Ohio State President Michael Drake is set to announce a five-year, $400 million initiative Tuesday that will redirect funds — through cost-cutting and “innovative financing strategies” — to fund academics, investments and need-based scholarships.
While addressing the common themes of affordability and excellence, Drake is set to highlight the plan this afternoon during his investiture — a ceremonial installation of his presidency at Mershon Auditorium.
The university aims to fund $100 million for need-based scholarships over five years, with $15 million allocated to that purpose during the plan’s first year, according to a university summary of the initiative.
Specific uses for the other $300 million have not been revealed, but the summary said it plans to fund academic programs and “support investments in the best new ideas.”
The university plans to foot half the bill by cutting administrative expenses and “efficiency measures aimed at the academic side,” including cost-sharing, strategic procurement and “HR policies that balance competitive packages with the need to be responsible stewards of our resources,” the summary said.
Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph Steinmetz told The Lantern on March 24 that the Board of Trustees is sensitive to concerns about administrative salaries, and that it plans to institute new guidelines that could alter compensation norms. While current employees are not necessarily immune to those guidelines, no changes would be made to standing contracts, Steinmetz said.
For the new initiative, OSU plans to generate the other $200 million from methods akin to the university’s privatization of parking and contracts with companies including Huntington Bank and Coca-Cola.
OSU is currently seeking to privatize its utilities — including natural gas, electricity and the heating and cooling of water — although it was unclear as of Monday evening if those revenues would be used to fund Drake’s initiative.
The university won’t rely on taxes or tuition to fund the new initiative, the summary said.