Ohio State President Talks Cost Cutting and Scholarship Building
The president of the state’s largest university says his school has been successful in lowering costs. But Michael Drake says Ohio State must work hard to stay affordable and maintain quality. Ideastream’s Mark Urycki reports.
When you win a national championship in football it’s not hard to attract new students and OSU had a record number of applications this year.
But the governor and state legislature demanded costs savings and President Michael Drake said he agreed to freeze tuition and room and board even before he knew what the state budget would provide for higher education.
He told the City Club of Cleveland that OSU cut administrative costs by $15 million dollars and earmarked that money for need-based scholarships
“What we committed ourselves to do was actually give the money to the students before we even identified where we were going to get it from. So we put ourselves on notice. I described it like cliff diving so were going to jump first and try to make sure a wave was there by the time we hit.”
After a steady decline in state support for colleges the last two decades, the legislature came through with an increase.
When asked about presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ call for free college tuition in America, Drake replied the quality of American higher education must be maintained.
“The idea of making it free is great except that there’s an asterisk. And that is: it has to be funded and we just want to make sure the funding was appropriate.”
Drake says the increase in administrative positions at state universities the past couple decades comes from increased regulations that forces them to hire more non-faculty positions.
“If we hire a counselor for our students looking at student mental health issues - that shows up as an administrator. If we hire a Title IX counselor - that shows up as an administrator and not a faculty member. And because of regulation and sensitivity in a variety of areas we are required to have honestly thousands of more people in those jobs than we would have had a generation ago.”
With a record high enrollment OSU is planning to raise an extra $200 million dollars in revenue while cutting costs by the same amount.
Click here to watch OSU President Michael Drake's entire speech at the City Club of Cleveland.