Statement from President Scarborough about upper division program fees


The University announced today that it plans to rescind a new fee charged to students taking 300- and 400-level courses, due to subsequent changes in state funding and discussions with Chancellor John Carey of the Ohio Department of Higher Education to identify alternate means to maintain a balanced budget that protects the University’s academic quality and enables continued improvement.

The upper-division program fee was approved initially on June 10, prior to the passage of the state budget. UA President Scott Scarborough will ask the Board of Trustees to consider his recommendation to rescind the fee at a special meeting on July 27.

After the Board takes action, bills posted in My Akron will be updated in the coming weeks to reflect this change. If you already paid the fee, a credit will be issued to the student account.

Dr. Scarborough explained how he decided to recommend that the fee be rescinded.

“The Board approved the budget on June 10. Since then, the legislature approved approximately $4 million more state support than we had anticipated. We are grateful to the legislature under the leadership of Senate President Keith Faber and House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and to Governor John Kasich for the additional funding.

“We also appreciate the intention of Chancellor Carey and Representative Kirk Schuring to work with the state legislature to resolve a unique financial burden placed on UA as a result of it being the only university to be a member of the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio (SERS). Due to SERS regulations, UA is forced to pay a ‘surcharge’ on its contribution to the system that artificially increases the university’s payment by more than $1.2 million annually.

“As a result of those two developments, I am asking our Board of Trustees to approve retracting the upper-division program fee previously established and amending the FY2016 operating budget accordingly,” Scarborough said. “I will make that recommendation at a special Board meeting on July 27. The net change to the University’s budget will be relatively flat due to the increase in state funding and the planned changes related to SERS.”

Jonathan Pavloff, Chairman of UA’s Board of Trustees, said, “The conversations with Chancellor Carey and legislative leadership have resulted in them better understanding and appreciating the steps we are taking to develop a sustainable financial position so that we can maintain our academic excellence and invest in the growth of the University. Their support of our efforts is very much appreciated.”