Apr 17, 2014
By Gretchen Gregory
Two budget forums were held this week in an effort to seek input from students, faculty and staff about Ohio University's Fiscal Year 2014-2015 budget.
Two presentations led by Ohio University Budget Director Chad Mitchell and Associate Provost for Academic Budget and Planning John Day were given, followed by a question and answer session which included discussion with Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit as well as Vice President for Finance and Administration Steve Golding. OHIO Executive Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of University College David Descutner served as the moderator during the event.
Mitchell noted that as the University looks to plan future budgets, it’s important to keep in mind the sustainability of tuition increases on the student population and their families, and said it’s a discussion that needs to be thought of on an ongoing basis.
“We look at the OHIO guarantee as a step in the right direction, enabling our students to better predict the cost of their education,” he said. “We are looking at how we manage student costs and think about what the appropriate and fair share is for students to pay for their education.”
He introduced three budget models for Fiscal Year 2014-2015, including one without a tuition increase, a second scenario with a 1 percent tuition increase, and a third with a 1.5 percent increase.
Mitchell also described steps currently underway by the University in order to determine the most viable option when deciding where key investments and priorities should be made without increasing tuition. Options include administration reallocation that involves looking for cost-savings opportunities by eliminating inefficient business processes and looking for opportunities to allocate funding for higher priorities. Other options include increased endowment and annual giving as well as enrollment and program growth, he noted.
“The remaining step in closing the budget is to take the resources we have, what we have committed to spend, and make choices on programmatic investments,” added Day during his presentation. “We have far more requested investments than we can afford to do, so throughout the process we must prioritize these, whether we have a zero percent tuition scenario or a 1.5 percent tuition scenario.”
The University will continue to develop solutions to problems, he noted, by looking at a variety of needs and staying fully committed to the priorities set forth by the OHIO Board of Trustees.
View a webcast of the budget forum by clicking here.