SIU's Board of Trustees has given System President Dan Mahony the authority to issue refunds of some fees, as students continue their spring semester online due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The move, approved Monday, allows Mahony to work with campus leaders on plans to refund students portions of their housing and dining costs, and perhaps other lab or arts fees. Board Chair Phil Gilbert says it's important to serve students who may be struggling financially.
"We are going to try to be as fair as possible to our students, especially those who are not graduating because we want them to come back. So, if we're going to err, I'd rather err on the side of caution and refund those fees that there's any question about."
By Monday evening, both SIUC and SIUE had announced plans to reimburse up to 50% of student housing and dining fees. More information can be found on SIU Carbondale's website, and at SIU Edwardsville's.
Mahony told trustees a pro-rated refund of housing and dining fees could cost four-to-five million dollars for each campus. He says discussions about other potential refunds will be ongoing, and he acknowledged that federal funding will help offset some of those costs.
Both SIU Carbondale and SIU Edwardsville moved to online classes after an extended spring break due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Most students opted not to stay home, though SIUC and SIUE report roughly 350 students are still living on each campus.