Trustees Adopt Budget Measures
BUDGET DECISIONS REINFORCE OHIO STATE'S PRIORITIES COLUMBUS -- The Ohio State University's Board of Trustees Wednesday (9/1) adopted a series of budget measures designed to improve student services and to support core academic programs, while protecting Ohio State's financial stability. "We have made tough choices to support the right priorities," President E. Gordon Gee told the trustees in presenting his budget recommendations. "We have improved service to students in a number of areas, and we have provided modest salary increases to faculty and staff." The university budget approved by the trustees in July called for about $15 million in spending reductions to offset a lack of revenues and to provide additional funds for priority programs. University officials were given until Sept. 1 to come up with a set of selective spending reductions. This latest action by the trustees approves the administration's plan of selected cuts in the general funds allocated to colleges and offices across the Columbus campus. Among the university priorities for additional funding were: -- Improved services in student financial aid, including an additional $8.3 million for scholarships. -- Improvements in class scheduling, including $1.75 million to add sections to popular required courses. -- More instruction in data analysis, foreign language and writing as part of Ohio State's undergraduate curriculum reform. -- Advancements in computer facilities and networking, including $1.5 million to remodel and expand computer laboratories for students. -- Additional research support to faculty and research opportunities for students. -- Expanded support for a diverse student body and faculty, including an additional $2.8 million split among the Young Scholars Program, minority scholarships and the Faculty Incentive Program. -- The first pay raise in two years for most faculty, staff and student employees. "These priorities represent the core of our academic programs," said Richard Sisson, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. "Whatever else happens, these core programs must be protected and enhanced." The budget reductions totaled $15,296,000, about 4.3 percent of the university general fund. Colleges were reduced an average of 3.5 percent, while academic support units -- such as Human Resources, and Business and Administration -- were reduced an average of 6.0 percent. The Office of the President was reduced 15 percent. William Shkurti, vice president for finance, estimates that as many as 300 to 400 jobs may be eliminated. That includes vacant positions and the possible lay-off of up to 100 support staff. No lay-offs of faculty members are expected. Each college and office prepared budget reduction plans for the offices of Academic Affairs and Finance in early August. The full effects of the budget cuts will become known later in September as these plans are implemented. Further savings will be generated as the university continues the streamlining of its administration. The streamlining began last January when the Office of Academic Affairs reorganized the academic support units that report to that office. Among the major changes were the merging of the Office of Student Financial Aid with the Office of Admissions; the transfer of the Office of Continuing Education to University College to reduce program duplication; and the merger of the Center for Teaching Excellence, given a new charge as the Center for Instructional Resources, with the Office of Academic Computing. The second phase of restructuring includes the offices of the vice presidents for Finance, Human Resources, Business and Administration, Student Affairs, Development, and Research. Changes in operating procedure and staffing to elmininate duplication will be announced in mid-year, according to Shkurti. The third phase will involve academic units. Procedures to assess the administrative structure of Ohio State's 19 colleges and seven schools will be developed this autumn with the changes phased in beginning in autumn 1994. The trustees also approved limits on the growth of the university's multi-year spending plans for a number of programs in light of universitywide priorities. # Contact: Richard Sisson, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, (614) 292-5881; and William Shkurti, vice president for finance, (614) 292-9232. [Submitted by: GERSTNER (email@example.com) Wed, 01 Sep 93 16:38:19 EST] All documents are the responsibility of their originator.