Trustees approve budget, AFSCME extension, telescope consortium

June 26, 2012 | News, UToday
By Jon Strunk

The University of Toledo Board of Trustees approved the fiscal year 2013 budget at its June 18 meeting, concluding a months-long process that included participation from faculty and student leaders.

President Lloyd Jacobs, right, presented a proclamation to Carroll Ashley, chair of the UT Board of Trustees, whose term will expire at the end of the month. Ashley was appointed to the MUO Board of Trustees in 2002 and helped during the merger with UT.

The $797.6 million budget invests in graduate student stipends, a new pharmacy program, and additional space and equipment for research areas.

The budget reflects a $7.6 million reduction in state subsidy, but a $15 million investment in state capital dollars that will be used to fund routine maintenance. Due to strategic position control, the University was able to reduce salary expenditures without widespread layoffs.

The budget includes an in-state undergraduate tuition increase of 3.5 percent, but no increase in general fees. There were no changes in residence hall fees, and the budget includes new meal plan options for students.

The board also approved a $1.4 million investment in the Discovery Channel Telescope near Flagstaff, Ariz., enabling UT astronomers to join a consortium with the University of Maryland and Boston University governing usage of the 4.3-meter ground-based telescope.

Dr. J.D. Smith, associate professor of astronomy, said that guaranteed access to the telescope will be invaluable for UT researchers and graduate students and greatly will increase the strength of grant applications for external funding.

In other business, trustees approved a one-year extension with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2415, the collective bargaining unit representing nearly 2,000 employees on Health Science Campus. AFSCME members will vote on the tentative agreement Wednesday, June 27.

President Lloyd Jacobs announced that six years after the merger with the former Medical University of Ohio, a significant milestone had been reached: Every policy difference between MUO and UT has been merged, rewritten or deleted. He also called attention to Dr. Jamie Barlowe being named permanent dean of the College of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences.

Trustees also approved new officers for the coming fiscal year, naming William Koester chair of the board and Joseph Zerbey vice chair.

Outgoing chair Carroll Ashley praised the University, looking back over all that has changed and all that has been accomplished since his appointment in 2002.

“This University has emerged as a leader in the region and it has been exciting to see this transformation, especially in such a relatively short period of time,” Ashley said.

The terms of Trustee Richard McQuade and student trustee Heather Griffin also will end June 30.

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