ADA—With rumors spreading around campus involving tuition and The Inn at Ohio Northern University, school officials have been meeting with students to clear up the “misinformation.”
“We are working very diligently to get the accurate information out there,” said Amy Prigge, executive director of communications and marketing.
There has been talk around campus about the school taking tuition from pharmacy students to fund the Inn. The Lima News received an anonymous email that two professors were resigning because of it. The newspaper has not heard from any professors.
Prigge said students have been talking about it, which is why President Daniel DiBiasio has been meeting with students and student groups about how the university’s finances work.
ONU relies on various sources to operate and fund every aspect of the school, including the Inn. Those include tuition, endowment revenue, gifts, grants and other investment income.
“Tuition levels are established without reference to the Inn operation,” Prigge said. “We rely on tuition dollars and all those other things to run everything we do at the university. To think tuition dollars are only used for the Inn is an inaccurate account of what really happens.”
The Inn opened on campus in 2008. Prigge said it is funded through revenue generated from guest accommodations and dining and some supplemental resources coming from the university’s general account. How much comes from the general account was not available Thursday. The Inn, Prigge said, was never built with the intent to make a profit.
“From our perspective, it serves a unique and important function at the institution,” she said. “It was not to make money. It was to serve a function we did not have.”
Two pharmacy professors have taken jobs elsewhere and will be leaving ONU. Prigge would not release their names. The rumors referenced $2,000 the professors wanted paid back to students. Prigge said officials have not been able to figure out where that number comes from.
The school’s pharmacy program is its largest besides arts and sciences. It graduates between 150 and 160 students a year. The program’s operating budget has remained consistent, Prigge said, despite the school cutting its overall budget by 11 percent in 2009-10.
All ONU students saw a 3.8 percent tuition increase this school year and will see another 2.9 percent next year.