Tuesday, April 15, 2008
OU board approves plan to give money back to students
The Oakland University Board of Trustees today approved a plan that would invest the $4.8 million state appropriation that was originally withheld by the state last year directly into student initiatives.
The $4.8 million appropriation was restored by the state after it had delayed its last appropriation payment to Oakland in fiscal year 2007. University administration worked with student leadership to identify the most prudent ways to use these restored funds.
Approximately 14,000 Oakland students will receive a payment credit that will average $81 per student, totaling more than $1.1 million, or 24 percent of the delayed payment. The credit is a refund of orientation fees paid by students registered for the fall 2007 or winter 2008 semester.
In addition to the orientation fee credit, the restored funding will be used to renovate academic laboratories, enhance classroom technology, relocate the Career Services Center to a more central location on campus and upgrade the Center for Student Activities.
“We felt it was important that this one-time funding be used in a way that benefits both current and future students,” said Dennis Pawley, chair of the Oakland University Board of Trustees. “With the input we received from student leadership, we’re confident that we have identified the best ways to put this money to work for our students.”
“We appreciate that the university administration asked for our input as to how best to use this restored funding,” said Student Body President Rob Meyer. “We worked extremely hard to ensure that students received the benefits from the restoration of this funding. The plan is a solid one that will benefit students in a variety of ways, both short-term and over time.”
Pawley cautioned that budget challenges still loom for Oakland University. “It’s important for everyone to realize that this doesn’t mean budget problems at the state level are over. We expect to face similar budget challenges in the coming year, based on a lack of state revenues and the continuing decline of the state’s economic conditions. We’re going to have to continue to tighten our belts and maintain our cost containment efforts.”