Committee discusses budget plan

Rachel Abbey

Chemistry Professor Robert Twieg questioned how the university can give the basketball coach a raise when they can’t offer a salary that is competitive-enough to attract a new dean for the College of Arts and Sciences.

David Creamer, vice president for administration, explained that the university divides its budget among many units, and these units, such as athletics, decide how to allocate their funds.

Conversations like this one are the basis for the University Priorities and Budget Advisory Committee meetings.

These meetings give the administration a chance to discuss issues about the university budget with faculty and other members of the university community before presenting a final draft to the Board of Trustees.

When the committee met Friday, they looked at changes that had been made in the budget plan since the previous month. Some funds, such as those for utilities, were added, and the tuitions of the regional campuses will be 4 percent higher, rather than 6 percent like the Kent campus, Creamer said. This committee gives members the chance to question changes like these before they are finalized.

One of the additional funds the university wants is more money, so it can hire faculty members in high-demand fields of study.

Factors outside the university affect the budget as well. President Carol Cartwright led the committee Friday in a discussion about the relationship between the state and higher education.

“Ohio does an extremely poor job of supporting public education with public resources,” Cartwright said.

Ohio is 41st or 42nd in the amount of state support for public higher education, she said. Higher-education institutions need to raise awareness of this and lobby for change, especially as the head of the government in Ohio will be shifting.

“This is probably the most important gubernatorial debate in the state in the past 30 years or so,” Cartwright said.

It will help to bring the larger issues to the public’s attention, she said.

Contact administration reporter Rachel Abbey at [email protected].