Trustees approved an additional tuition increase.
A $5 per credit hour increase would go into effect for the summer term, which starts in May. This increase is on top of a separate $5 increase that trustees approved that is already in effect.
Each $5 credit hour increase is expected to generate $164 year.
The board had previously considered raising tuition last fall but decided to delay it until the spring term.
“There’s continuing cost, always, as far as running the college,” said Jane Krites, Rhodes State College trustees president. “Not only staff salaries in that but just the general increase for just operations for everything including classroom computerization. We’ve spent a lot of money this past year on increasing the efficiency of the computerization in the classrooms.”
The college is working to offset this increase by allowing students to purchase textbooks from other sources.
“We’ve been able to do a lot of negotiations with the costs of the books, and we’ve been able to decrease the costs of the books which is more than the $5 (per credit hour),” said Krites.
Russell Litke, vice president for finance and business, pushed the board to approve the increases now rather than wait until later.
“We were not sure if we would be allowed to do this in the future so we have to take advantage of it when (the state legislature) allows it,” he said.
Litke expects there may be a moratorium on tuition increases on community colleges in the future.
In other business, the downtown project will be getting a hearing before the State Controlling Board on Feb. 24.
“We’re looking at affirmative action at that meeting and that’s going to give us the go-ahead for when we can actually do the groundbreaking for the building. We can’t do anything until we get there. We’re ready to move. We’ve got everything set and ready to go. As soon as they give us the OK, we can get that date set and they’re going to see some ground moving downtown,” said Krites.
Once that’s approved, school officials can begin to plan for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Center for Health Science Education and Innovation.
The board also heard about efforts to upgrade the college’s website, approving a $30,000 annual contract with Hannon Hill, a contract management software provider.
“That’s been needed for a while. We have a new director of marketing here that is back at the college after a lapse of a couple of years and we’re excited to have her back and ready to go and willing to work and we have some tools that are badly needed as far as functioning with a higher level of a web presence,” Krites added.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.