Board of Trustees unanimously approves tuition increase, new health sciences degree


Nicole Morsfield

The Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase and a new nutrition degree program during their meeting on June 10, 2019.

The Oakland University Board of Trustees (BOT) met on Monday, June 10 in Banquet Room A to discuss updates and approve a new bachelor’s degree and a 4.4% student tuition increase for the forthcoming year.

President’s Report
President Pescovitz began by presenting what the campus community has been involved with following the end of the school year. This included briefs about the 2019 Nightingale Awards for Nursing Excellence, the OU-Pontiac Initiative Town Hall and the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference.

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost James Lentini also introduced Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) to combat the decreasing national percentage of college enrollment as high schools see fewer graduates. By the 2030-2031 school year, it is projected that a combined total of graduates for public and private high schools will be under 84,000.

In support of SEM and to reengage students who left school without finishing their degree, Dawn Aubry, associate vice president for enrollment management, announced the Golden Grizzlies Graduate program. The micro-grant program will be working toward the goal of reenrolling 250 students and preventing 125 from stopping out by fall 2020.

“We believe that our data will support us moving forward with this program,” Aubry said.

Tuition increase
The BOT unanimously approved a 4.4% undergraduate tuition increase for the 2019-2020 school year, matching the highest limit proposed by the Michigan Senate. Each credit hour will have an average increase of $20.

This tuition increase is based on the yet-to-be-approved state funding. The decision for the 4.4% increase comes as part of the university’s transparent pricing strategy so students are not surprised with added costs once a tuition restraint level is agreed upon after a conference committee considers the governor, Senate and House’s proposed budgets. Any tuition restraint level in the approved final budget will not be exceeded by OU.

“If we bill at a 4.4% increase, then the tuition restraint comes in less, we will recalculate and give a refund to students,” said John Beaghan, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer to the Board of Trustees.

If a lower tuition restraint appears in the approved final budget after students pay their tuition balance, a credit will be applied to the student’s account. The average overall tuition rate for a full-time resident freshman is now $13,462.50.

Approved nutrition major
From the School of Health Sciences, Dr. Amanda Lynch, associate professor, proposed the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition to meet new educational and accreditation standards set by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND). This new program also meets needed entry requirements for a master’s degree in dietetics.

“I think this is a very timely program,” said Chair W. David Tull.

With a unanimous vote, the BOT approved the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition degree program to replace the current nutrition concentration in the School of Health Sciences. Ten new courses will be added to the curriculum, and there has been interest in finding kitchen space at local schools for experimental learning.

Additional agenda items
The Board approved nine items under the consent agenda. This included fiscal year budgets for Meadow Brook Estate, athletics and the Oakland Center.

Thomas LeMarbe, assistant vice president for finance and administration, also presented a resolution for the issuance of bonds for renovation projects such as South Foundation Hall and Varner Hall, which was approved.

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be Monday, Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. in Banquet Room A.