UToledo Adopts 2024 Operating Budget

June 22, 2023 | News, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

The University of Toledo has set an operating budget for fiscal year 2024 that reduces operating expenses by $28 million on a path to a stronger and more sustainable institution.

The UToledo Board of Trustees approved at its June meeting the $844.6 million budget that includes UToledo’s academic, auxiliary and clinical operations.

As the state of Ohio biennium operating budget continues to work through the legislature, UToledo has made budget assumptions that could change, such as state share of instruction dollars and the allowable tuition increase for undergraduate students.

UToledo intends to increase undergraduate tuition for the latest cohort of Tuition Guarantee students aligned with what is allowed in the state budget. Graduate tuition rates will increase by 2% with differential tuition increases in selected graduate and professional programs.

The University previously set room and board rates approved at the Board of Trustees’ December meeting. Meal plans will increase 4% and housing will go up a weighted average of 2.96% for students in the next cohort of the Tuition Guarantee program.

UToledo continues to adjust its operations to match current and projected student enrollment as higher education institutions across the country contend with a declining population of high school graduates entering college, difficulties retaining current students and rising financial costs of operations.

To create the fiscal year 2024 budget, the general fund budget was reduced by 7%, which equaled $16.6 million for academic affairs and $5.2 million for support units. Additional budget cuts were made centrally by the administration.

Across the University units worked to reduce expenses by eliminating vacant positions or reducing their workforce through attrition, however, some filled positions were eliminated as UToledo begins to right-size its workforce. Human Resources is providing assistance to the impacted individuals with some employees able to fill other vacancies at the institution.

The budget for UToledo’s clinical operations assumes an increase in patient volumes, particularly in the emergency department, and increased revenues from the federal 340B pharmacy program. UTMC also is planning for increased expenses for labor and support for the EPIC electronic medical record system.

“Across the institution we are working to improve our quality and the value of a UToledo education while being the most efficient with our limited resources,” UToledo President Gregory Postel. “There are going to continue to be difficult decisions ahead as we prioritize opportunities for growth and innovation while reducing some aspects of our organization that no longer serve our students and community. We are committed to this prioritization effort to ensure a strong UToledo into the future.”

In other business, the UToledo Board of Trustees selected officers for next year, named a national trustee and began efforts to constitute the board that will oversee UToledo Health.

With the election of officers for the 2023-24 year, Will Lucas will serve as chair and Patrick Kenney will serve as vice chair. Katie DeBenedictis will continue as secretary.

The June meeting completed the terms of trustee Mary Ellen Pisanelli, who was appointed to the Board in 2015, and student trustee Anjali Phadke, who graduated in May with a bachelor of science degree in bioengineering. Pisanelli, senior vice president of legal and administration of Welltower, Inc., received the title of emeritus trustee.

Dr. Thomas Wakefield, the Stanley Professor of Vascular Surgery at the University of Michigan Medical Center, was appointed a national trustee.

A longtime surgeon at the University of Michigan, he joined the faculty in 1986 and was awarded an endowed chair in 2002, the S. Martin Lindenauer Collegiate Chair in Vascular Surgery, and was section head of vascular surgery from 2004 to 2020. He became the Stanley Professor in Vascular Surgery in 2012. He served as the Director of the Frankel Cardiovascular Center from 2014 to 2022.

Wakefield received his bachelor’s degree from UToledo and medical degree from the Medical College of Ohio and has remained engaged with his alma mater. He currently is a trustee for the UToledo Foundation and previously served as a UToledo Alumni Association board member. He has received both the Blue T and Gold T Awards from the UToledo Alumni Association.

The national trustee position was established in 2017 to take advantage of the diverse cultural, geographic, business, professional, public service and civic backgrounds, talents and experiences of friends and alumni of the University. They serve a two-year term without voting privileges.

Finally, the UToledo Board of Trustees appointed individuals to the UToledo Health Board of Trustees. University trustees Eleanore Awadalla, G. Brent Bishop, Zac Isaac and Patrick Kenney will serve effective July 1. Pam Heaton, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Services, was appointed to the position reserved for a dean of a health sciences college other than the medical school, also effective July 1.

Other UToledo individuals on the UToledo Health Board of Trustees as ex-officio voting members aligned with their positions at the University include Postel, as president of the University; Dr. Christopher Cooper, as dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences; and Matthew Schroeder, as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Postel will serve as chair of the board and DeBenedictis as the secretary, effective immediately.

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