At Tuesday night’s monthly meeting, trustees directed administrators to conduct a 60 day feasibility study with the owners of the former Westinghouse plant across the freeway from Central Park. Blinn’s President of Brazos County campuses, Dr. Sylvia McMullen, says the decision has not been made whether to purchase or lease 71,000 square feet at the rear of the building. That’s about 40 percent of the 180,000 square feet structure. McMullen says the goal is to start classes in the 2015 fall semester and continue for up to four years. That’s as trustees and administrators continue working on addressing long-term space issues.
Trustees also approved 2014-15 tuition and fees. There is no change in Blinn’s tuition rate. The board approved a general fee increase of $7 dollars per credit hour. It is estimated that will generate an additional $2.8 million for student services, institutional support, and non-academic facility expenses. On the Brenham campus, new student housing fees were approved to generate an additional $179,075. The adjustments vary by residence hall.
Trustees and administrators also heard from several faculty members from Bryan and Brenham. Dr. McMullen says the speakers expressed their opinions about hiring six academic deans to take over administrative duties previously done by 14 division chairs and 20 assistant division chairs. McMullen says faculty members who had part time administrative duties in the past will be taking on additional teaching responsibilities. That transition will be completed by the end of the spring semester. In response to those who spoke at the trustees meeting, McMullen says “we value their input and are listening very carefully to what they are saying.” Trustees approved an academic reorganization plan in November 2012 creating the dean’s positions.
Click below for comments from Sylvia McMullen, visiting with WTAW’s Bill Oliver.SylviaMcMullen032614.mp3