President Hugh Sherman addressed inflation at the Ohio University Faculty Senate meeting on Monday, saying that he is hopeful that the Ohio state government will allow OU to increase tuition for incoming freshmen to offset the unprecedented inflation rates of the past year.
Sherman said wages for faculty and staff have not been able to be increased in accordance with inflation because the state government has blocked OU’s proposals to raise tuition.
“Our tuition increases for public universities in the state of Ohio are significantly less, almost a third less,” Sherman said. “So our students are really benefiting and getting a lower cost.”
Sherman said the money that goes into operating costs for the class and office buildings should be allocated elsewhere if operating costs do not decrease. He said this is because the use of buildings is disproportionately lower than the operating costs OU pays.
“It’s very likely that we’re using our classrooms 50% of the time,” Sherman said. “It’s very likely that we’re using our office spaces even less.”
Sherman said conversations about a tuition increase would continue with Ohio legislators. He also said increasing room and board costs is an option being considered.
The proposed legislation would allow universities to increase tuition for incoming freshmen based on a three-year rolling average of inflation rates but clarified that any tuition increases by OU would not jeopardize the Ohio Guarantee+ Plan for returning students.