YSU prepares for reductions
By Denise Dick
Youngstown State University officials expect to announce next week ways to balance the budget for another year in the wake of lower enrollment and less money from the state.
YSU President Randy Dunn reiterated to university trustees’ Finance and Facilities Committee on Thursday what he’s been saying for the past few weeks: that the reductions won’t amount to major changes. First, the university will endeavor to increase enrollment. If those efforts fail, then reconfiguring of YSU may be required, Dunn has said.
“We’re going to do this tinkering around the edges again this year to keep us within the budget,” he said.
The reductions that are expected to be announced next week will be made with effort to not affect academic programs, student services or people.
The university saw a 3.1 percent enrollment decrease between fall 2012 and this semester, causing a loss of about $3 million. Additionally, the cost of bad debt because of changes in federal guidelines on student loans is expected to increase beyond fiscal year 2013 levels; and the cost of athletics also is expected to increase.
“It’s certainly shaping up to be another challenging year,” Gene Grilli, vice president of finance and administration, told committee members.
There are some reasons to be positive though, he said.
Graduate enrollment is up 5.5 percent this semester with nonresident enrollment up 4.2 percent.
“Those are two very good indicators in terms of our enrollment,” Grilli said.
In other business, the committee approved the sale of six parcels along Watt Street to Fireline Inc. The Andrews Avenue company plans an expansion.
The properties were appraised at $43,100, which will be the sale price. Greg Morgione, university associate general counsel, said the university acquired the parcels in 2007 to 2008 for $27,600.
Fireline also plans to buy property from other owners to complete its expansion. Morgione said that a clause will be included in the agreement allowing the university to get the property back if the company doesn’t go through with expansion plans.
Also Thursday, trustees’ Institutional Engagement Committee approved a resolution to name the Donald P. Pipino Performing Arts Series in the College of Creative Arts and Communication. Pipino was a Niles native who because a successful business owner. His daughter, Christine Muransky, and her husband, Edward Muransky, made a $100,000 gift to the College of Creative Arts and Communication.
Gift proceeds will provide current support and be used to establish a supporting endowment.
Committee members also approved a resolution naming a lounge in Moser Hall the Dr. Jack D. Bakos Jr. Collaborative Lounge “The Fishbowl.” Bakos served YSU for nearly 36 years as a professor, adviser and chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He died Oct. 16, 2012.
His widow, Patsy Bakos, provided $75,000 for renovations to the Moser Hall lounge and $75,000 to establish the Dr. Jack Bakos Jr. Memorial Scholarship Endowment.