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Published: Wednesday, 12/11/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

BGSU gets consultant's cost-saving, revenue producing report

University also to freeze tuition for 2014-15 school year

BY VANESSA McCRAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

BOWLING GREEN — Consultants hired by Bowling Green State University today unveiled a combination of cost-saving and revenue-producing ideas following a review of university operations.

Hundreds of faculty and staff members filled a student union ballroom in Bowling Green to hear a report from consulting firm Accenture, which the university paid $500,000 to review its operations and programs.

The university faces a projected $3 to $10 million budget deficit over the next several years because of declining enrollment and state funding changes.

To offset that drop, Accenture proposed 22 recommendations that target a half dozen areas of university operations. The consultants contend implementing the changes would result in an estimated $53 to $90 million net benefit and an increase of between 1,500 and 3,000 students over five years.

Suggestions range from consolidating information from various departments such as the bursar and financial aid office, increasing offerings for nontraditional students, eliminating some computer labs, and instituting minimum class sizes.

University President Mary Ellen Mazey said committees made up of faculty, staff, students, and administrators will be formed by early next year to examine recommendations and oversee implementation in each area. Additional forums will be held to gather input. Changes would likely will take three to five years to implement, she said.

“This is our plan for BGSU to become more efficient as an organization and to enhance our revenues to ensure the long term success of this great university,” she said. “Our goal is to provide a quality education that adds value to each and every student who attends and graduates from BGSU and to do so in a very cost-effective manner.”

David Jackson, BGSU Faculty Association president, blasted the recommendation to increase class sizes by instituting a minimum class size standard and the recommendation to add online offerings to enhance revenue without consideration if those kinds of classes have academic merit.

“If the report is as bad as the summary then this is just, as I say, completely offensive,” he said.

Ms. Mazey said the report does not specify how many job cuts might result from implementing the suggestions, but she said the university would try to absorb losses through attrition.

The consulting firm's report came hours after the university announced it would freeze tuition for the upcoming academic year. The total in-state tuition and fees at BGSU will remain at $10,606 and the out-of-state tuition and fees at $17,914.

Room and board varies, with the lowest at $8,244, for the fall 2014 and spring 2015 semesters. Tuition and general fees for in-state undergraduates at the Firelands campus is at $4,930. Graduate tuition and fees will remain at $11,678 for Ohio residents, and $18,986 for nonresidents.

In June, BGSU leaders announced a 2 percent increase in tuition for the academic year, which meant a rise by $106 a semester on main campus, and $50 at the branch.

Contact Vanessa McCray at: vmccray@theblade.com, at 419-724-6065, or on Twitter @vanmccray.



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