Mansfield University’s new housing on track

MANSFIELD – Sycamore and Spruce manors are on track to open this year, bringing to four the number of new residence halls at Mansfield University, according to Associate Vice President for Student Life Charles Colby.

“Sycamore is expected to open Aug. 23, the day after students return. If it is ready, they will move in; if not, we have an alternative plan,” he said, referring to Maple A and B dormitories.

Spruce Hall will open in late October, he added, and will include a bagel shop and student wellness center.

Also, the Jazzman Cafe is undergoing a complete renovation, with an expanded product line and better service access, Colby said.

One other project, the renovation and addition to the Grant Science Center, is 90 percent complete and should be partially open by the start of school, with the north wing expected to open later in the semester, new President Fran Hendricks said.

In other business, the trustees welcomed five new members, only three of whom were in attendance – Karen Russell, Patrick Henderson and Max Gannon.

New trustees Pamela Witmer and Bobbi Kilmer were not able to attend Wednesday’s meeting.

The new trustees replace Richard Cashman, Lewis Lee, Ada Mae Saxton, Howard Smith and Thomas Browning, all of whom either resigned or retired this year.

During the meeting, new Chairman Ralph Meyer also read a letter of resignation from Charles Ike, leaving two vacancies on the board of trustees, he said.

During his report, Hendricks announced a “Light up Mansfield” football game under newly installed lights at VanNorman Field will take place Sept. 21 against Princeton University.

Trustees also:

Approved an executive management team succession to act on behalf of the president in the event of the president’s absence as required by the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education’s Council of Governments. It is: provost, vice president of finance and administration, associate provost and dean of education, associate provost and dean of arts and sciences, executive director for employee and leadership services.

Heard an academic affairs report from Dr. David Stinebeck that admissions of new students at MU increased this year, making the university one of only three schools in the state system that have seen freshmen enrollment increase. “PASSHE schools overall have seen a decline,” he said. Overall, including transfer students and graduate students, enrollment is down 5 to 6 percent, he added, compared to 10 percent or more at the other state schools.

Heard a finance and administration report from Tammy Felondis including there will be a 3 percent tuition increase and 3 percent increase in the technology fee this year. The state allocation also is down 1 percent from last year.

Approved a donation of $7,500 to the Mansfield Hose Co. and $7,500 to the Mansfield Ambulance Association for 2013-14.