OSU Taking Leadership Role in Tuition Debate


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio State University is throwing its weight behind a legislative proposal that trades generous increases in state funding for bare minimum tuition increases over the next two years.

Ohio State, the nation's largest campus, will back the plan endorsed by Gov. Ted Strickland and House lawmakers as long as the funding proposal does not change before the budget becomes law in July.

The university's top financial official plans Friday to recommend to OSU trustees that they adopt the plan. The board will vote on OSU's tuition levels next month or in July.

"Because we're the largest university in the state, because we're only four miles from the state capital, and because we're the flagship institution, I think there's an expectation that we set a good example," Bill Shkurti, the university's senior vice president for business and finance, said Thursday.

"By us working with the governor and the Legislature to be supportive of what they're trying to do, we can set a good example," he said.

The budget plan passed by the House Tuesday caps tuition at 3 percent next year and freezes tuition increases in 2009.

In exchange, the budget provides a 2 percent funding increase next year and 10 percent in 2009, a considerable increase from the past few budgets of essentially flat funding.

A 3 percent tuition increase would be the lowest in 21 years at Ohio State. The 10 percent funding increase would be the highest since 1986.