At its final meeting of the academic year, The University of Toledo Board of Trustees approved an $818 million budget for fiscal year 2023.
The budget for the coming year incorporates the University’s new incentive-based budget model designed to increase transparency, better strategically allocate resources and enhance data-informed decision making.
While the University continues to forecast a downward trend in enrollment, the fiscal year 2023 budget projects increased patient volumes in the University’s clinical operations following a successful year for The University of Toledo Medical Center. The hospital will provide $2.5 million in mission support back to the University in the coming year.
The budget includes a 4.6% tuition increase for incoming undergraduate students in the latest cohort of the Toledo Tuition Guarantee, which will be fixed for four years to provide transparency and consistency for families. Graduate tuition rates will increase approximately 2% with differential tuition increases in selected professional programs. The Board previously set housing and meal plan rates for the 2022-23 academic year.
For UToledo’s healthcare operations, a general price increase of 5% is budgeted and an additional investment of $4.3 million was approved for the conversion to the new EPIC electronic medical record system for UTMC to provide training needed to successfully implement the new system. The project, originally approved in December 2020, is a total $32.8 million investment in the University’s clinical operations.
“I am proud of the turnaround at UTMC and the successful efforts of all of the individuals who worked so hard to increase the long-term viability of our clinical enterprise,” UToledo President Gregory Postel said. “Now is the time to apply that same focus and determination for saving our hospital to addressing our enrollment challenges. As we embark on a new strategic planning process, we will concentrate our efforts on resource prioritization to position us for a strong future.”
Also included in the budget is a 2% wage increase for employees who are not part of a bargaining unit in alignment with the compensation increases included in the collective bargaining agreements for the University’s employees who are members of unions. The increase is effective July 2.
The Board of Trustees expressed strong support for the leadership of Dr. Postel following his annual review. Trustee Will Lucas, who chairs the Trusteeship and Governance Committee, said evaluating the president’s performance is among the Board’s most important responsibilities and a duty it takes seriously.
“We enjoy an open dialogue about the challenges we face and respect the efforts and celebrate the achievements of this president and his administration,” Lucas said. “Not enough can be said about the gratitude I have for Dr. Postel and his acumen in navigating the torrential waters of the last 2½ years.”
In recognition of the President’s accomplishments, the Board approved the full performance incentive in his contract of 30% of the president’s salary as part of his compensation package. Postel also will receive the 2% salary increase provided to non-bargained for employees at the University.
“I appreciate the Board’s continued confidence in me. We have a lot of work ahead, but I’m confident that with the support of our amazing faculty, staff, students, healthcare providers, alumni and community, our future is bright,” Postel said. “We’re still finalizing our next Strategic Plan, but I believe we are narrowing in on our vision for what UToledo is and can be for our students, patients, community and beyond. We must focus on our mission, vision and values, prioritizing resources to enhance and grow our areas of excellence in education, research and healthcare.”
In other business, Trustees approved a capital spending plan to address deferred maintenance of campus buildings and directing up to $30.2 million for infrastructure needs across both Main Campus and Health Science Campus. Projects include renovations to North Engineering, information technology infrastructure, research labs, and replacing the nurse call system and purchasing new equipment for the hospital, among other investments.
The Board also approved new graduate degrees in environmental science. The new master of science and Ph.D. degrees will leverage existing faculty experts in biology and geology to teach advanced studies in the interdisciplinary academic field that studies potential solutions to environmental problems.
Tuition rates for high school students who take UToledo courses through the College Credit Plus Program also were approved.
Finally, the Board of Trustees elected officers the 2022-23 year. Stephen Ciucci will serve as chair and Will Lucas will serve as vice chair.
The June meeting completed the terms of trustee Eleanore Awadalla, who served on the Board since 2019; national trustees Birdel Jackson III and Roy Armes who began their service in 2018; and student trustee Rupesh Boddapati who served one year on the board. Proclamations were read to recognize each trustee for their contributions.