Cameron University initiatives planned and budget approved for 2018-2019

Cameron University’s governing board reviewed major university initiatives for the upcoming year and approved an annual budget of just over $46 million for Fiscal Year 2019 during its regularly scheduled meeting today in Oklahoma City. The University of Oklahoma, Cameron University and Rogers State University Board of Regents approved a $46,191,037 operating budget with approximately $35 million earmarked for student instruction, academic support, student scholarships and tuition waivers, and student services during the upcoming academic year.

The FY 2019 budget reflects Cameron’s commitment to increasing and improving student success and student learning inside and outside the classroom while continuing to be an engaged partner with common and career technology education, business, industry, civic and government organizations.

“Cameron University received a decrease of $101,217 in its state appropriation while mandatory costs continue to increase,” says President John McArthur. “In spite of the drastic reductions made in personnel and operating costs in FY 17 and additional reductions through the outsourcing of custodial services in FY 18, the continued reduction of state support has resulted in a greater reliance on revenue from student tuition and fees to fund increases in mandatory costs.  The reduction in the State allocation and Oklahoma’s uncertain economic outlook are two of the University’s primary concerns for FY 2019 and future years.”

Overall, university expenditures will increase by $208,469 from FY 2018. The increase is due primarily to increased scholarship and tuition waiver support and health insurance increases of approximately $135,000.

Effective with the Fall 2018 semester, undergraduate resident tuition and mandatory fees will increase by $9 per credit hour or 4.4 percent, and nonresident undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees will increase by $12 per credit hour or 2.3 percent.  The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education will consider tuition and fee rates at its June 28 meeting.

To help offset the impact of the tuition increase on students, Cameron will increase funding for scholarships and other financial support. Resident tuition waivers and university scholarships will be increased to $2,740,000 for academic year 2018-2019. The University remains committed to maintaining its low debt load among graduates by continuing to offer significant financial assistance to students.

The overall average increase in resident tuition and mandatory fees for resident undergraduate students is $270 annually. The overall average increase in nonresident tuition and mandatory fees for nonresident undergraduate students is $360 annually.

In comparison to peer institutions in the surrounding states, Cameron’s tuition and fee rates are 84 percent of their rates. Additionally, The College Board reports that the national average for in-state tuition and fees for public, four-year institutions is $9,970 per year. Cameron’s FY 2019 rate of $6,450 for 30 credit hours is considerably less.

Cameron’s administrative expenses are budgeted at 9.5 percent of all expenses, which represents a decrease from FY 2018 and is well below the administrative cost guideline of 13 percent for regional universities established by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. The university continues its commitment to maximizing the portion of the budget allocated to instruction, academic support, student services, and student scholarships and tuition waivers while minimizing the portion of the budget used by administrative departments.

Initiatives for the academic year are closely aligned with the university core values and goals in “Plan 2023: Ambitious Goals for Innovation, Growth and Engagement,” Cameron’s new five-year strategic plan. The key goals of this plan will be used to assign budget allocations and to make budget decisions.  The actions and initiatives to advance those goals for 2018-2019 are:

Goal One – Transform student lives

  • Further enhance campus student life opportunities
  • Expand enrollment growth efforts

Goal Two - Provide quality educational opportunities for the diverse community of Cameron University learners

  • Improve student academic support
  • Increase student financial support
  • Continue curriculum innovation and review

Goal Three – Recruit, develop, and retain highly qualified faculty and staff committed to advancing the mission of the university

  • Provide a two phase campus salary plan including entry level salary increases to remain competitive with area K-12 and Career Technology Center compensation and a merit-qualified cost of living increase
  • Further improve employee onboarding and professional development programs

Goal Four – Strengthen the economic, cultural, and civic life of the Cameron University service area in Southwest Oklahoma and beyond

  • Implement a privately funded technology innovation program employing recent Cameron University graduates to creatively solve problems of regional interest
  • Support further engagement between the Center for Emerging Technology and Entrepreneurial Studies (CETES) and the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center

Goal Five – Renovate and refresh existing facilities and technologies to meet the needs of current and future students

  • Extend University advancement and fundraising efforts
  • Complete construction and renovation projects in Duncan and Lawton

Goal Six – Establish a strong brand and identity for the university

  • Conduct a service area marketing review followed by a university Web site redesign and relaunch by revisiting current social media advertising for reach and effectiveness
  • Prepare for and successfully complete a Higher Learning Commission (HLC) multi-location site visit in Fall 2018

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June 19, 2018