Why One Ohio University Trustee Opposed The 1.5 Percent Tuition Increase

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During Friday's Ohio University Board of Trustees meeting, a 1.5 percent tuition increase was passed. The vote was nearly unanimous, with Janetta King being the only "no" vote of the panel. This is what King said to the board about why she opposes the increase:

I would like to comment on the proposed increase and to share a little bit about why I'm not going to be able to support it this year, just why I have a few concerns.

First of all though I want to acknowledge the process. We are getting better at this process. That's a lot of credit to vice president Golding and to Provost Benoit. You all have packaged information in a way that I believe allows this board to really grapple with these numbers, these concepts. You're asking us to make decisions but you're being very transparent about what we're basing those decisions on.

This is in no way a punishment for that transparency, but I do want to acknowledge that this board has spent several months having a really, really interesting conversation about this decision. My conclusion of the decision with the information is a little different than most of yours will be, and so I just want to say a few words about why…

Specifically, I recognize the fact that our state support – SSI – has increased this year and in fact over the past couple of years. By no means has it caught up to what it normally is. We have a long way to go to ever do that.

Over the last couple of years, we have seen some of those resources increase to our favor.

The second thing is, of course…enrollment numbers have helped bring in new revenue. And then also the financial management of the university – we closed last year with a very, very healthy balance, and that's also added new resources, as well.

So, I guess in my opinion, seeing the performance of those lines being so strong, it's hard for me to support a tuition increase on top of that.

I do want to acknowledge though and applaud the effort to give money back to…essentially hold the highest need students harmless. If we're going to do this – and again it is a very modest increase – but if we're going to do this, holding that population harmless is a very good thing.