Administrators forfeit raises, help students pay tuition

DAYTON – Top administrators at Wright State University will give up raises this year and contribute to an emergency relief fund that will aid students struggling to cover the cost of tuition amid the U.S. recession, the school said yesterday. The $1 million emergency fund could be crucial heading into fall as students find it harder to get private loans to help pay for school. Other public and private schools in Ohio, Michigan, New York and Virginia have set up similar funds. ‘We see the students and their struggles,’ said Bryan Rowland, Wright State’s vice president for university advancement. The college estimates at least 2,829 students will be in need of emergency relief, either because of layoffs, underemployment or having to drop out for sudden financial reasons. About 25 administrators – including the president, provost, vice presidents and deans – will forego raises. The school hasn’t determined pay raises this year because of the uncertainty surrounding the state budget. But assuming a 1 percent pay hike, $40,000 in deferred raises would go toward the fund. Wright State University Foundation board members will provide or raise another $250,000, and the school will ask faculty, staff and administrators to contribute, along with reallocating some of its budget toward the fund. Caleb Ater, 21, welcomed the news. ‘I had no idea how I was going to come up with the money this year,’ said Ater, a nursing student whose mother, a preschool teacher, lost her job. Ater has a scholarship this year that covers tuition. But he has to reapply for a scholarship for the upcoming year, and there is no guarantee of him receiving one. Wright State is hoping to raise money for the emergency fund in the next four months and have it available for students in the fall. The amount for each student will be determined by their individual unmet need. Full-time students who are Ohio residents, are making satisfactory progress toward their degree and have filled out a federal financial-aid form will be eligible. About 17,000 students are enrolled at Wright State, which has an undergraduate tuition of $7,248 per year. Most universities have not had unusually large enrollment drops this winter. But there is anxiety about the 2009-10 academic year as the U.S. economy remains in a recession. Ohio State University in Columbus is adding $1 million to its short-term emergency loan fund and has promised that financial aid will increase proportionally to tuition. Some of the top salaries from Ohio’s universities, Compiled by the Associated Press, 2/2009 $375,000 CAROL CARTWRIGHT Bowling Green State University $392,700 LLOYD JACOBS University of Toledo $378,525 LESTER LEFTON Kent State University $418,789 NANCY ZIMPHER University of Cinncinnati $775,008 GORDON GEE Ohio State University $354,495 LUIS PROENZA University of Akron $380,000 RODERICK MCDAVIS Ohio University $344,448 DAVID HOPKINS Wright State University