NORMAL (HOI) - Illinois State University’s governing board approved approved millions of dollars worth of projects on Friday, and also gave university president Larry Dietz a $48,000 bonus.
That's on top of his $375,000 annual salary. Dietz is in the final year of a three-year contract, which calls for annual performance reviews and yearly bonuses of up to $50,000.
A new multicultural center costing $5.5 million won approval from the Board of Trustees.
Opening of a campus multicultural center has been in the works for two years.
Last fall, ISU students protested, saying the campus community was disregarding its black students. Even though the multicultural center was in the works before that, ISU spokesperson Eric Jome said the protests added urgency to move the project forward.
The center will go into an existing building on Main Street in Normal, near the recreation center.
"That would include meeting spaces, office space for administrative staff, student organization staff and other satellite support service for students. Again, meeting space and programming space really to serve student needs," Jome said.
Students and faculty seemed to agree that adding a multicultural center will help recruit new students.
"As a person of color, diversity is one important thing you want to consider. You want to be around people that are of your origin," said ISU student Jordan Carmon.
Along with the multicultural center, the board approved a $4 million plan to reconfigure the Bone Student Center parking lot.
Jome said work crews will divide the massive lot into two separate parking areas. Between the two lots, there will be an upgraded pedestrian pathway leading to the student center and the Milner Library plaza.
The parking lot renovations accompany recent upgrades to the student center itself.