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Trustees approve FY2017 budget at June meeting

The Ohio University Board of Trustees approved the fiscal year 2017 budget and discussed strategic planning efforts at meetings on the Lancaster Campus.

Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Vice President for Finance and Administration Deborah Shaffer presented the FY2017 budget during a joint meeting of the Resources and Academics committees Thursday morning. The all-funds budget is underpinned by OHIO’s commitment to greater transparency, improved financial forecasting and multi-year planning as methods to ensure adequate funding of strategic priorities like student affordability, employee compensation and capital improvements, and program quality and growth.

The Signature Scholarship Program, the University’s Innovation Strategy and raise pools for faculty and staff comprise a few of the continued investments that support these core values.

Shaffer also detailed recent changes to the State Share of Instruction funding formula that resulted in an allocation that, although still an increase from FY2016, is $5.6 million less than anticipated. As a result, OHIO will utilize University reserves as a one-time funding strategy to close this gap. Planning Units will then develop a strategy to absorb this impact over the next fiscal year.      

Trustees heard a capital planning update from Shaffer. As with the budget, the University’s capital improvement projects are based on a multi-year planning model that considers long-term financial and debt capacity in addition to campus priorities and programmatic needs.

Major projects reviewed by the Board include renovations to Clippinger, Ellis and Seigfred, and construction of the Perry and Sandy Sook Academic Center.

Shaffer explained that the University is currently undertaking a deferred maintenance assessment of the entire campus. This study will update and expand upon data gathered from a 2012 Sightlines study that helped to define the scope OHIO’s deferred maintenance backlog.

The University will present the trustees with an updated six-year Capital Improvement Plan that spans from FY2017 through FY2022 for approval at their meeting in August.

In addition, Benoit and Shaffer outlined cost saving and revenue generation strategies created in response to the Ohio Governor’s Task Force. These measures – which encompass procurement and administrative efficiencies as well as affordability initiatives like reducing textbook costs and time to degree – are in service of meeting a goal of $60 million in efficiency savings and new resources to be generated through FY2021.

The OHIO Task Force – a 16 member-committee with representation from various campus constituency groups – formulated the recommendations with input from Huron Consulting and feedback from across the campus community. The University will submit the completed report, along with a five-year implantation plan, to the Director of Higher Education by Aug. 1.

At the full Board meeting on Friday morning, Benoit, Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives Stephen Golding and Director of University Planning and Space Management Shawna Bolin led a discussion and garnered feedback on the first steps of a Framework Plan for the Dublin Extension Campus. The University has already conducted workshops and sought comment on plans for the campus through college forums, close collaboration with the City of Dublin and visits to Faculty Senate and administrative units throughout the University.  

The completed plan will provide a physical framework from which the strategic vision for the Dublin Extension Campus will be realized. There is a clear emphasis on creating an “innovation district” that fosters technological and economic advancements, as well as on supporting “OHIO for Ohio” by strengthening partnerships and developing programs that are uniquely suited to the region.

In other business, the Board approved:

  • A resolution to approve a new base salary for President Roderick J. McDavis of $500,000 and a new base salary for Deborah McDavis of $38,050 for fiscal year 2016-17. The Board also approved a bonus of $100,000 for the president.
  • A resolution to award Faculty Fellowship leaves for the 2016-2017 academic year.
  • A resolution to grant Faculty and administrative emeriti awards.
  • A resolution to make appointments to the Coordinating Councils at the Chillicothe, Eastern, Lancaster, Southern and Zanesville regional campuses.
  • A resolution to approve an updated version of the Ohio University Completion Plan, which was first approved in 2014. This plan is in response to state legislation requiring the original plan and updates every two years in order to increase the number of degrees and/or certificates awarded at state institutions.
  • A resolution to adopt the revised and updated Uniform Statewide Standards for Remediation-Fee Status as institutional policy for student placement. The updates were previously adopted by the presidents of the Inter-University Council in May 2016.
  • A resolution to offer the Associate in Applied Business degree in Accounting Technology on the Chillicothe Campus.
  • A resolution to offer the following new degree programs on the Athens Campus: the Master of Fine Arts degree in Communication Media Arts in the Scripps College of Communication; the Bachelor of Arts in Dance by the School of Dance, Film and Theater through the Honors Tutorial College; the Bachelor of Science in Physical education degree in a non-licensure Physical Activity and Sport Coaching major program in the Department of Recreation and Sport Pedagogy in the Patton College of Education; and the re-establishing of the Master of Accounting degree in the College of Business.  
  • A resolution to place the Lancaster Campus’ Associate of Arts degree program in Deaf Studies and Interpreting on suspended status.
  • A resolution to accept program reviews for the departments of Environmental and Plant Biology and Molecular and Cellular Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences; the College of Business; the School of Communication Studies in the Scripps College of Communication; the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine; and the Department of Military Science in University College.
  • A resolution to approve the FY 2017 Ohio University budget.
  • A resolution to adopt a plan to achieve a five-year goal of $60 million for efficiency savings and new resources generated through FY 2021.
  • Resolutions to approve updated corporate resolutions and certificates of incumbency for Hirtle, Callaghan & Co., LLC and for BNY Mellon. These will provide Vice President for Finance and Administration Deborah Shaffer and Chief Finance and Investment Officer for Foundation Operations Candice Casto authority to transact business with financial institutions and investment managers on the University’s behalf.
  • A resolution to name the Center for Sports Administration within the Department of Sports Administration in the College of Business as the AECOM Center for Sports Administration effective for a period of four years, with an option to renew, beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2020.
  • A resolution to change the name of the Computer Services Center on the Athens Campus to the Phil and Pat Muck Business Annex.
  • A resolution to name the new academic center at the north end of Peden Stadium the Perry and Sandy Sook Academic Center.
  • Resolutions to proceed with the design through contract administration for the Ellis Hall renovation, Seigfred Hall renovation and Tiffin Hall bathroom upgrades; design for the Perry and Sandy Sook Academic Center; the design through construction phases for the Central Classroom Anthropological lab suite and the HCOM Cleveland third floor expansion; the construction phase (with budget amendments) for Hwa Wei Lee Library Annex humidity controls, the Morton Hall roof replacement and the Seigfred Hall roof and window replacement; and a scope revision with a budget amendment for College Green exterior paint and wood repair.
  • A resolution to undertake design through construction for Sargent Hall masonry repairs.
  • A resolution to enter into a project agreement with the City of Athens regarding the construction of a new roadway between Stimson Avenue and Mill Street.
  • Resolutions to approve easements to the City of Athens for the Northeast Campus Gateway and for the East State Street Roadway projects.
  • A resolution to declare 78 Columbia Avenue in Athens, Ohio, surplus property in order to sell the property.
  • A resolution to approve the use of $11 million of Century Bond funds to support the Clippinger Renovation Strategy.
  • A resolution to approve the University’s proposed audit plan for FY 2017.
  • Resolutions to approve amendments to the Student Senate and Graduate Student Senate constitutions.
  • A resolution to appoint David Pidwell to serve as a national trustee for a term that will expire on June 30, 2019.
  • A resolution to elect Deborah Shaffer as the treasurer of the Board of Trustees for a term beginning June 24 and ending June 30, 2017.
  • A resolution to elect David Moore as secretary to the Board of Trustees for a term beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2017.
  • A resolution to confer an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree to David M. Crane.