Early estimates show OU losing the highest funding percentage
Proposed changes to state subsidized funding could force Ohio University to lose about $9 million, and President Roderick McDavis wants to know why.
It’s the largest percentage loss in funding for public universities in Ohio compared to when the money was last distributed.
“I want to know what’s the policy that’s driving the proposed change in the funding formula for the state,” McDavis said. “The figures are going to be what they’re going to be, but I want to make sure the policy is the right policy that’s guiding the funding.”
The proposed changes, which the Inter-University Council of Ohio, an organization composed of public university presidents in the state, will continue discussing at its Dec. 9 meeting, would give universities less money for transfer students who start with more than 30 credit hours or an associate degree, which would be felt by programs like OU’s RN-to-BSN and online degrees, said Stephen Golding, vice president for finance and administration.
Golding said early estimates of the effect on each university, which show OU receiving 6.2 percent less in state dollars than this year, are based on last year’s funds, and aren’t completely reliable.
If those projections are correct, OU would be left with about $137 million for fiscal year 2016.
This year, OU saw a nearly 6.5 percent increase in state funding from the year before — the second largest jump amongst Ohio’s public universities.
Representatives from the 14 public universities in Ohio gave a list of proposed changes to the university presidents, recommendations which McDavis relayed to the OU Board of Trustees in October.
“My board was not altogether pleased with the loss that Ohio University would suffer,” McDavis said. “So I’ve got that in the back of my mind, but I’ve also got the fact that I’m a part of a group of 14 presidents, and we need to be united.”
But the presidents don’t need to agree unanimously.
McDavis said he believes all voices are “being listened to,” including his.
“I want to make sure that the policy is right, but I also want to make sure that Ohio University is being treated fairly,” McDavis said.
If changes are approved, McDavis said OU will look at long-term effects, but for now, the presidents are revisiting the formula after its first year of implementation.
“The goal of the IUC is for the presidents to come to some consensus on what is the appropriate way for the formula to work,” said Bruce Johnson, president of the Inter-University Council of Ohio.
“Obviously, I feel pretty good about how Ohio University is doing; there are probably some presidents at the table that looked at their results in terms of the finances, and they probably don’t feel as good as I do,” McDavis said. “All of that is part of the conversation right now.”
Early projections show that Cleveland State University may see a 5.6 percent decrease in funding — following OU for biggest percentage loss.
Cleveland State President Ronald Berkman would not comment on the current discussions.