Ohio University Faculty Senate passed a resolution Monday asking the university to increase transparency about university finances and have shared governance with faculty for all budget-related issues.
The resolution states the university has “not consistently utilized the mechanisms of shared governance when making budget decisions and setting financial priorities for academic programs.”
Faculty Senate asked the university to appoint a committee that will work to increase transparency about problems and solutions involving university finances for executive provosts, academic deans and school directors to provide a quarterly forum to explain budget issues and include at least two peer-selected faculty members in budget decisions that have an impact on academics, according to the resolution.
It also asked the university to prioritize its educational mission so that budget cuts have a minimal impact on teaching.
OU President Duane Nellis said the university budget will be balanced to meet student demand.
The budget for programs that lack student involvement will be cut in order to put more funding toward more popular, growing programs that could build revenue for the university, Nellis said. He also said there are plans to hire new faculty into growing programs.
“We are also looking at ways to strategically hire new faculty with where we have strategic opportunities,” Nellis said. “As you know, we have these meetings and go through and look at the cases that come forward from the deans and make decisions.”
Elizabeth Sayrs, senior vice provost for undergraduate education and student success, said the retention rate, or the percentage of a school's first-year undergraduate students who continue at that school the next year, has gone up about 2% over the past five years.
Sayrs also said there has been about a 6% increase in the four-year graduation rate over the past two years.
Sayrs later discussed the Experiential Learning Fee included in the OHIO Guarantee. For students enrolled in at least 12 credit hours at the Athens campus, the Experiential Learning Fee included in the OHIO Guarantee is $72 per semester.
She said the fee is meant to create deep learning experiences, provide students with support services and remove institutional barriers.