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Budget Planning Council releases FY18 budget update

The following message was sent to Ohio University faculty and staff by the Budget Planning Council on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Dear Colleagues,

We recognize that our budget decisions this year will have a material impact on you and your families. For this reason, we feel it necessary to provide you with a brief overview of where we stand and the steps we are taking with the budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18), which runs from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. 

As we await the passage of the state of Ohio budget, our colleges and administrative units continue to formulate their projections for revenues and expenses and project the financial impact of increased central costs such as healthcare and utilities. 

We will continue to move forward based on what we know at this point in our planning process. While we are making these decisions now based on our current information and budget projections, we will continue to revisit our compensation decisions for future years through our multi-year budget process. A summary of our planning assumptions, projections, and decisions thus far are as follows: 

  • September 2016: Initial planning assumptions were provided to colleges and administrative units to facilitate a review of initial financial projections in October and November.
  • December 2, 2016: We shared a budget planning update for the initial projections from the fall, Including the steps being taken to revise planning assumptions and projections and the process that would be used to evaluate and prioritize investments. One step was to increase our enrollment assumption for Fall 2017 freshmen class by 152 students based on a significant increase in applications.
  • January 2016: The Benefits Advisory Council’s recommendations for FY18 benefit plan changes, which were first recommended in winter of 2015 as part of a multi-year plan to reduce university benefit costs, were reviewed and accepted by the Total Compensation Committee (TCC) in January 2018. Prescription plan changes that include drug quantity management, step therapy, and prior authorization were recommended and accepted by the TCC to further reduce benefit costs. The changes are effective July 1.
  • February 28, 2017: The Budget Planning Council (BPC) announced that the Fall 2016 planning assumption of no raise pools for FY18 would continue, with the exception of honoring the second year of the compensation plan for medical faculty, which lagged the faculty compensation plan by two years.

Given current uncertainties related to State Appropriations and enrollments, University leadership and BPC will be discussing the possible effects on University funding. The Governor’s Budget proposal included a 1% increase in State Share of Instruction, but the state’s fiscal challenges have put this increase in jeopardy. We also are assessing the financial impact of a potentially smaller freshmen class than last year.
This year is a challenging one for higher education, but our prudent efforts now will ensure continued financial stability and security in the future. We will continue to work with our Deans, Faculty Senate, Administrative Senate, Classified Senate, Budget Planning Council, Budget Planning Office, College and Administrative Department leadership, and Interim President Descutner over the coming months. We will update you as we develop a final University budget to present to our Board of Trustees at its June meeting.

Your contribution to Ohio University is significant and deeply valued. We hope this information clarifies the work we have been doing collectively to ensure an even stronger institution now and into the future. 

Pam Benoit
Executive Vice President and Provost 

Deb Shaffer
Vice President for Finance and Administration

Budget Planning Council

Budget Planning Council

• Joe McLaughlin, Faculty Senate 

• David Thomas, Faculty Senate 

• Susan Williams, Faculty Senate 

• Elizabeth Sayrs, Dean

• Hugh Sherman, Dean

• Reneé Middleton, Dean

• Aimee Edmondson, Faculty at-large

• Cindy Anderson, Faculty at-large

• Hannah Clouser, Student Senate 

• Ian Armstrong, Graduate Student Senate

• PJ Roden, Student Trustee

• Jason Pina, Vice President

• Heather Gould, Classified Senate 

• Jessica Wingett, Adminstrative Senate

• Pam Benoit, Co-chair

• Deb Shaffer, Co-chair

• John Day, Ex-officio

• Chad Mitchell, Ex-officio