Hynd discusses tuition


Oakland University President George Hynd discussed plans for the future with the Oakland Post staff last year. 

OU President George Hynd met with Oakland Post and WXOU employees on Tuesday, March 15 to discuss exactly how the 2015-16 tuition raise was used.

The money from the 8.48 percent tuition increase generated nearly $13 million and helped fulfill goals outlined in Oakland University’s three-pronged strategic plan.

Goal 1: Foster student success – $6,677,952

About $4 million was added to financial aid. The university hired 11 faculty members and four academic advisors. They also put $525,260 toward retention and general education efforts and $125,000 to Student Support Services to improve handicapped accommodations. Two full-time psychologists were hired by the Graham Health Center and a retention coordinator was hired to the Oakland University Trustee Academic Success Program.


Goal 2: Research – $577,484

The library received $79,824 to increase its collection. Most was spent on academic journals, Hynd said. According to Hynd, $197,660 was used for labs and teaching spaces and $300,000 was spent on research support and equipment.


Goal 3: Community outreach – $5,710,000

Hynd said $350,000 added career services and internships to the School of Engineering and Computer Science and the School of Business Administration. The tuition also paid for $5,360,000 of technological improvements. 


Hynd made it clear that all of the money generated from the tuition increase went into OU’s strategic plan. None went to future construction projects or the controversial chief operating officer position.

However, renovation of the Oakland Center and Elliott Hall and the building of the new residence hall has already been budgeted for. Next year’s budget will not include these expenses.

OU violated the state’s 3.2 percent tuition increase cap in July 2015 and therefore didn’t get any money from the state. However, the tuition increase generated about $12 million. The state would have given only $1.2 million to OU, according to the Detroit Free Press. 

OU’s overall budget as of July 2015 was $253 million. According to Hynd, Michigan only gives OU around $2,700 per student.

“We are still, per student, the lowest funded state institution in the state,” Hynd said.

Students at University of Michigan and Michigan State University get about $6,000 per student. The average for all public universities in Michigan is $4,700 per student.

Tuition increases from two to 2.5 percent every year to keep up with inflation, but Hynd said that OU will not violate this year’s state cap. 

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder wants to increase state funding for all higher education, but Michigan’s legislature has to pass any increases, Hynd said.

In the meantime, administration will work on two budgets — one assuming that OU will receive more money from the state and one assuming that state contribution will stay the same. Hynd said he hopes to finalize the budget with the board of trustees in May or June.

Until then, Hynd described the budgeting for next year as a game of cat and mouse.

More articles on other topics will follow.