Investing in Student Success – State Share of Instruction
OSGA encourages the state to adopt a long-term policy that funds the state share of instruction at the national average on a per student basis. The current difference in funding on a per full-time equivalent (FTE) basis between the state and the national average is $1,581. (Progress on this goal will require persistent effort over more than one biennium.)
OSGA encourages the state to increase funding to universities to support them offering degrees in rising, in-demand competitive fields.
OSGA encourages the state to reward public universities for placing graduates in jobs in Ohio after graduation.
Assisting Students Financially – Ohio College Opportunity Grant; State Need-Based Aid
OSGA supports the “Pell first” financial aid policy that prioritizes tuition reimbursement over other, non-academic costs of attending college.
Ohio taxpayers should not directly subsidize for-profit proprietary schools.
Holding Costs Down – Tuition Restraint and Flexibility
OSGA recommends granting authority to public university’s board of trustees to set tuition and general fees and recommends that a reinstituted state tuition cap be set at a level no lower than a reasonable estimate of the higher education inflation rate (HEPI).
OSGA continues to support tuition flexibility through the implementation of tuition guarantee plans.
OSGA recommends the state permit public universities to establish a subject-based price differential plan for degree programs.
Stimulating Innovation and Attracting Talent – Intellectual Property
OSGA supports university efforts to attract the best and brightest minds and create an environment where they can thrive, in turn benefitting students and the community.
OSGA supports increased state support for researchers with promising research prospects.
OSGA supports the state continuing to permit higher education institutions to negotiate these details with research faculty.
OSGA supports the state not prohibit a potential return on the investment for the institution.
OSGA recommends the state provide additional funding through the Ohio Department of Higher Education to support public university research activities that provide sources of discoveries for state technology and other focus areas.
Strengthening Support for Students – Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
OSGA recommends that public institutions of higher education be granted authority to assess a campus wide student mental health and substance abuse fee.
Further, OSGA recommenders that the state provides additional assistance in the form of matching state funding for said fees if applied.
This funding would be used to support the addition of clinical staff, psychiatric services, and/or the addition of resources to students (e.g., electronic and online mental health and substance abuse resources). Institutions would be required to demonstrate that new funds would continue to support current initiatives, and would supplement, not supplant, existing funding
Meeting the Needs of the Business Community – Stackable Certificates
OSGA recommends the further development of existing stackable certificate programs, embedded within degree programs, at public university regional and main campuses to allow for greater interaction between Ohio’s universities and the business community. These certificates provide students with documented accomplishments while on their path to degree completion.
For students who stop/drop out, they can verify to potential employers the education/skills they have attained even without a degree.
OSGA recommends establishing new or strengthening existing partnerships with Ohio’s employers to identify new or anticipated workforce needs and to create new certificate programs to address needed skills.
OSGA supports public universities aligning certificate programs with the needs of the business community in areas identified by business as being of significant need and establish programs at institutions as building blocks toward a bachelor’s degree.
Continuing the Push for Student Trustee Voting Rights – Increasing Student Involvement and Representation in University Governance
OSGA recommends the state grant voting rights of some sort to the student trustees at the 13 public institutions that currently do not have them, in addition to working with the OFC to provide a better transition process for newly chosen trustees. The Chair of the OFC is especially excited to revamp the trustee on-boarding process.
House Bill 88 and Senate Bill 40
House Bill 88 is sponsored by Rep. Naraj Antani, while Senate Bill 40 is sponsored by Senator Andrew Brenner. Both bills include some language and verbiage that make them difficult to fully support in their current state, providing us with an excellent opportunity to pass a resolution advocating our stances to be included in the bills and to provide committee testimony from a student perspective. The details of this will be discussed in more detail as we move forward.
Advocating for the Passage of a “Good Samaritan” Bill
The purpose of this bill is to provide immunity to individuals who seek medical assistance for themselves or another person experiencing a drug or alcohol overdose, along with ensuring that 911 operators properly inform the individual calling about this immunity. The goal of this bill is to prevent students from not calling the ambulance or the police in life threatening situations due to fears of potential legal ramifications. Similar legislation has been passed in other states and a similar piece of legislation was introduced during the 131st Ohio General Assembly.
Mental Health Campaign – University Collaboration
OSGA wants to focus on emphasizing the importance of mental health awareness, destigmatizing the need to receive counseling and or medication, ensuring students recognize the signs of deteriorating mental health in their peers, and emphasizing the importance of self-care methods being incorporated into students’ daily routines.
Continuing the Push to Make College More Affordable – Textbooks and Recommendations
OSGA recommends that textbooks be exempt from taxation which would save students in Ohio millions every year. In addition, research shows that the money students would save in tax could be reinvested in the community through gas, groceries, school supplies, etc.
OSGA recommends universities moving towards inclusive courseware for large classes with the long-term goal of having inclusive courseware for most courses offered.