Wright State University Staff Council Minutes
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Present: Council Members: Linda Dunbar, Mary Healea, Joyce Howes, Jennifer Rice, Daisy Stieger, and Susan Wehmeyer.
Others: Allan Boggs, Keith Ralston, Bill Rickert, and Robert Sweeney
The WSU Staff Council met on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 , at 2:30 p.m., in Room 248 University Hall.
1. WSU Budget Overview
Keith Ralston, Associate Vice President for Budget Planning and Resource Analysis, handed out copies of the Budget Overview for 2004-05, which had been presented to the Board of Trustees on May 19. He briefly went over the document pointing out several items:
Fiscal Year 2005 will end on a good note for WSU on June 30, 2005 . Enrollment was higher than last year. While student credit hours were behind forecast, the mix of undergraduate, graduate and out-of-state student enrollments brought higher tuition revenue. Expenses for the year were reasonable; and the budget will end the year with a small surplus.
Only ten percent of Ohio 's General Fund Budget for FY 2006 will be allotted for higher education. This percentage has been dwindling, especially since 2001. WSU has had to steadily increase tuition. The Board of Trustees is being asked to approve a 6% increase in tuition for graduate, undergraduate Main and Lake Campus , and School of Professional Psychology students for 2005-06; while a 12% increase for School of Medicine tuition is being recommended. WSU's projected tuition for Fall 2005 is still the lowest amongst peer state universities in Ohio.
Following a pattern of steady decline for the past ten years, the State Capital Funding Bill provided WSU $9M in the most recent biennium to be used for building, repair, and renovation of buildings. This comes at a time when older buildings are showing more wear and tear; and when we are trying to plan for higher enrollment.
WSU's goal is to link the Operating Budget to the Strategic Plan by maintaining a diverse enrollment, managing expenditures, and continuing to attract higher enrollments. WSU expenditures for undergraduate students were 12.6% below the state average in 2004. Though this is good, we have to be careful that cost efficiency doesn't damage the quality of education at WSU.
One future initiative is to consider new dining service strategies to examine the current high prices of food at WSU; and possibly a bid other than Sodexo when their contract ends.
July 2006 starts the first year of a new State Operating Budget Biennium. Modest salary increases are planned for WSU employees.
Bill Rickert pointed out that personnel compensation, which includes salary plus benefits, is 66% of WSU's unrestricted expense budget.
Bill also said that the budget had come up a great deal in the faculty collective bargaining negotiation meetings. It was asked why our tuition is so much lower than other state universities. One reason given was that WSU continues to be of service to the community by making education affordable to lower income families in the area.
2. Health Insurance
Allan Boggs, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, said that United Health Care does have an agreement with Premier Health Partners, which includes Miami Valley and Good Samaritan Hospitals . WSU is negotiating with United Health Care and Anthem, and may be able to offer a choice of either company to employees for 2005-06. This would mean that there would need to be an open enrollment in June along with vendor presentations, and another one at the end of year for 2006. A general broadcast memo would go out to employees as soon as possible.
Allan said that the FLSA and PNG projects are still going on and are running on time.
3. Staff Development Day
Robert Sweeney, Director of the Kettering Center for Continuing Education, discussed the Staff Development Days that were held in December 2004 and March 2005. He said they had good attendance with 300 at the lunches; were well accepted and a morale builder for staff; and they were an important gesture to staff from the administration.
The planning group for this project should include some previous members along with new members for continuity. They would be called together to decide if we need a third staff development day in the summer; which dates of the year would work out the best; location of future ones, etc.
There was general agreement that staff development days be held in June and December on Fridays. They could be announced in the Fall Quarter with other ongoing training opportunities. This will be discussed further at the June 8 meeting.
1. It was asked if partial scholarships lost some of their value as tuition was increased.
Bill Rickert said that WSU's relatively lower tuition has the same financial impact as a scholarship. Scholarships only lose value if they don't attract quality students. These are academic and not need-based scholarships.
2. It was asked if there would be an early retirement option available any time soon.
Bill Rickert said that there would NOT be an early retirement offered any time soon.
The meeting was adjourned at 4.00 p.m.
The next meeting of the WSU Staff Council will be held on Wednesday, June 8, 2005 , at 2:30-4:00 pm , in Room 267 University Hall.