Budgetary recalibration continues at Bowling Green State University as the trustees approved a $421 million 2022 budget, while also increasing fees for in-state students, providing a 2.5% pay increase for classified and administrative staff and moving forward with several construction projects.
“While there is a small increase in tuition and fees for our incoming students, obviously we continue with the Falcon Tuition Guarantee for all students who have been here already,” President Rodney Rogers said at Thursday’s board meeting
Trustees approved a 0.95% increase per year to in-state, undergraduate instructional and general fees for the fourth cohort of the BGSU Falcon Tuition Guarantee, which equates to $19.10 per credit hour.
Trustees voted not to increase out-of-state surcharges for undergraduate and graduate instruction fees.
The $4.2 million budget was approved by trustees, which is an increase over the $3.98 million budget from FY2021.
“Fiscal year 2022 reflects a great deal of recovery from fiscal year 2021,” Sherideen Stoll, chief financial officer and vice president for finance and administration, said.
Financial adjustments related to the pandemic continue.
For last academic year, expecting a 20% cut in state share of instruction funding and an estimated 5-7% loss in enrollment, the university cut $26.5 million from the 2021 budget. That budgetary change meant furloughs and job losses to 119 employees. Instead, SSI was ultimately increased and enrollment remained stable. Furloughs were eliminated in 2021, with the SSI increases.
Incoming freshman enrollment was lower by approximately 300 students, but that was largely balanced by increases in graduate student enrollment. Those enrollment changes, and efforts to dedensify residence halls and dining areas lowered the residence hall population from the typical 6,000 to 3,700.
The combination of tuition increases, new programs and fee increases resulted in a $10.9 million increase in revenue. The non-resident fee losses had a negative $1.2 million impact to that number.
Restorations of cost-cutting measures in the 2022 budget, include $2.8 million for equipment and consulting, $2.3 million for utilities, $1 million for supplies and $1 million for travel.
Included in the budget is classified and administrative staff pay raises.
“The 2.5% annual increase for the classified and administrative staff, this is simply representative of our appreciation of the hard work of our staff that worked so hard over the past year,” Rogers said.
The new budget includes approximately $10.9 million for increases to salary, wages and benefits. Of the proposed increase in salary and wages of $8.3 million, $5 million supports salary pools for faculty and staff while $3.6 million provides support for salary, wages and benefits for new programs or new initiatives:
• $2.3 million is provided for faculty merit increases, promotion and tenure
• $743,000 is provided for administrative staff increases
• $390,000 is provided for classified staff increases
Trustees also approved the tuition and fees for the new Doctor of Physical Therapy program. It is an accelerated program that is intended for a two-year completion, instead of the standard three years. The total cost to students will be $95,000.
Design services of $494,120 for a new Life Design program in the Math Science Building were also approved by trustees. It will go toward a renovation of the third floor of the building. The estimated total cost of the project is $5 million, which would need to be approved by trustees by the December meeting, if the intended opening in the fall of 2022 is to be met.
The trustees also made a revision to Reduction in Workforce Policy. Stoll explained that several years ago the legislature made rule changes that allow for modifications in the classified staff bumping plan. Those changes were not implemented because the university had sound financial footing until the pandemic related cuts started.
“What we learned is that the bumping process was a little more painful than it had to be,” Stoll said.
Following an executive session for discussion of a proposed collective bargaining agreement with the International Union of Police Associations Local No. 103, trustees attended the groundbreaking for the School of the Built Environment facility.