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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

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State Budget Impact on OHIO


Dear Colleagues:

Yesterday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law the state of Ohio’s two-year operating budget for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. We would like to take this opportunity to summarize key provisions of this budget as they relate to Ohio University and our students.

First, we want to express our deep appreciation to Governor DeWine and the state legislature, particularly Speaker Larry Householder and Rep. Jay Edwards, for authorizing a 2% increase in the State Share of Instruction (SSI) funding in FY20 ($2.019 billion) and an additional 1% increase in FY21 ($2.039 billion). Ohio University receives a share of that funding aligned with its enrollment in relation to that of other state institutions. 

The state’s FY20-21 investment in higher education extends beyond the State Share of Instruction to include significant increases in funding for the Ohio College Opportunity Grant (OCOG) program. The state of Ohio has committed more than $70 million in additional funding to this biennium for OCOG, the state’s undergraduate financial aid program that provides tuition assistance to residents with demonstrated need. OCOG’s maximum public student grant awards of $1,500 in FY19 are anticipated to increase by more than 65% to $2,500 in 2021 as a result of the state’s investment. Increasing financial assistance for Ohio University’s undergraduate students is a shared mission with the state legislature and remains a priority as the institution progresses at-risk students toward graduation and the workforce.

We are grateful that the approved state budget provides the University tuition flexibility, as it allows a 3.5% increase on in-state undergraduate instructional and general fees on the incoming freshmen cohort. However, affordability is still a top priority. Under the OHIO Guarantee it is estimated that 65% of our undergraduate students in Fall 2019 will not experience any tuition or fee increases. As part of our budget process, Ohio University continues to identify efficiencies and consolidation opportunities across the University system, while also creating new programs to enhance student options and encourage new enrollments and innovation in academic and administrative activities. 

We are fortunate to have Speaker Householder and Representative Edwards as legislative leaders in Columbus who recognize that Appalachia has tremendous challenges, while in turn also has an enduring spirit and tremendous potential. To respond to this need, Speaker Householder and Representative Edwards led the effort for an increased investment in Ohio University’s nationally ranked public service and outreach college, the Voinovich School of Leadership in Public Affairs. This increased investment in the Appalachian New Economy Partnership (ANEP), a program known for solving problems and advancing prosperity within our region, shows that Ohio’s leaders believe in our part of this great state. ANEP provides businesses and communities with technical and capital assistance to grow the economy, create jobs, improve children’s health and expand opioid prevention services in a rural underserved area.

Additionally, the state has invested money to help expand our George V. Voinovich Academy for Excellence in Public Service, which partners with local and state government agencies to provide training to improve the delivery of services, including for those in high need communities in rural and underserved Appalachian Ohio.  

While this is all very good news, it is important that we continue to partner with statewide efforts that prioritize college affordability. In addition, we will continue to collaborate with our campus community as we develop bold new initiatives designed to elevate Ohio University’s national visibility and reputation through increased academic and research quality, enhance student success and allow for increased investments in the faculty and staff whose contributions make Ohio University a unique and extraordinary institution.

Thank you for all that you do to make Ohio University a wonderful place to live, work and learn.

Cordially,

M. Duane Nellis
President
 
Chaden Djalali 
Executive Vice President and Provost

Deborah J.  Shaffer
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration