USG discusses effects of state funding change, possible fee increases

The University could see some major changes to the funding it receives from the state, as Governor John Kasich is looking to revise the way money is allocated in fiscal year 2014.

Sheri Stoll, vice president for finance and administration at the University, presented these proposed revisions and their effects on the University to the Undergraduate Student Government at Monday’s general assembly meeting.

Kasich seeks to revise the formula for the State Share of Instruction, which is the formula used to distribute the bulk of state money provided to Ohio’s public colleges.

His budget proposed a maximum 2 percent increase in tuition and general fees each year for the fiscal years of 2014 and 2015 for public universities.

The tuition and general fee increases at the University have not been finalized, but Stoll projected a 2 percent increase for in-state undergraduate tuition and fees.

The Board of Trustees already approved a 2.37 percent increase in room rates and a 2 percent increase in meal plans for next fall.

The Board will consider tuition and general fee increases as early as May 3.

“Until we know some other components of our budget … we won’t be in a position to make a recommendation to the Board,” Stoll said. “We will try to get that on the May agenda so as students are leaving for summer, they’ll know.”

SSI has generally declined while tuition has generally risen in the past 30 years, Stoll said. The majority of funding used to come from the state, with the minority of funding coming from student tuition, Stoll said.

“Today, that has completely flipped,” she said.

Roughly 20 percent of funding comes from the state, Stoll said.

Stoll estimated the financial impact of the SSI revisions to the University to be a loss anywhere from $3-7 million for the fiscal year 2014 alone.

“At the end of the day, I don’t like it when student fees go up,” said USG President Alex Solis. “I understand times are changed … the University still has to operate.”

Solis and USG Vice President David Neely will meet with Stoll every step of the way to get exact numbers, not estimates, Solis said.

In his executive report, Solis announced a change in date to the heavy trash pick-up for off-campus residents.

The pick-up will occur March 18 rather than in May, with an additional pick-up added in September, he announced.

Solis said the University will have to collaborate with the city to get the word out, considering the short notice.

“Knowing it’s such a short turnaround … it’s just going to be different,” he said.

Also announced, the Student Budget Committee finished allocating funding the student organizations that requested it, said USG Treasurer Jon Zachrich. He further announced that appeals are due March 20.

During the meeting, Auxiliary Affairs Chair John Clevenger announced the approval by the Green Fund of a water bottle refill station in the Union and an additional one in Olscamp.