The IU Board of Trustees has approved the university’s $4 billion budget for the 2021-2022 school year in a vote of nine to zero.
The focus of the budget continues to be on the safety of students and employees, as well as funding academic, research and student programs, IU Vice President and Chief Financial Officer John Sejdinaj said.
Starting July 1, the minimum wage for all full-time faculty and staff will be $15 per hour, according to the new budget.
IU Student Government President Ky Freeman and Vice President Madeline Dederichs also presented at the meeting. They are pushing for the $15 wage to be extended to student workers.
“COVID-19 has disproportionately affected students. We see a lot of these relief packages come out and students weren’t necessarily included,” Freeman said.
Vice President of Capital Planning and Facilities Thomas Morrison said the McNutt dining renovation and addition will be complete by the time students return in August and will have a total of ten restaurants, including international options and a Starbucks. Seven will be complete by the beginning of the semester and the other three will be up and running later in the fall, Morrison said.
The McNutt dining hall will have two floors and be able to seat around 850 students. It will be the largest dining facility on campus, Morrison said
Construction on the new Luddy Center for Artificial Intelligence will be complete by August 2021, Morrison said. The 59,000 square foot facility will cost around $35 million.
“The new facility will be dedicated to supporting IU faculty and students who will conduct pioneering research into artificial intelligence and machine learning,” Morrison said.
Morrison also laid out his plan to have campus apartment complexes Evermann, Banta and Nutt demolished by the winter of 2021.
“These buildings are beyond their useful life, they are approaching 70 years old,” Morrison said.
The cost of accumulated maintenance needs has made the apartments unfeasible, Morrison said.
Morrison also discussed IU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Due to improvements in utility usage, greenhouse gas emissions have decreased 38%. This is equal to around 135,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the last ten years, according to data presented by Morrison.
Most plans have a goal of 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, Morrison said.
“We are clearly outpacing that on the Bloomington campus,” Morrison said.