Board approves $234 million budget, tuition hike included

At+its+July+1+meeting%2C+the+OU+Board+of+Trustees+approved+a+%24234+million+budget+that+will+raise+tuition+for+upper-level+classmen%2C+provide+for+more+staffing%2C+fund+new+academic+programs+and+more.

At its July 1 meeting, the OU Board of Trustees approved a $234 million budget that will raise tuition for upper-level classmen, provide for more staffing, fund new academic programs and more.

By Kaylee Kean

Juniors and seniors at Oakland University will be experiencing a six percent tuition hike in the upcoming academic year. This and other changes were made after approval of the $234 million budget from the Board of Trustees at its July 1 meeting.

The tution change will only be applied to the higher-level classmen, meaning a zero percent increase for students with less than 56 credits and a six percent increase for students with over 56 credits, raising the resident upper-level student rate from $386.75 to $410.25. Resident graduate and doctoral rates will move from $617.50 to $637.25.

Despite the hike, Oakland will still maintain its position as the sixth lowest of the 15 universities in Michigan, according to John Beaghan, vice president of finance and administration and treasurer to the Board.

According to Beaghan, 81% of Oakland’s funding comes from tuition, 18% from base state appropriations and one percent from other sources. This has changed drastically since 1972, when 26% came from tuition and 71% was appropriations. OU receives the second lowest state funding per student.

The focus on raising only upper-class rates raised concerns for some board members. Trustee Richard DeVore expressed concern that juniors and seniors may drop out of OU for another, cheaper school, thus hurting OU’s retention rates.

When asked about his thoughts as an upperclassman, junior Scott Shermetaro said he didn’t know of a lot of juniors and seniors that would “just uproot” and leave everything behind.

“Those students have more than just the classes here,” Shermetaro said.

Other budget items to note

In addition to tuition concerns, the budget included costs of operation, continued healthy living benefit savings, coverage for facility and operational improvements, funding for new academic degree programs, expansion of library collections and a 10.3 percent increase in need- and merit-based scholarships.

It also provided for new faculty positions and support staff for the new buildings.

James Lentini, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, mentioned wanting to work on having less students per faculty – OU is currently at 18.9 students per faculty, where the average is 15.7. He also noted that despite recent construction projects, OU is still the lowest in the state in terms of square feet per student.

There will be a special formal board meeting on Wednesday, June 9 at 10 a.m. This meeting will be held in the Banquet Rooms of the Oakland Center instead of its usual location in the Elliott Hall Auditorium.

View meeting agendas and information presented at oakland.edu/bot.

Contact Managing Editor Kaylee Kean at [email protected]