OU Trustees Approve Plan For Guaranteed Tuition

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The Ohio University Board of Trustees approved the framework of the university’s guaranteed tuition program and discussed strategies to support institutional priorities at meetings on the Athens campus this week.

In a joint meeting of the Academics and Resources committees on Thursday, Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Vice President for Finance and Administration Stephen Golding shared "The Ohio Guarantee Program" principles.

These guidelines outline a comprehensive model that includes rates for tuition, housing, dining and fees for degree-seeking undergraduate students beginning with the 2015-16 academic year. The university will set these costs for each entering cohort of degree-seeking undergraduates and they will remain the same for that cohort throughout 12 consecutive semesters. The new guidelines also address how to handle unique student populations and stipulate exceptions to the 12-semester limit. OU administrators say the comprehensiveness of the program makes it exceptional compared to other institutions with guaranteed tuition across the nation.

According to Benoit, this added stability will give students and their families an advantage when planning how to finance their education, as well as providing incentive to graduate in four years. The Board unanimously approved a resolution to adopt The Ohio Guarantee Program Principles and directed President Roderick McDavis to submit them to the chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents for final approval. The university is looking to implement The Ohio Guarantee Program starting in Fall 2015.

The Faculty Compensation Task Force was another project that took the spotlight during the joint committee meeting. The committee was tasked with ensuring effective total compensation for employees on the Athens and regional campuses. The Faculty Compensation Task Force, after doing an in-depth analysis of faculty compensation among peer institutions, determined that Ohio University should aim to rank third among four-year public universities in the state for tenure-track faculty salaries. The committee would also like to see proportional increases for regional tenure-track faculty and Group II faculty on the Athens and regional campuses. The draft plan calls for a total of $6.12 million invested in faculty salaries over three years.

The university community will have the opportunity to review and offer feedback on the draft throughout the spring semester as part of the budget development process.

In other business, the Board approved:

•A resolution to formally approve a 2.89 percent ($12,000) increase to President McDavis’ Fiscal Year 2013 base compensation and a 3 percent ($900) increase for Deborah McDavis; a 15 percent ($62,250) bonus to be computed on the basis of the president’s 2013 base compensation; and an additional 1 percent ($4,270) increase for the president and a 1 percent ($309) increase for Mrs. McDavis consistent with the merit pool granted to all university employees at the Board meeting on Aug. 29, 2013. The compensation increases are effective from July 1, 2013.

•A resolution to allow the university to accept and award contracts to undertake the schematic design for the McCracken Hall renovation and addition, the College of Business expansion and the Multiphase Corrosion Facility office addition.

•A resolution to undertake construction for renovations to Bromley Hall and the Central Food Facility; Lindley Hall rehabilitation; South Green Drive extension; South Green electrical substation replacement; Stocker air handler replacement; Treudley Hall and Ryors Hall cabinet refurbishment; and Tupper Hall rehabilitation.

•A resolution authorizing the president to accept the property on 78 Columbia Ave., Athens as a gift to the university from Dwight H. Mutchler. The property will be known as the Mutchler Home and will serve as an alternative housing option for visiting faculty and staff as well as other faculty transitioning into their positions in Athens. The resolution also stipulates that, if the property is sold at a future date, the proceeds will establish The Mutchler Painting and Drawing Endowed Scholarship.

•A resolution authorizing the Department of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences in the College of Health Sciences and Professions to offer a Master of Physician Assistant Studies.

•A resolution authorizing the Department of Health Sciences and Professions in the College of Health Sciences and Professions to offer a Global Health Certificate.

•A resolution appointing Jeffrey D. Chaddock to the Kennedy Museum of Art Advisory Board for a three-year term.