Illinois State University’s Board of Trustees has ratified a six-month extension of its agreement with Connect Transit to cover free bus access for students, faculty and staff.
The board, however, delayed meeting in executive session during its special meeting Saturday to discuss a potential salary bonus of up to $50,000 for president Larry Dietz because trustees Bob Dobski, Rocky Donahue and Mary Ann Louderback were unable to attend the meeting, though they each participated via conference call.
That review is expected to be held in early 2020, according to ISU spokesperson Eric Jome.
The university and transit agency announced Thursday they had come to terms on an extension for January through June 2020 after the Connect Transit Board of Trustees struck down an extension last week, leaving universal access for the ISU community in jeopardy.
ISU agreed to boost its funding to Connect Transit to $567,018 for the 2020 fiscal year, marking a 4% increase. University trustees approved the contract in a 7-0 vote.
Connect Transit provided 617,000 rides to ISU students, faculty and staff last year on all of its fixed routes, including Redbird Express. Those riders can swipe their university ID card to ride free.
The ISU board also approved spending $1.3 million for a new Asian-themed restaurant as part of the Bone Student Center’s $33 million renovation.
Construction of the Star Ginger Asian Grille and Noodle Bar is scheduled to begin in the spring and be finished before students return for the fall 2020 semester in August.
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