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President offers plan for reducing possible $8.55 million budget gap in FY08

ATHENS, Ohio (April 6, 2007) -- President Roderick J. McDavis today shared with the Budget Planning Council a revised budget scenario for the upcoming fiscal year that lays out key priorities.

McDavis will bring this plan to the Board of Trustees for discussion at its April 20 meeting. The board will establish the final budget at its meeting in late June.

"We were able to seek input of representatives from every constituent group before making these decisions, and every group got important things they asked for," McDavis said. "The budget plan also means that everyone shares in some sacrifices."

According to projected figures from the Ohio Board of Regents, the university stands to receive an additional $3.7 million for the Athens campus in fiscal year 2008 under Gov. Ted Strickland's proposed compact with higher education. Athens campus revenue will grow by just $1.7 million over the original 2007 budget estimates, however, after shortfalls in tuition revenue during the current year are taken into account. That means revenue is forecasted to grow by only 0.6 percent over 2007.

In contrast, costs are expected to grow by 3.9 percent, or $10.2 million, leaving a deficit of $8.55 million. The largest cost increases would occur in salaries, benefits and scholarships.

Final state budget figures are subject to legislative decisions in the coming months.

The plan assumes that undergraduate tuition and fees would not increase. The university would provide salary increases for faculty and staff, but ask employees to pay a larger share of their health care costs.

The budget scenario would require that $4.8 million be reallocated on the Athens campus. Administrative units would face an average reduction of 3.6 percent to their continuing base budgets while academic units would see average base budget cuts of 1.6 percent.

Other highlights under this scenario include:

  • providing employees with a 3 percent raise, on average
  • increasing financial aid for students by $500,000
  • funding a pool of $2 million for strategic investments in high-priority areas such as information technology and student worker minimum wage
  • increasing the cost of health care coverage to Athens campus employees by $900,000
  • spending $1.2 million to fund the first year of a five-year plan to increase faculty compensation
  • beginning to bill insurance companies for care provided to students at Hudson Health Center, with a goal of generating $1.4 million in new revenue

The plan was developed with input from the Budget Planning Council, a group of 16 students, faculty, staff and administrators.

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Media Contact: Senior Director of Media Relations Sally Linder, 740-591-7873 or linders@ohio.edu

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