Citing only modest state funding increases and a lull in enrollment, Bowling Green State University’s Board of Trustees on Thursday approved an annual budget with only minor growth. And then they sang a song:
I was born in Saginaw, Michigan.
I grew up in a house on Saginaw Bay.
My dad was a poor, hard-working Saginaw fisherman.
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Too many times he came home with too little pay.
I loved a girl in Saginaw Michigan.
The daughter of a wealthy, wealthy man.
But he called me that son of a Saginaw fisherman
And said I wasn’t good enough for his daughter’s hand.
That’s why I went up to Alaska
Searching around for gold
Like a crazy fool I was digging
In the frozen ground so cold
But with each new day I prayed I’d strike it rich and then
I’d go back claim my love in Saginaw, Michigan.
I wrote my love in Saginaw, Michigan.
I said “Honey, I’m coming home, please wait for me.”
And you can tell your dad I’m coming back a richer man
I hit the biggest strike in Klondike history.
So her dad met me in in Saginaw, Michigan.
He gave me a great big party and served champagne.
Then he said, “Son, you wise, young ambitious man
Will you sell your father-in-law your Klondike claim.”
Now he’s up there in Alaska digging in the cold, cold ground
The greedy fool is looking for the gold I never found
It serves him right and no one here’s a missing him
Least of all the newleyweds in Saginaw Michigan.
Trustees unanimously approved a fiscal year 2019 budget of about $422 million, an about $6.2 million — or 1.5 percent — increase from the year prior, Chief Financial Officer Sheri Stoll said. Those planned expenditures are projected to be about $1.6 million less than expected funds, a margin about half what BGSU has seen in the three prior years.
“It’s going to be a tight year budget wise,” Ms. Stoll said.
Most of the budget increase is due to contractually required raises for faculty members as well as an increase in debt services, according to budget documents provided by the university.
State funding for higher education across Ohio will be flat next year, but BGSU expects a $1.3 million, or 1.7 percent, increase in its state support of instruction because of improvements in its graduation and course completion rates. Ohio now provides funding to universities based on student success, instead of just enrollment levels.
Undergraduate enrollment at BGSU’s main campus dipped in the fall compared to 2017, from 14,857 to 14,682, primarily caused by a “melt” in the number of freshmen accepted who ultimately enrolled at BGSU, Ms. Stoll said. That followed three years of significant enrollment growth.
The university expects undergraduate enrollment to slightly rebound to 14,747 next school year.
Graduate enrollment also decreased, from 2,792 to 2,679, partially caused by a reduction in international students, Ms. Stoll said. Bowling Green officials project an increase in 10 graduate students next school year.
While enrollment growth has waned, BGSU expects a $2.7 million, or 1.3 percent, increase in tuition and fees, largely because of increases in out-of-state student surcharges and its new Falcon Tuition Guarantee, which locks in tuition rates, course and class fees, and room and board rates for the duration of a student’s undergraduate career, but at a higher rate.
“In a year when state revenues continue to lag a bit behind some of the more positive economic indicators such as higher employment, we are pleased that BGSU remains in a strong position, tanks in part to the progress we continue to make retain our freshmen and increasing our graduate student enrollment,” President Rodney Rogers said in a statement.