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MTU raises room, board rates for 2024-25

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette The Michigan Technological University Board of Trustees approved new room and board rates for 2024-25, including a 4% increase in standard accommodations at Wadsworth Hall.

HOUGHTON — The Michigan Technological University Board of Trustees approved increases in room and board costs at Friday’s meeting.

The standard rate for dining and housing combined rose to $13,020, a 3.96% change. That rate, required to be reported to the U.S. Department of Education each year, includes the room charge for a full-time student in a standard double room, plus the full year cost of the maximum meal plan.

For Wadsworth, McNair and Douglas Houghton halls, the cost of a double room rose to $7,254, up 4%. At Hillside Hall, the $11,873 full-year cost for a single bedroom in a shared apartment represents a 7.89% increase.

Independent living rates also went up. A one-bedroom at Daniell Heights rose 9.09% to $900.

For standard dining plans, the Premium Gold Unlimited plan rose 3.91% to $5,766.

Students and other stakeholders had given input on the rates, the university said.

In other action:

• Several members of Keweenaw Youth for Climate Action urged the board during public comment to fully divest the university’s investment portfolio from fossil fuels. Members mentioned several universities to have done so, including Northern Michigan University last year.

KYAC laid out several short-term goals: forming a sustainability task force to evaluate the university’s investment portfolio and recommend a divestment strategy; making the university’s investments transparent; exploring pilot investments in renewable energy; and incorporating sustainability, divesting and ethical investing issues into the university’s curricula.

After an earlier petition by KYCA, which included signatures from 10% of the student body, Tech added a fossil fuel-free option for people donating to the university’s endowment.

• Paul van Susante, associate professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, gave a presentation on the MTU Planetary Surface Development Technology Lab. Launched in 2019, the lab is working on technology to be used for lunar and Mars missions in partnership with the government and industry. The ultimate goal: getting a Husky payload to the moon and operating it.

Some of van Susante’s students also presented about the upcoming Break the Ice Lunar Challenge. They built a prototype lunar rover to collect permafrost from craters at the moon’s poles — which can then be broken down into hydrogen and water and used as a propellant for rockets. They are one of six teams to advance to a head-to-head competition, which will be held at a NASA facility in May.

• The board recognized Stephen Hackney, professor emeritus of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, for 38 years of service. Hackney received emeritus status at the December meeting. It also approved emerita/emeritus status for two professors: Sheila Milligan, teaching professor emerita in the College of Business, and Tony Rogers, professor emeritus in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Milligan is the first non-tenured faculty to receive emeritus status in Tech’s history.

• The board approved two construction projects. The McNair Dining Hall, kitchen and storage areas will get a complete remodel. Dining vendor Chartwells will fund the project, which is expected to cost $3 million. The project will be bid out in March; construction is expected to start in April. The dining hall would be operational again by move-in weekend and construction would finish by Sept. 30.

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