Ohio University

Board of Trustees to consider FY21 budget, One OHIO update

Published: August 6, 2020 Author: Staff reports

The Ohio University Board of Trustees will consider the FY21 budget and receive an update on the One OHIO initiative during its meetings Aug. 17 and 18.

The Board will hold its annual retreat, focusing on the budget, enrollment, and the University’s COVID-19 response. The meetings will be conducted online in accordance with Ohio House Bill 197, which allows for public meetings to be conducted in an online environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic through Dec. 1, 2020.

The meetings will be held from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Aug. 17 and 9 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. Aug. 18 and will be streamed online for media and public access.

FY21 budget approval
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, Aug. 18

The Board will consider a final budget for Fiscal Year 2021. Trustees typically consider the budget at their June meeting, but the complex scenario planning necessitated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic required the administration to postpone the request until the August meeting.

The University continues to actively manage its response to the pandemic within the context of a multi-year rebalancing initiative. The detailed budget presented for approval is likely to change based on evolving enrollments and expenses related to the pandemic.

The University has continued FY21 operations through a continuing budget resolution approved by the Board in June.

Additionally, the Board will be asked to approve three resolutions related to tuition and fee rates for FY21, including:

  • A recommendation to increase six graduate course fees within the College of Business, and modify broad-based fees charged by the Registrar's office.
  • An amendment to a May 2020 resolution that waived the non-resident surcharge to out-of-state graduate students who received a baccalaureate degree from a college or university in Ohio, pending review by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE). ODHE has since advised that there must be a minimal fee of $1 per credit hour. The new resolution would establish the fee at that rate for graduate students, with the exception of those in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. The revision will be submitted to ODHE for final approval.
  • A resolution to establish a rate of $200 per course for credit evaluation and assessment as part of the University’s Prior Learning Assessment program.

One OHIO update
Academics and Student Success Committee, Aug. 17

University leadership will provide an update on the status of the One OHIO Strategic Framework Initiative. The goals of One OHIO include increased system-wide efficiency, new revenue streams, and a unified OHIO community who engage the University mission across all the locations that comprise our dynamic engagement ecosystem.

The presentation will include a status update on the financial impact of gains in efficiency as a result of One OHIO, opportunities identified for expanding existing programs and creating new programs to meet community needs, and alignment and integration efforts to unify the university community in support of our region.

Capital Improvement Plan/Century Bond funding
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, Aug. 18

The Board will be asked to approve the FY21 Capital Improvement Plan, which has been updated significantly due to impacts of COVID-19. Additionally, the Board will be asked to approve a resolution that requires that the FY21 Century Bond $10 million deferred maintenance allocation be used on an emergency basis only.

University leadership provided an update on the Capital Improvement Budget at the June 2020 meeting. The plan includes an update based upon completed project reviews since the June meeting. Leadership reexamined deferred maintenance and programmatic priorities as part of the review, in conjunction with operating budget constraints and the current strategic plan. The proposal would reduce scheduled FY21-22 new project starts from $101.7 million to $41.1 million, a 60 percent reduction. All in-progress projects have been reviewed to ensure continued alignment with current strategic objectives.

Capital projects
When: Resources, Facilities, and Affordability Committee, Aug. 18

The Board will consider one new repair project and two updated capital project budgets.

The projects are:

  • Campus steam system repairs: This $500,000 project would address campus steam distribution and tunnel improvements to aging infrastructure. This work would be done during Summer 2021 in coordination with the summer campus steam outage.
  • Scripps Hall ground floor esports renovation: This project, approved by the Board in January 2020 with a budget of $650,000, is part of a presidential initiative to bring competitive esports to OHIO. The space will be comprised of a competition room, club practice room, social gaming area, office space and a broadcast booth. Construction was originally scheduled to begin in September; however, bids opened in May were in excess of the construction budget, in part due to uncertainty around the pandemic, and could not be awarded. The project scope has been reduced and new bids are being sought. The bids will be opened the week prior to the Board meeting and a revised project budget will be available for the board’s consideration.
  • Clippinger Renovation Strategy, Phase 2: This project was previously approved by the Board in June 2019 with a budget of $33.6 million, including $26.2 million in state capital appropriations and $7.4 million in Century Bond funding. The project is well under way, but due to uncertainties in near-term state capital appropriations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board will be asked to supplant reduced or delayed state appropriations with available bond proceeds in order to maintain the project schedule. The overall budget will remain unchanged.

Student Code of Conduct revisions
Academics and Student Success Committee, Aug. 17

The Board will be asked to approve Student Code of Conduct revisions necessitated by new Title IX regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Education. Ohio University is amending University policy as a result of the regulations, which in turn requires revisions to the Student Code of Conduct.

The changes include updated titles for sexual misconduct violations, an expanded scope to clarify the difference between the sexual misconduct process and the community standards process, and minor edits to reflect a name change to the sexual misconduct policy and process.

The full agenda for the Aug. 17-18 Board of Trustees meetings can be found on the Trustees’ website. The board meeting will be streamed here on Aug. 17 and here on Aug. 18.