Tuition increases, capital improvement plans and conversations about the OHIO Guarantee dominated the January meetings of the Ohio University Board of Trustees.
Here are some of the major highlights from last week’s meetings:
Incoming students are going to pay higher tuition and fees
Students enrolling on the Athens campus in fall 2018 can expect to pay more for tuition, room and board, and dining.
Tuition is set to increase by 1.3 percent for Athens campus students. Housing, meanwhile, will increase by 3.5 percent and dining services by 2 percent.
The cost of attendance for the class of 2021 this year was about $24,500 per student. Tuition and fees for in-state students was about $11,900, housing cost an average of $6,800 and dining plans cost about $5,800.
Incoming students will also pay a new “career services” fee, which will cost $6 per credit hour to benefit career and leadership development opportunities and programming. The fee will cap at 12 credit hours, or $72 per semester, for full-time students.
Under the OHIO Guarantee, none of the increases will affect current students.
Graduate students will soon have paid parental leave
OU President Duane Nellis announced the creation of a paid parental leave policy for graduate students, after months of conversation and criticism.
The OU Graduate Employee Organization released a report last semester detailing disparities between compensation for the university’s graduate student employees and those at other schools in the state.
The paid parental leave policy will take effect during the 2018 Fall Semester and will allow graduate students who receive funding to take up to a six-week leave of absence while receiving all of their stipends and benefits. Spouses and domestic partners of the birth mother or primary caregiver will receive up to three weeks of leave.
Tuition guarantee will extend to regional campuses
The OHIO Guarantee program, previously offered only to students on the Athens campus, will soon extend to students at OU regional campuses. The initiative provides level rates for tuition, housing, dining and fees that remain unchanged for 12 consecutive semesters.
If the chancellor of the Ohio Department of Education approves the measure, it will add a 6 percent tuition increase to the first class of students. The tuition increase would allow the university to “maintain the competitive rate structure” of OU’s regional campuses when compared to nearby two-year institutions, according to a university news release.
Nearly all public universities in Ohio are moving toward a guarantee this year, OU Vice President for Finance and Administration Deborah Shaffer said during a meeting Thursday.
The board approved nearly $56 million in capital projects
Projects the board approved include the $31 million renovation of the West Union Street Office Center and upgrades to several residence halls, including Washington, Tiffin, Perkins, Bryan and Pickering halls.
The Ridges will receive $15.9 million for renovation and demolition. Buildings 13, 14 and 18 will be renovated to house administrative offices currently in the West Union Street Office Center and Human Resources Training Center.
The board identified Building 20 as a “noncontributing structure,” and the university will demolish it to make room for new green space and parking.