WSU Leaders to Forego Pay Raises to Help Students
Greene County Dailies - March 02, 2009
FAIRBORN — Wright State University top officials are making an unprecedented gesture towards needy students amid concerns about tight budgets and a sagging economy — the university’s deans and vice presidents have unanimously agreed to forego any raises this year in favor of putting resulting savings towards a new need-based aid fund for students, according to information provided Monday by the university.
Approximately 25 administrators — the president, provost, vice presidents, associate provosts, deans and others — will forego their raises. Wright State has not yet determined how much will be awarded in raises this year because of the uncertainty of the state budget.
Vice President for University Advancement Bryan Rowland said Monday the university decided last week to establish a new $1 million need-based institutional aid initiative called the Graduation Fund to help current, new and transfer students with unmet financial need in response to the economic crunch.
“It is important that the Wright State family does everything it can to help students finish their college degrees — about 40 percent of our students are first-generation college students and 45 percent have family income less than $50,000. Their success and graduation is important to the region and state as we try to build our economy,” Rowland said. “Wright State has always been a good steward of its resources and now more than ever we need to invest in our students and show them that we believe that they are our future.”
The money will be raised quickly — in the next 120 days — and available to students by the next school year. WSU Foundation board members will provide or raise $250,000 towards the initiative. WSU will ask faculty, staff and administrators to contribute and will reallocate some of its budget towards the fund.
Wright State estimates at least 2,829 students will be in need, either because of economic downturn, layoffs or underemployment, or face dropping out for sudden financial reasons. Nearly 2,000 will be continuing and returning students, 569 will be incoming students and 267 will be transfer students, Rowland estimates. The amount of unmet need is estimated at $4.5 million.
The amount for each student will be determined by their individual unmet need, calculated after their Expected Family Contribution (as determined by the FAFSA) and any federal or state grants. Students who are making satisfactory progress towards their degree, have filled out a FAFSA form, are Ohio residents and are full-time students will be eligible. The entire fund will be awarded to students during the school year.
Wright State is an urban research university in Fairborn, Ohio with approximately 17,000 students. Undergraduate tuition is $7,248 per year.