The Butler Community College Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved increases for tuition, fees and residence hall rates.

The Butler Community College Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved increases for tuition, fees and residence hall rates.

Next fall, tuition and fee rates per credit hour will be $84 for Butler County students, $95 for Kansas residents from outside Butler County, $153 for out-of-state residents and $239 for international students.

This is a $6 per credit hour increase for Butler County and Kansas residents and a $8 increase for out-of-state and international students.

Members of the college’s administration recommended the increases since revenues from state sources and local mill levies are expected to remain the same while expenditures increase.

The Trustees also approved a 3 percent meal plan increase, which passes on an increase from Butler’s food service provider Great Western, and an approximately one percent increase in residence hall rates.

Students receiving 19 meals a week will pay $1,750 per year.

Students living in West Hall will pay $2,800 annually, students in East and Cummins will pay $3,700 annually and students in the BCC Apartments will pay $4,000 annually.

In other business, the Trustees:

• received Kyle McLaren, who asked the Trustees to keep the welding program and to possibly expand it.

• received a report on proposed projects that would help the college conserve energy. If all of the recommended projects are approved, the total cost would come to around $5.8 million. Some of the Trustees expressed hesitation about spending such a large sum on energy conservation projects all at once. The Trustees will continue to discuss the proposed projects before making a decision.

• approved refinancing of Student Union and residence hall revenue bonds.

• discussed the proposed tobacco-free campus policy. Employees have had a chance to read the proposed policy and share their thoughts about it.

Trustee Jim Wilson asked staff to contact other community colleges with similar polices to find out what the cost of their programs ended up being. He also objected to the part of the policy that allows smoking in the passenger area of vehicles on campus. Vice president of student services Bill Rinkenbaugh replied it would be difficult to enforce a smoking ban in private vehicles.

“Cars are personal property,” said Rinkenbaugh. “We didn’t feel we had the rights to [enforce a ban] in their property.”

“They’re on our property though,” replied Wilson. “I think you enforce it just the same as if somebody was standing there. It doesn’t matter if they’re sitting in their car or standing outside.”

Butler received a grant in the amount of $21,470 from the Kansas Health Foundation to help with consultant, communication and signage costs. The Trustees will continue to discuss the policy before making a final decision.

• received a report on the Career and Technical Education - Advanced Technology Center Division from the division’s dean Dr. Roberto Rodriguez.