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Saturday, Sep 20, 2014

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Trustees review strategies to overhaul tuition model, improve scholarship programs


At meetings on the University's Chillicothe campus, the Ohio University Board of Trustees reviewed ways in which the university can meet expectations for continued progress on its academic mission while developing approaches to tuition and scholarships that support students and their families.

On Thursday, during a joint meeting of the Academics and Resources committees, Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Vice President for Finance and Administration Stephen Golding provided additional information about the possibility of implementing a guaranteed tuition model. The presentation was part of an ongoing conversation with trustees on how to support academic excellence while maintaining affordability. 

The guaranteed tuition concept, which was introduced to Board members last November, aims to ensure that incoming students pay the same tuition rates for four years thereby giving families more certainty regarding the cost of attendance.

According to Golding, the university's current funding model is not sustainable in the long term given increasing fixed costs and a steady decline in both state support and the average levels of disposable family income.  

Guaranteed tuition models have been implemented at other universities and the experiences of those institutions are being studied carefully.  

Golding assured the trustees that robust discussions with the university community and the Board must be completed before approaching the state legislature about the possibility of establishing a guaranteed tuition model. State legislation would have to be passed before the University could implement a guaranteed tuition model. 

Executive Vice President and Provost Benoit continued the discussion about maintaining excellence and supporting affordability as she outlined the University's plans to improve the awarding of scholarships.

Benoit discussed the work of the Student Scholarship Task Force, led by Vice Provost for Enrollment Management Craig Cornell. The task force has been developing a new scholarship model designed to create more flexibility in targeting specific student populations with the aim of increasing yield.

Benoit noted that an in depth understanding of the effectiveness of our current scholarship programs is vital. It will help the university to use scholarship funding in ways that will provide greater support for the academic plans being developed by the colleges and increase alignment with the goals of the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan. The task force is on track to recommend a new scholarship model by June 30.  

In other business, the Board approved:

  • A resolution to approve and authorize the University to develop construction documents, receive bids and award construction contracts for design and site preparation for phase one of the Housing Development Plan; the Peden Stadium turf replacement; renovations to the third floor of the Hudson Health building; HVAC/electrical upgrades to the Computer Service center; and renovations to the Dublin campus of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. 
  • A resolution to change the name of the Management Systems Department in the College of Business to the Management Department.
  • A resolution to approve the Management Department in the College of Business to offer the International Business Certificate.
  • A resolution to approve changing the name of the Industrial Hygiene Program to the Occupational Hygiene and Safety Program and the associated degree from a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Hygiene (BSIH) to a Bachelor of Science Occupational Hygiene and Safety (BSOHS). The program is part of the College of Health Sciences and Professions.
  • A resolution to accept the seven-year reviews for the accounting technology, business management technology and office technology programs on the Chillicothe, Southern and Lancaster campuses.