Money McDavis discusses Guaranteed Tuition, preferred name policy approved By ALEXANDRIA SCHELL Posted on March 28, 2013 7 min read 0 0 355 Ohio University President Roderick McDavis gave a special presentation regarding the Guaranteed Tuition plan at Wednesday’s Student Senate meeting. The president decided to make a special appearance to help gear support for the new Guaranteed Tuition plan that has been subject to criticism. University executives began talking about the issue nine months ago and will continue to hammer out the details, as not all of its kinks are worked out. The concept has been discussed with the Board of Trustees, the leadership of the House and Senate in Columbus and Gov. John Kasich’s staff. McDavis appealed to the emotional side of the Senate members and said he understands their concerns regarding raising the cost of tuition. “Having a son who completed his college education, I understand student debt, because my son had debt. I get that, I get all of that,” McDavis said. OU’s vision is to be the nation’s best transformative learning community, ranked among the very best of universities in the United States. In order to help strive towards that vision, McDavis said, there must be a tuition increase. “Quality education, attract faculty, expand undergraduate research projects and maintain academic facilities on campus,” McDavis said, as he described the needs of a university striving to maintain its vision. “In order to expand those services, we don’t have enough resources to do that.” Making a reference to the Annual President’s Dinner held in Gamertsfelder Hall Tuesday night, McDavis remarked that the majority of the students in attendance would be in favor of keeping Ping Recreation Center open 24-hours. In order to expand those services, there has to be an increase in revenue from “somewhere.” There has also been an increase in suicide this year, McDavis said in his speech, and there is a need to increase services to help those who are in need. The frozen tuition models explored in similar institutions in Ohio was brought up by one Senate member. The president used Ohio State University as an example. “OSU is now leasing 36,000 parking spaces for $483 million and has a contract with Huntington for $26 million. That’s nearly half of a billion dollars right there. OSU has the ability to generate that kind of funding,” McDavis said. Although McDavis had many examples of different issues regarding this topic, he chose not to go into specific numbers. Throughout his speech, he would often say, “but I don’t want to go there right now.” OU has maintained incremental increases each year; with the Guaranteed Tuition plan, the cost of tuition would be raised a significant amount, but would then be fixed at that rate for four years. This would benefit students and parents by having a fixed number to plan how much to save and spend each year. According to the president, it would be cheaper for students starting out at a higher fixed number, than increasing tuition every year. Questions flew across the floor in regards to scholarship money, first-generation students, minority students and graduate students. The president had answers to all questions that were asked except for the plan for graduate students. The Guaranteed Tuition plan would not affect graduate students, as each student’s situation and tuition payment is unique, the president said. Funding from the government to the university has shifted from enrollment to graduation rates. In order to maintain or even increase funding, McDavis stressed the need for an improved advising staff. The meeting then transitioned into its regular flow. Senate unanimously approved the resolution in support of a preferred name policy. As reported last week, the preferred name policy would allow any OU student to apply to change their name that appeared on OIT information, ID cards, class rosters and Blackboard due to gender issues or difficulty in pronunciation. The policy was highly anticipated to pass. President Zach George mentioned the policies success in his State of the Senate. Lombardi also congratulated the policy’s main proponent, LGBT Affairs Commissioner Hannah Dunn. “I already have papers for you to fill out for the Bursars office and OIT to get this process started,” Lombardi said. Next week’s Senate meeting will be held on Monday instead of its usual Wednesday.