University addresses budget challenge


Months of work to close a projected $30 million budget shortfall resulted today in the presentation of a balanced budget to the Board of Trustees. The Board approved a $379 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) budget was balanced through a combination of reduced spending across all campus units and colleges, staffing reductions, controlled compensation, increased tuition and fees, and an increase in student support through scholarships.

“Throughout this budget planning process, and going forward, our focus remains our students’ success,” says University President Luis Proenza. “We must provide an affordable education and an extraordinary Akron Experience that supports our students year after year so that they graduate with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the new economy.”

For more details about the budget, and an opportunity to ask questions, go to our budget website.

In other business:

  • The Board approved a rule revision requiring a minimum of 120 hours to earn a bachelor's credit degree and 60 credit hours to earn an associate's. The change aligns the University with other state universities. Faculty Senate approved the proposal in May.
  • Trustees approved the formation of the Public Health Law & Science Center in the School of Law. The center and its new Health Law Certificate Program will focus on advances in science and technology as they relate to overall population health. Most health law programs in the United States put emphasis on the health of the individual. What makes PHLSC and the certificate program distinctive is the focus on population health which includes individual health. This allows for a more holistic approach to crafting laws and policies designed to improve the human condition. Public Health Law & Science Center's website.
  • Owing in part to changes in the state employee retirement system, 97 employees have decided to retire this year, compared to a five-year average of 65 retirements annually. Provost Mike Sherman has also decided to officially retire, but is accepting an offer to be rehired to lead the academic agenda under Vision 2020. At the recommendation of President Proenza, the Board approved a retire-rehire agreement for Sherman that will reduce his base salary starting in January through June 30, 2015. Sherman will forego tenure as part of the agreement. 
  • The new ZipStart program for incoming freshmen attracted 177 students to enroll in 227 summer courses during the first summer session, with online and hybrid options drawing the greatest interest. ZipStart strives to enhance retention and graduation rates by encouraging students to take Gen Ed courses this summer at reduced cost. Enrollment continues for Summer II ZipStart courses. Learn more about ZipStart.
  • The Board heard from Dru Siley, the director of planning and development for the City of Lakewood about UA's Lakewood site and its rapid growth since opening last year. Student credit hours are anticipated to increase 70 percent this fall over the fall 2012 total, thanks to aggressive marketing and to strong partnerships with community and corporate interests. Courses and programs offered include Saturday MBA, master's in social work, bachelor's and master's in nursing and the organizational supervision bachelor's degree for working professionals. The UA site is located at a prominent intersection in downtown Lakewood, making it convenient for residents and professionals to take courses. See PDF of presentation.
  • The Board approved a resolution congratulating Ted Curtis, vice president of capital planning and facilities management, on his distinguished career in the field of architecture, both in the private and public sectors. Curtis, the recipient of many professional and civic honors, was acknowledged following the presentation of his most recent award, an honorary doctorate from the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urbanism in Bucharest, Romania. The honor recognized Curtis for the “personal example given to young generations of future architects.”

Media contact: Eileen Korey, 330-972-8589 or