FINDLAY - The Owens Community College Board of Trustees agreed Tuesday on a tuition hike for this fall, but is awaiting implementation until the state budget bill is passed.
The resolution points out that the tuition language in the biennial budget bill has not been determined. However, as currently worded, it may allow a tuition increase of no more than 2 percent of the previous year's tuition or up to $100 more annually for full-time enrollment.
But what was discussed at a May finance committee meeting is what trustees will do: Increase tuition this fall from $149.66 per credit hour from $146.03. The new fee will mean it will cost a full-time student with 28 credit hours $4,189 per year, up from $4,089 currently.
That increase would generate an estimated $820,000 more for the college in fiscal year 2014, which starts July 1, 2013 and goes through June 30, 2014.
Fall enrollment is projected at 8,700, down considerably from three years ago.
Full time equivalent (FTE) enrollment for 2011 was 11,157; for 2012, it was 9,535; and for this year, 8,727.
For fiscal year 2014, it has been estimated at 8,700.
The subsequent drop in tuition income, even with the tuition increase, is $8.2 million, according to Laurie Sabin, director of finance for the college.
Tuition makes up nearly 45 percent of the college's estimated income for fiscal year 2014.
The board passed the resolution with no discussion.
Tuition in fall 2011 was $136 per credit hour. That increased to $138 in spring 2012, and to $146.03 for summer 2012, which was the last increase.
According to the proposed fiscal year 2014 budget approved by the board Tuesday, the projected income for the year is $87 million, of that $37.8 million is from tuition. Last year, Owens saw $96 million in revenue with $46 million coming from tuition.
Expenses also will drop.
Salaries are expected to decline to $47.2 million from $52.58 million; fringe benefits will also see a decline, to $14.37 million from $16.57 million; and vacant positions that used to be budgeted for will no longer be funded. That number, plus vacant position fringe benefits, drops to zero from $1.6 million.
The bottom line puts expenses at $83.44 million next year from $93.01 million this year.
The college's ending fund balance is projected to be $1.56 million.
The college already has made public its intent to cut staff levels.
Several filled positions were abolished Tuesday including an administrative assistant position in Findlay, a loan specialist, a first-shift receiving clerk, a journeyman maintenance specialist, a secretary, a motor pool journeyman and an accounting clerk at the Child Care Center, all full-time jobs.
Also eliminated was a part-time academic advisor position. But, just because the position is eliminated does not mean the employee will be let go, said Brad Meyer, coordinator of public and media relations.
The people affected by these abolished jobs can apply to another position on campus, he said.
Of the 13 open positions listed Tuesday, one was new and the seven of the remaining 12 were internal searches only.
Approximately 30 administrative staff members' contracts will not renewed as of June 30 of this year, and an additional 30 administrative staff members will likely be reassigned or have their contracts modified.
But the various positions won't be known until trustees meet in August.
Also at the meeting, the board ratified a three-year collective bargaining agreement with the Owens Faculty Association, effective Nov. 1, 2012 through Oct. 31, 2015.
There are 300 members in the union.
According to the agreement, effective Jan. 1, 2014, anyone with a base pay of up to $42,000 will get a 2.5 percent pay increase; base pay from $42,001 to $84,000 will get 2 percent; and anyone with base pay greater than $84,001 will get 1.5 percent.
Those same raises apply again in Jan. 1, 2015.
For insurance, effective Jan. 1, 2014, for those earning up to $42,000 will pay 12 percent of the premium; earnings from $42,001 to $84,000 will pay 13.5 percent; those making more than $84,001 will pay 17 percent.
Those rates do increase on Jan. 1, 2015 to 14 percent, 15.5 percent and 19 percent, accordingly.
It was unknown this morning what the new contract will cost the college.