President Brooks meets with students

By Rebekkah Ferrebee

On April 9, Trine president Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D., opened up to the Trine community in a question-and-answer discussion session in Fabiani Theatre.

Brooks covered several topics during the 45 minute session. The first topic Brooks covered was the latest capi¬tal campaign.

Nearly $80 million has been granted to improve several aspects of campus beginning with the T. Furth Center for Performing Arts. The renovations will allow Trine’s music program to reach its full potential and its projected date of completion is hoped for the summer of 2013.

Also in the works is a new engineering lab, set to go where Campus Operations is currently located. The Ford building will also be revamped for the school of business, and the Depot food station is projected to open for
business on June 1.

Next, Brooks spoke on the recent addition of the bridge, the Ryan Skywalk, near the Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium, assuring students that it was built strictly with donor dollars, and at the donor’s request, and not with students’ tuition money, as some students had been concerned about.

The session then moved to the anticipated topic of tuition cost. Brooks stated that the university is always attempting to control tuition costs, keeping increases to a minimum, because he wants an education at Trine to be as affordable as possible for all students. Over $20 million will be awarded to students this fall through institutional financial aid.

Brooks then gave a short summary on the Student Expectations Focus Groups that were held the week of March 12. The
goal of these groups was to allow selected students to have an open discussion of Trine’s ability to meet student expectations.

Forty-eight students attended one of two groups, 23 female and 25 male. In attendance were 25 student athletes, eight Greek students, 33 on-campus residents and 15 commuters. The sessions proved to be productive and will most likely be held again in the upcoming school year.

Beginning in fall 2012, the $100 per credit hour fee for online classes will be waived for full-time, on-campus students. It will still ap¬ply to part-time students. Fees charged for using the iPayU ATM in the University Center have also been eliminated, as the university was unaware of the charges. Students who were previously charged for their use of the machine have been refunded.

Lastly, Brooks opened the floor up to those in attendance. He touched on topics ranging from Trine’s estimated population in 10 years, to the logic behind meal plans, and finally to the recent Twitter controversy.

He closed by encouraging all students to never be afraid to respectfully voice their opinions and concerns to him and all other faculty, as he looks to continuously improve the university to help it grow and prosper. Brooks plans to hold a student session once a semester.

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