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Roderick J. McDavis

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President McDavis shares news regarding budget proposal to Board of Trustees


On Monday, Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis sent an email to the entire OHIO community regarding his budget proposal to the Board of Trustees.

Dear Ohio University Students, Faculty and Staff,
 
The purpose of my message is to highlight key aspects of the proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget I will present to the Ohio University Board of Trustees at its June 23 and 24 meetings. The full report, which will be submitted to the Board, will be available here by June 18.
 
Closing the Gap
Based on Governor Kasich's proposed budget, currently under discussion in the Ohio Senate, we anticipate a net decrease of $5.3 million in state funding to Ohio University's Athens campus, a reduction of $1.5 million in state funding for our College of Osteopathic Medicine, and a combined reduction of $2.9 million in State Share of Instruction to our Regional Campuses. The governor's original budget proposal addressed college affordability through a cap of 3.5 percent increases on tuition and fees at Ohio's public colleges and universities for the next two years.
 
In response to the Governor’s proposed budget, we developed a set of planning unit reduction scenarios for the Athens campus and shared them with the University community on April 29th (OAK ID and password required). Following the release of the scenarios two budget forums were held in early May. In response to concerns raised at the budget forums, Provost Benoit and Vice President Golding provided additional information to the Faculty Senate regarding the 0.85 percent difference between the average reductions between academic units and academic support units.

Considerable discussion took place at the forums about Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) and its use in developing a new budget model for Ohio University. While we are still in the early stages of considering the structure of the new RCM model, the discussion highlighted the need for forums to be held during the 2011 fall quarter to share information and gather additional perspectives.
 
Making Investments
Because we can now demonstrate to the Board of Trustees our ability to balance our budget  by redirecting existing resources, we will ask the Board to consider the possibility of a modest tuition and fee increase. We will propose utilizing this increase to fund investments aligned with our strategic planning approach to help us insulate the university against future downturns, address faculty and staff compensation, and maintain student affordability.
 
Proposed investments in the Four Fundamentals (inspired teaching and research, innovative academic programs, exemplary student support services, and integrative co-curricular activities) include: year three of the development of the Bachelor of Nursing Program; expansion of Learning Communities; additional staffing in Disability Services; increased instructional capacity for some academic units; and OIT technology upgrades for the student information system.
 
Proposed investments in the Four Support Priorities (short and long term enrollment goals; financial strength; Capital Campaign; and effective total compensation) include: undergraduate financial aid; enrollment management marketing; increase in graduate student wages; employee total compensation pool (1.66 percent raise pool, parking and a healthcare offset); deferred infrastructure maintenance; and support for University development activities.
 
Multi-Year Planning
When the budget planning cycle for FY 2012 began in May 2010 we predicted an exceptionally difficult budget year in which the state would face an $8 billion budget deficit. We communicated the need for Ohio University to proactively integrate our strategic and budgetary planning by improving our understanding of current University activities and how they are funded and staffed; developing projected assumptions concerning key expenditures and revenues for the next three to five years; and identifying the environmental challenges the University will face in the next decade. Significant progress to date includes:

  • a streamlined planning framework based on a 4 X 4 strategic planning approach a summary of which can be viewed at: www.ohio.edu/provost/budgetmessage06062011.cfm

  • the completion of an environmental scan by every planning unit and a set of five implications put forward by the University Environmental Scan Team which can be viewed at: www.ohio.edu/provost/budgetmessage06062011.cfm

  • reviews of staffing and resource utilization by every planning unit;

  • the development by the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration of a six year sources and uses model designed to serve as a comprehensive reporting tool that will enhance our financial planning;

  • the creation of an initial six-year capital improvement plan; and

  • the decision to move to an RCM budgeting model for Ohio University.

Due to these initiatives and others, Ohio University is well on its way to being an institution that employs multi-year planning to provide us the best opportunity to achieve our vision of being the nation's best transformative learning community.
 
My thanks are extended to the Budget Planning Council, the leadership of each of the Senates, the Office of Human Resources, the budget unit managers in the planning units, the deans and associate deans, the vice presidents, and the members of the executive staff. I express special appreciation to Provost Benoit, Vice President Golding, Associate Provost John Day and their staffs for their efforts in ensuring a transparent, orderly, and fair budget process. Most importantly, I thank each of you for the important work you do on behalf of Ohio University.

Cordially,

Roderick J. McDavis

President