Ohio State remained under budget and operated at a profit of $700 million in Fiscal Year 2017, with a total revenue of $6.8 billion, including $927 million in tuition and fees from students, according to documents presented to the Board of Trustees Thursday.

The university accumulated $42 million more in tuition and fees than it received in the previous fiscal year. Geoff Chatas, the university’s senior vice president and CFO, attributed the 4.5 percent increase to a larger-than-expected first-year class.

Chatas also reported students saved $2.5 million in tuition and fees for Summer 2017, following the board’s approval of a 25 percent discount for six- and 12-week session courses September 2016. The Board’s Finance Committee initially projected students would save $1 million.

“Fewer kids signed up than what we hoped, but those who did took more courses,” Chatas said. “We think the trajectory is good and result in students graduating on time and doing it in a more affordable way.”

The committee also rolled out its 2018 Fiscal Year budget, expecting $6.9 billion in revenue and $6.6 billion in expenses.

Credit: Ris Twigg | Assistant Photo Editor

With the Board’s approval of the tuition-guarantee program in July, which raised tuition and fees for all students beginning for incoming students this fall.

The finance committee projected $1.12 billion in revenue from the increased tuition and fees — a $22.8 million increase from the 2017 fiscal year. The 6-percent room-and-board increase and the 3-percent dining increases approved in July, as part of the program, are expected to help generate a 5.2-percent increase in university revenue from buildings it owns for the current fiscal year.

In the proposed 2018 budget, Ohio State is expected to spend $1.9 billion on university personnel, compared to $1.7 billion in 2017, which was nearly a 6-percent increase from the previous year. The university’s salary increases were at 2 percent despite the total personnel expense difference being 5.6 percent.

Chatas said this discrepancy was due to strategic hires in the university’s Discovery Themes areas, its health and data analysis-focused initiatives. He added the committee has to consider if its employees are being placed in the correct areas.

“To get the kind of numbers we’re looking at over time, we’re going to have to look at how we operate the place and do things more smartly,” Chatas said. “That doesn’t mean layoffs, I want to lay that out very clearly so we’re not talking about some layoff program, but it is looking at where we have folks deployed.”

The Board will vote tomorrow to approve on the 2018 budget, the acquisition of a property at Polaris Parkway and service contracts for four construction projects. The Polaris property has been leased by Ohio State since 2004 and the official purchase would cost between $6.775 and $6.825 million, according to Keith Myers, vice president of planning and real estate. 

The four construction projects being voted on include Phase Two of the Cannon Drive project, a multi-species facility at Waterman Farm, moving the Pathology Lab to 680 Ackerman Road and renovating the east wing of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.