Tuition, phone app discussed

The Oakland University Board of Trustees approved a change in the tuition payment plan for students of the Beaumont Nurse Anesthesia Program on April 27, transitioning from a per-semester plan to one flat rate.

Citing that the current 20-year-old plan of paying by semester is no longer working for the school, Interim Dean of the School of Nursing Darlene Schott-Bauer requested the board implement a new flat rate payment of $64,000 upon enrollment.

After deliberation over whether they legally could apply the changes under new laws put in place by Governor Rick Snyder, the Board agreed to approve Schott-Bauer’s new policy.

The plan included a grandfather clause allowing current students of the anesthesia program to continue paying on a per-semester basis instead of one lump sum.

In her appeal before the board, Schott-Bauer said the program has a 100 percent employment rate for its students, that its 96 percent graduation rate far exceeds the national average.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Virinder Moudgil spoke on behalf of the program and school at the meeting.

Schott-Bauer said that making this change in payment plans was vital to the success of the Oakland’s program, which is ranked in the top 20 nationally.

“The importance of curriculum ownership necessitates that these positions be filled instead with School of Nursing faculty in order to ensure full accountability for the curriculum and the school’s ability to meet accreditation requirements,” Schott-Bauer said.

According to Schott-Bauer, the payment plan was too dependent on outside funding from Beaumont Hospitals. She said the new tuition rate would still be competitive, though.

Nilesh Patel, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, introduced a new Oakland University application that will be soon available for the iPhone, iPad and Android-based phones. Patel said the project said the application would become available in August or September.

Patel demonstrated that students will be able to use Google Maps to find their way across campus and even help find a where their car is parked. An “OU Life” portal will allow students to receive postings from the university’s Twitter feed and pictures from Tumblr. The “Toolkit” on the application lets students search for other students and check Kresge Library for e-books.

It also features a sports portal that is currently a work in progress but so far includes the fight song. Patel said the student group of developers hopes to partner with CBS Sports to complete the Grzzlies athletics aspect of the app. Patel told the Board he will keep it informed about the app’s progress and that his team will update it over time.

“We believe we will be the only university in Michigan to have this,” President Gary Russi said following the presentation. “There are very few universities in the country that are doing this. It’s contemporary; it’s keeping up with modern technology that I think is necessary.”

The Board was also introduced to new student leadership. The newly-elected Student Body President Ben Eveslage and Vice President Elisa Malile were present at the board meeting.