Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said he's in favor of better communication with student landlords.
Dietz said he will meet next month with apartment owners concerned the university is building up to 1,200 new student beds in a pod format.
"I have never been called by any housing business to say what are the University plans in all of this. So, it's a two-way street. We need to talk more about what our desires are and they need to tell us what they think the impact of that is going to be," said Dietz.
Landlords have expressed concern that ISU had signaled some years ago it would rely on the private sector to offer more housing. But Dietz said ISU does need to house freshmen and sophomores and currently displaces hundreds of those students each year.
"We have different needs and we have a policy we are not living into. We have also torn down facilities. That's what's really driving this. And the increased stock of housing available on the campus available for freshmen and sophomore students," said Dietz.
Dietz said during an ISU Board of Trustees meeting that he has never said the university would not build.
Dietz said it is possible ISU will build less than the 1,200 beds in pod format.
Finalists for a proposed housing project on or near campus will be announced in the spring and a decision on how to proceed will come in the summer.
Illinois State University trustees have approved spending $1.2 million on a new roof at Horton Fieldhouse. The roof of the 58-year-old multiuse building was last replaced in 1993.
Trustees have also signed off on naming the women's basketball team locker room in Redbird Arena after hall of fame coach Jill Hutchison. That follows a six-figure gift by an anonymous donor to renovate and upgrade the locker rooms.
Hutchison coached ISU for 28 years. Her teams went to the NCAA tournament three times and the NIT six times.
ISU also named the Athletic Therapy Room in Redbird Arena for the Glen Lynch family, strong supporters of ISU Athletics.
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