/Trustees talk academic integrity, tuition and student housing
Graphic by Makayla Montgomery, Graphic designer.

Trustees talk academic integrity, tuition and student housing

By Cady Inabinett, Managing editor of content 

Montevallo’s Board of Trustees approved several measures at their Feb. 10 meeting, tackling topics such as a new Academic Integrity Policy, tuition for the next academic year and the university’s plans for new student apartment complexes, among other topics. 

The board voted to approve a new Academic Integrity Policy. The policy has been a work in progress, originating in Faculty Senate who worked with the university’s Curriculum and Standard’s Committee to develop the new policy. 

The policy outlines five main ways that students can commit plagiarism: using the exact words of another’s work without acknowledgement and proper citation, rephrasing a passage without proper credit, using other’s facts or ideas without acknowledgement, using work from one course in another course without express permission from both instructors and presenting fabricated or falsified citations or materials. 

One aim of the policy is to ensure that frequency of violations is tracked. Under the new policy, the Office of the Provost records all Academic Dishonesty Incident reports and, if a student has multiple violations, can take action as they deem appropriate. 

Also outlined in the policy are the procedures for resolving academic dishonesty allegations.   

In tandem with this policy, trustees voted to approve revisions to the Grade Appeal Procedure in order to align it with the changes to the Academic Integrity Policy. 

Changes to the Student Code of Conduct were approved by trustees as well. The code now prohibits students from sharing or using another student’s student ID card. 

Trustees also voted to approve tuition and fee rates, housing rates and food service rates for the 2023-2024 school year. Tuition and fee rates did not change for the sixth year in a row, with tuition remaining at $403 per credit hour for in-state students and $837 per credit hour for out-of-state students. Housing rates remained the same as well with the exception of the new College Park and Island Street apartment complexes—both whose approved fee was $4,500 for a nine-month contract. 

The costs of meal plans are set to increase, however. The cost of residential meal plans is set to increase roughly 8% for the next academic year. The cost of optional commuter meal plans are set to increase 4% of the 2023-2023 school year as well. 

In regard to the new apartment complexes, the board voted to give university president Dr. John Stewart the ability to negotiate with and pay tenants to vacate their units before their leases expire. The university hopes to vacate these units so that the Physical Plant can begin renovations to the buildings so students can begin living there in the fall 2023 semester. 

At the meeting, Stewart said that it wouldn’t be easy for some of the tenants of these complexes to move, but that the university is willing to give them a couple thousand dollars in order to aid them. 

Trustees also voted to approve to name a classroom in Myrick Hall the Alabama Power Foundations Skills Lab. The Alabama Power Foundation donated $150,000 in order to name the classroom. This comes as Myrick is being renovated to house the university’s new nursing program.  

The board also heard several reports from various campus officials and figures at their meeting.  

In his report, SGA President Cody Hodge shared the responses to a student body survey SGA conducted regarding adding a fall break to the academic calendar. 417 students responded to the survey, with 92.81% of respondents saying they are in favor of having a fall break.  

Of those in favor, the survey showed 72.39% said they would be willing to start the semester earlier to accommodate a fall break. 51.27% respondents said they would not be willing to extend the semester later into December to accommodate a fall break. 

Additionally, 48.73% of respondents said they would prefer starting the fall semester on a Thursday and having a five-day break at Thanksgiving. 

52.27% of respondents said they would not participate in Founders’ Day if it was during or right before fall break. 

In their reports, Faculty Senate President Dr. Claire Edwards and Staff Senate President Alyssa Green each said that their groups are working on developing paid parental leave policies.

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Cady Inabinett is the editor in chief of The Alabamian. She’s majoring in English and double-minoring in political science and peace and justice studies. She enjoys reading, watching movies, caring for houseplants and generally just being pretentious in her free time.