Tuition hikes, vaccine rollout, retrenchment discussed at ‘Meet and Confer’

Maxwell Mayleben ® Editor in Chief |

President Davenport, along with several other administration members, joined a Zoom call with several members of Student Government, including Student Government Andrew Trenne for a “Meet and Confer” last Thursday.

The purpose of these periodic meetings are to keep the administration connected with the student body via representatives. 

Several large topics were discussed at this meeting, including summer and fall semester plans, potential tuition increases and a vaccine update. Other topics discussed was the future of the Lincoln Statue and potential use of retrenchment.

Interim Provost Matt Cecil spoke to the current plan for summer semester, saying that “Summer looks a lot like now, which sounds like a bummer, but it’s going to look a lot better than last summer.” 

There is more hope for the fall semester though, with faculty planning for the best case scenario of having the campus completely open. This is likely to be downgraded to a lesser capacity, but Cecil said that it is easier to go from a full schedule to a reduced one, than the other way around. 

“Scheduling like it’s a normal semester, understanding that likely what we are likely to see in the fall, we’d like to see an increase in openness overtime.” said Cecil. 

Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management David Jones spoke at the meeting about the University’s current vaccine rollout plan. 

At the moment, Mankato is in the early stages of getting the vaccine. 

“Blue Earth County is only receiving 200 doses, which are still stage one, which are focused on healthcare professionals,” Jones said. 

Jones concluded by encouraging students to not wait for vaccines from the university, and if they become available from other resources, to take advantage of those. 

Vice President for Finance and Administration Rick Straka spoke to MNSU’s financial situation. 

“We have about a $3 million dollar problem that we need to solve,” Straka said. 

Various solutions were brought up for this issue, as funding from the state level will be difficult to attain. 

Straka brought up raising tuition as one of the solutions to the funding issues. 

“The state says to us ‘you have another source of income,’” said Straka. 

Retrenchment was also brought up at the meeting. Administration confirmed that it is on the table, but did not confirm that it will be used. 

The Buildings and Landmarks committee spoke at the meeting about the findings from their review of the names of the various landmarks and buildings across campus in wake of the killing of George Floyd. 

The purpose of this review is to do deep dive research on each of the people the buildings are named after. 

The committee proposed further review is needed on the Lincoln Statue that is located in the Centennial Student Union. This review will be done by April 30, 2021.

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