Room and board rates at Kent State University increased and the Board of Trustees approved a $100,000 bonus for President Lester Lefton on Wednesday.
Lefton's $104,450 performance bonus -- 25 percent of his $417,799.68 salary -- was awarded based upon "meeting or exceeding" the annual goals he set forth.
Chairwoman Jane Timken said the board conducted its own evaluation of Lefton based upon goals and metric which he proposed and the board approved.
"I think his vision and leadership has been outstanding, and we are highly pleased with his performance," Timken said, adding that capital investments in new buildings and renovations, fiscal stability and increasing student enrollment were factors in the decision.
The standard double-room rate for student housing was approved to increase by 3.98 percent, and the basic board rate was increased by 3.92 percent, which Lefton said are tied to increased food costs and dormitory renovations.
Lefton said KSU room and board rates are still in the bottom 25 percent of rates in Ohio, and it is a self-sustaining operation, not tied to tuition.
"Food prices continue to go up, and so this is a lot of what drives room and board," he said. "We try to keep the cost as low as possible and I think we've done that over the years."
A new, 200-car, $1.45 million parking lot is planned east of Henderson Hall and north of the Liquid Crystal and Materials Science Building.
Lefton said a future new facility for the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology will be constructed on the site of the current Henderson Hall parking lot, creating the need to construct a new one.
"We don't want to lose any parking space because that would be a real inconvenience for students and faculty," he said. "We will not displace anything except for some grass."
Lefton also gave an update on various forthcoming construction projects that are part of a $170 million campus renovation project.
A new dining hall is planned on campus, possibly near the art buildings, though a location hasn't been determined, he said, and the current Art Building will be completely renovated and receive a new annex.
The architectural design for a new architecture building on the KSU Esplanade will likely be announced by the end of April, Lefton said, adding that an architect for the new College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology building has already been selected, and KSU is awaiting final designs.
In other business, the KSU trustees approved the establishment of a Master of Fashion degree, a three-year collective bargaining agreement with non-tenure track faculty and special course fees to offset the costs for equipment and services.
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