ATHENS, Ohio (April 15, 2005) -- The Ohio University Board of Trustees set the tuition increase for undergraduate students at 6 percent for the 2005-06 academic year during the board's regular meeting Friday, April 15. The increase includes 5 percent to support operating costs and 1 percent for student financial aid.
Additionally, combined room and board increases will be 2 percent for the upcoming academic year.
"This is the time of year when high school seniors are making their final college choices, and it is important that prospective students and their parents have all of the pertinent facts available in making this important decision," Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis said.
Tuition and fees for both resident and non-resident students will increase by $155 per quarter. After these increases, Ohio residents will pay $8,235 in tuition and fees for the academic year, while out-of-state students will pay $17,199.
"We're putting students first, and this sends a clear message that we are committed to providing an opportunity for students to attend Ohio University and receive a quality education at reasonable costs," McDavis said. "We've been implementing cost-cutting measures and will continue to look for ways to tighten our financial belt without putting the quality of the university's educational experience at risk."
The Audit, Finance, Facilities and Investment Committee of the board recently agreed by consensus that the university's undergraduate tuition be limited to 6 percent or less for next academic year.
The tuition increases include a 3 percent increase for graduate tuition, no increase in the surcharge for undergraduate and graduate out-of-state students, a 3 percent increase for regional campus students and a 6 percent increase in College of Osteopathic Medicine tuition. Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration Larry Corrigan reported that the fiscal year 2006 Athens campus general program budget is anticipated to grow by less than 2 percent from the current year budget, as the tuition and fee increase will be partially offset by an expected 3 percent reduction in state funding.
Interim Provost Kathy Krendl reported that the short-term enrollment goal is to return to the 2002-03 level of about 20,000 students on the Athens campus as soon as possible. The budgeted enrollment for the 2005-06 academic year is 19,565 students, with goals of 16,500 undergraduates (including 3,800 freshmen and 500 transfer students), 2,640 graduate students and 425 College of Osteopathic Medicine students.
As part of efforts to grow enrollment, the university is studying academic programs that have the capacity for growth, an improved focus on student success and retention as part of the first-year experience and expanded residential and other learning communities to improve retention.
In other board activity:
The board heard a report on the success of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards. Fifteen Ohio University students have won these prestigious awards so far this year, with many possible awards still pending. Last year, the university had 23 national award winners.
During the last three years, Ohio University ranks first among Ohio's public and private colleges and universities with 36 winners of nationally competitive awards. Among 13 Mid-American Conference schools, Ohio University is first during that same three-year period. In a comparison with its 10 selected peer institutions, Ohio University ranks second, trailing only the University of North Carolina, which has 42 winners.
In House Bill 16, a capital improvement bill, the state legislature has appropriated to the university more than $4.3 million in capital renovations funds for the main campus in Athens and $890,000 for the regional campuses. The university will use the funds for 13 projects on the Athens campus and five on regional campuses.
Among the biggest projects are the construction of an American with Disabilities Act-approved ramp on the Park Place side of Alden Library; an elevator in Chubb Hall to accommodate handicapped individuals; a new storm sewer from Morton Hall through East and North greens to the Hocking River next to Mill Street Apartments to replace deteriorating pipes; and the completion of the second phase of a new roof, gutter and downspouts on Ellis Hall.
The board approved the advertising of bids for three construction projects:
- The planned second phase of Alden Library's Learning Commons to expand the initial project, which opened prior to the start of the current academic year. Total price is $750,000, and the project will be financed with a combination of library operating funds and private gifts.
- An addition to the Life Science Research Facility for the holding of aquatic species. The $1.1 million project is being funded by money from the Vice President for Research that is designated for this project.
- The construction of the Proctorville Academic Building, a satellite location classroom building for the Southern Campus. Funding for the $589,000 project will be a combination of state capital improvement appropriations and funds from the Southern Campus.
Approval was granted for a conservation easement for a 63-acre site the university owns north of Ohio University Zanesville Campus. The easement will protect the wetlands and reserve the right of the university to use the site for research, study and non-intrusive recreation.
The board recommended the conferral of honorary degrees to the following individuals, at the appropriate times:
- Phoebe Beasley, an alumnus and 2003 Medal of Merit winner, who will deliver the undergraduate commencement address June 11.
- Former U.S. presidents George H. Bush and William Clinton for their joint efforts to raise support for victims of the December 2004 tsunami in Indonesia.
- Principal Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, London, Christoph von Dohnanyi. His grandfather, Professor Ernst von Dohnanyi, was similarly honored by then-university President John C. Baker in 1953.
- Alumnus and business leader Charles R. Stuckey, Jr., who has served the university on a variety of volunteer boards in the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology, the Ohio University Foundation and the Bicentennial Campaign. He and his wife, Marilyn, have endowed a named professorship, Cutler Scholar and major gift for the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.
Krendl updated the board on the Vision Ohio project, which will provide a long-term strategic plan for the university. During her presentation, she shared the latest drafts of the project's mission, vision and guiding principles and discussed the feedback she has received from the open forum discussions she has hosted. Krendl also updated the board on the strategic planning task force's progress to date on the identification of undergraduate, graduate and research priorities.
The board approved the awarding of nearly 40 University Faculty Fellowships to allow selected faculty members to pursue scholarly research and activities, which will further enhance educational experience students receive in the classrooms and laboratories, for portions or all of the 20005-06 academic year.
Emritus/emerita status was awarded to 11 faculty members upon their retirement. The faculty members have either already retired or will retire from full-time teaching prior to the 2005-06 academic year.
NBBJ of Columbus has been selected as the consultant to develop a campus wide master plan for the Athens campus. The master plan will enable the university to focus its resources to meet future demands on its facilities in a way that will best meet the university's goals and objectives as defined in the strategic plan.
Contract terms are being negotiated with a budget of $600,000. Data-gathering has begun and a final report is due by December.
Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Sostarich presented a report on the Off-Campus Living Office and an update on the progress of the University Center, with an emphasis on the center's interior design efforts to emphasize diversity and multicultural expression.
[ 30 ]
Media Contact: Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793; Pager: (740) 290-4479