YOUNGSTOWN - Youngstown State University Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a $156.3 million general fund budget for fiscal year 2013.
The spending plan is 1.5 percent, or $2.4 million, less than the budget for fiscal year 2012 and includes a tuition increase and a pay freeze for all employees.
"In these difficult economic times with continued reductions in state funding, we have carefully developed a spending plan that allows us to live within our means and to continue to invest in high-quality academic programs, faculty and facilities," remarked YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson.
The spending plan also reflects increases in employee contributions for health insurance and the continuation of $3 million in reductions in operating expenses. In addition, through an early retirement incentive plan for staff and a separation incentive for faculty, the positions of more than 100 retirees have been left vacant, saving $5 million.
The budget also includes a $130-per-semester tuition increase for students effective this fall. The board set tuition at $3,856 a semester for full-time undergraduate students living in Ohio, or $7,712 a year.
Ron Cole, university communications director, explained that even with the increase YSU's tuition will remain the lowest among Ohio's 11 public, comprehensive universities.
YSU's state allocations will drop by $1.1 million next year. That's on top of a $7 million reduction in 2012. Ten years ago, state funding made up 50 percent of YSU's general fund budget. Now, the state funds only 25 percent.
"We are committed to ensuring that YSU is the best value among public universities in Ohio," Anderson said.
Other undergraduate tuition costs trustees approved include:
For full-time students living in the eight-county region that represents the Western Pennsylvania Advantage area, tuition will increase by $131 to $3,961 a semester.
For full-time students living in the 15-county regional service area in Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia, tuition will go up $130 to $5,269 a semester.
For full-time, out-of-state students living outside the regional service area, tuition will increase $130 to $6,834 a semester.
In addition, tuition for full-time, in-state graduate students will increase $174 to $5,128 a semester, while full-time, out-of-state tuition for graduate students will go up $174 to $5,234 a semester.