Tuition remains at current levels for next year

BOWLING GREEN, O.—The Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees approved an educational budget of $263,718,000 for the main campus and $12,760,520 for the BGSU Firelands campus at its board meeting Friday (June 22). The action keeps tuition at current levels .

The budget is based on projections of the University receiving state funding consistent with the Ohio Senate's budget proposal for higher education. The proposal is under consideration by a joint Senate-House conference committee. Approval of the state's next two-year budget is expected before the new biennium starts July 1.

The trustees praised government leaders for recognizing the substantial impact of higher education on state economic development efforts.

“Clearly the governor and legislators on both sides of the political aisle see the importance of higher education and are working together to finalize a budget bill with much-needed support for the state's universities,” said Michael Wilcox, chair of the trustees. “We commend their commitment to higher education, their commitment to keeping a higher education affordable for students and their commitment to the future of our state. We are extremely proud of our institution and the value that our faculty and staff bring to our students.”

In addition to the educational budget, the BGSU trustees approved auxiliary, dining hall and residence hall budgets for the coming academic year.

The cost of room and board next year will increase by 3 percent.

Total tuition, room, board and registration fees for the coming academic year for an Ohio undergraduate student will be $15,938, a $194 or 1.2 percent increase over last year. There is no increase in the general fee.

The newly approved University budget contains a 3 percent increase in the pool for faculty and staff wages and benefits. There also is a 3 percent increase in funding for graduate student stipends.

To continue to attract and retain faculty who are among the nation's finest, in 1999 the trustees resolved to improve faculty compensation. Since that time, annual salary increases for continuing faculty have averaged 4.94 percent annually, compared to a 4.18 percent average for all Ohio state universities.

The increases were made in spite of serious budget challenges resulting from eroding state support over the past five years and escalating costs for health care, technology and energy.

“Despite having little cushion in the budget, our board of trustees and administration remain dedicated to maintaining a strong faculty,” BGSU President Sidney Ribeau said. “The 3 percent increase in the pools for salaries is consistent with the board's longstanding resolve to improve faculty and staff compensation.”

The approved budget also calls for $3 million in cost reductions, including $1.4 million in cost efficiencies required by the proposed state budget. A strategic plan for achieving those efficiencies is now being developed, Sherideen S. Stoll, the University's chief financial officer and vice president for finance and administration, told the board.

In other action, the trustees approved full implementation of the University's BG Experience Values Exploration Initiative, which has received national attention as a leader in helping students explore their personal values and strive for ethical behavior, and has become one of BGSU's signature programs.

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(Posted June 22, 2007 )