JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - An increase in tuition and fees is approved by the Arkansas State University Board of Trustees.
A-State in Jonesboro will see a 3.4 percent increase in combined tuition and fees for the 2017-2018 academic year.
In addition to the Jonesboro campus, the board approved increases at the following campuses:
- ASU-Newport-3.6 percent,
- ASU-Mountain Home-1.7 percent
- ASU-Mid-South in West Memphis-3.1 percent
- ASU-Beebe-1.7 percent
The board met Thursday in Newport to discuss the hikes.
Dr. Chuck Welch, ASU System President, said it wasn't a decision they made lightly.
"These increases are as minimal as they can possibly be while ensuring we are still able to take care of the employees that we have and provide the best educational experience as possible," Welch said.
Welch and the other trustees discussed the resolution extensively.
"We try to make sure we balance the critical needs of the campus with the burden we are placing on faculty and students," Welch said.
The board also discussed other resolutions at the meeting including its weapons policy and adding a new welcome center to the Jonesboro campus.
The board all voted in favor of extending the current weapons policy to Sept. 1.
The current policy bans guns from being on campus.
The new state law allowing concealed carry on college campuses is supposed to go into effect on Sept 1.
"To give our campuses a little more time to make sure we have everything in place to ensure we have the safest campus possible for our students and our visitors," Welch said.
Once the state law is in effect, Welch said they will fully comply with its rules and regulations.
The new welcome center was also approved Thursday.
The board approved the resolution to go into a leasing agreement with Centennial Bank.
Arkansas State University-Jonesboro sees this as a cost-effective way to construct a Campus Welcome Center.
Centennial Bank will pay for the construction of the center and A-State will maintain the building and landscaping.
The building will be 3,833 square feet. Centennial Bank will use 300 square feet to operate a bank branch.
"Really give a great first impression of the university, make it easier for those trying to traverse the campus and come in and get that first look at all we have to offer," Welch said.
The trustees did point out during the discussion that they reached out to other bank branches with a similar offer and each declined.
The Campus Welcome Center will be built along Aggie Road.
Chancellors from several Arkansas State University campuses were present at the meeting including various faculty and staff.
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