Board takes action on tuition, beer at stadium


The Board of Trustees today approved a 3.5 percent increase to tuition and general fees, and a 3.3 percent increase to the transportation fee.

The tuition increase – amounting to $318 per year for the average Akron student – will help assure that the University continues to provide students with excellent academic programs and services.

The increase is in response to budget pressures due to significantly reduced state funding of nearly $30 million over two years. Further, the increase will enable strategic investments into the priorities identified in the University's strategic plan, Vision 2020.

To help minimize the effect on students, the University will increase scholarship funding by 3.5 percent as well. In 2011-12, the University committed more than $37 million to scholarships.

For students who take between 12 and 16 credit hours, the University will continue to charge tuition for only 12 hours. Additional tuition is charged beyond 16 credit hours. That “cap” was revised upward (from 15 to 16) in 2009, after a study indicated that full-time students could complete 128 hours within eight terms on their way to graduation.  Further, to help alleviate the financial burden on students, a study of the University's fee structure and scholarship offerings is underway.

The increases approved today are in line with tuition and fee adjustments at other Ohio public universities.

Board members also approved a tuition increase of 6.3 percent for law students.

Tenure and promotion

Congratulations to the 35 faculty members who received tenure or a promotion in rank or both, following a Board vote today.

eLearning update

Vision 2020 calls for the University to be relevant and connected, and UA’s eLearning strategy is an important component of this transformational goal.

Vision 2020 also anticipates a growth in enrollment from 30,000 to 40,000 learners, many of whom will be non-traditional students seeking online learning as a convenient option.

After extensive study, benchmarking, analysis and conversation, the eLearning Strategy and Implementation Advisory Committee (composed of faculty, staff and students) recommended that the most efficient and cost-effective method of proceeding for UA would be to engage a third-party vendor to provide eLearning services, rather than attempt to construct such a system on its own.

After a competitive selection process, Pearson eCollege was selected as the preferred vendor. As part of the assessment process, a pilot was conducted in spring semester 2012 to review the delivery platform and ancillary services, including the learning management system, faculty training, faculty support, 24/7/365 help desk, learning-outcomes management, course conversion and development, course content resources, student analytics and marketing capacity.

At the same time, a comprehensive business analysis was conducted to determine the overall feasibility of the initiative.

With the positive results of both of those evaluations in mind, the Board of Trustees today authorized the negotiation of a contract with Pearson for broader adaption of the eLearning effort.

The contract will be negotiated so as to maintain faculty oversight and governance of course content and academic issues, protect UA intellectual property, abide by our commitments under the Akron-AAUP collective bargaining agreement, and maintain our standing with the Higher Learning Commission, the University's regional accrediting body.

Beer sales at the stadium

The Board voted to modify the University’s alcohol policy to allow the sale of beer in the main seating area of InfoCision Stadium–Summa Field, starting this fall.

After a comprehensive review of alcohol policies at other football stadiums, the Department of Athletics presented a plan that acknowledges the wishes of many football fans while managing alcohol consumption through strict guidelines for concession and distribution control. Full story.

Pouring rights on campus

The Board awarded exclusive pouring rights to Coca-Cola for a 10-year period, starting July 1. In accepting the Coke bid, UA will earn $500,000 more over the 10 years that it would have with any other bid.

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