Written by By MARIE THOMAS Sentinel Education Editor
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 11:01
There is a chance Owens students may experience another tuition increase for summer term, but it will be two months before a decision is made.
The community college's finance committee, made up of administrators and members of the board of trustees, met Monday to discuss tuition as well as $1.3 million in improvements to College Hall and its data center, plus financing of a $5.2 million energy conservation project.
John Satkowski, vice president of business affairs, presented an updated review of the college's revenue projections for fiscal years 2010 and 2011, including state share of instruction (SSI) payments from Ohio's biennium budget, and tuition increases voted on earlier this fall.
In September, trustees raised tuition 3.5 percent, and also agreed to start charging tuition for up to 14 credit hours, both effective spring term, which starts in January. The increases were the first at the college since 2006.
Now under consideration is another increase, for summer term, which starts in late May; however, any increase should be approved before March, when registration for summer semester opens.
The board of trustees, which just met last Tuesday, isn't expected to meet again until Feb. 2.
Satkowski told committee members revised SSI numbers show Owens receiving $42.9 million in FY2011, about half a million less than what was expected, or nearly 2 percent less than what was received in the 2008-09 academic year.
A 3.5-percent tuition increase effective summer term would generate an estimated $1,270,342 in additional revenues, according to Satkowski. The new cost per credit hour would be $131.76, up from the $127.30 that will be charged for spring semester.
If the board approves any increase in February, students would receive notice of the new costs when they start registering in March for summer classes, explained Brian Paskvan, vice president of administration.
To give students as much notice as possible, Trustee Rich Rowe, of Findlay, suggested putting information from Tuesday's meeting on the college's Web site.
Satkowski indicated tuition again would be a topic of discussion at the next finance committee meeting, planned for sometime in January.
At the meeting, committee members also learned the proposed data center improvement plan includes $800,000 in upgrades to College Hall, paid out of capital improvement funds received from the state; plus $500,000 in local funds to update the current voice/data/video communication system that connects Owens' two campuses along with The Source and Arrowhead Park sites.
The energy conservation project, at a cost of $5,266,561, is expected to generate a net savings of $3,852,089 over the 10-year financing term, according to Satkowski. He added that a contract for the project as well as for financing should be ready for approval at the February trustees meeting.