HLG Trustee Board okays recommendations
Hannibal – On Nov. 21, the Hannibal-LaGrange College (HLG) Board of Trustees voted to approve several recommendations including additional student housing, 2009-10 tuition increase, reduction of board meetings, and plans to move ahead on a possible overseas campus initiative.
Fall 2008 has been a record-setting year for enrollment. The college has witnessed tremendous growth in enrollment to exceed 1,200 students with a large increase in the residential population. Currently, over 500 students from 24 states and 26 countries live in campus housing. Numbers for new incoming students for the fall 2008 semester increased 25 percent over fall 2007. With the addition of athletic offerings in men’s wrestling, men’s volleyball and men’s and women’s swimming, the male student population is higher than ever before. Several housing units, which were formerly used by female students, have been converted to men’s residential housing to accommodate the increased male population. With these facts and research on student population trends, the HLG trustee board voted to approve the building of a new 96-bed dormitory complex. The addition of a new facility will not only supply additional space for students, it will allow for renovation of existing men’s housing. The new complex is not a component of the ongoing “Building for the Future” capital campaign, but will be funded out of the general operating budget. Construction will begin immediately with an anticipated occupancy in August 2009.
In order to meet the projected budget for 2009-10, the trustees voted to increase tuition costs 6.5 percent. This percentage increase is lower than the past three years of tuition increases and total tuition cost is significantly below the average four-year private college tuition costs across the state and among many sister institutions within the membership of the International Association of Colleges and Universities.
A proposal to establish an extension campus overseas was discussed and approval for further research was granted. Officials from the government of Turkmenistan have solicited U.S. colleges and universities to establish American campuses in their country. Preliminary findings have proven to show promise and HLG will continue to pursue the next step in the process.
In non-academic-related issues, the Board voted to reduce the number of trustee meetings from 10 to six meetings per year. The reduction of meetings will decrease the cost of trustee meetings by approximately 33 percent. Pat Benson, registered representative for Benson Financial Group and member of the HLG trustee board, sees this decision as a positive move for the college. “Our thoughts are to reduce the number of meetings but make each meeting we have last longer. In these difficult economic times we feel it is important to be good stewards in any way possible.”
The 2008 HLG Board of Trustees is made up of 30 men and women from four states, including Missouri. The Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist Convention nominates and selects members for these board positions.