Volume 4  Issue # 12
Monday, March 4, 2002

The President's Post
    Developing an annual budget is never an easy task, and balancing that budget is even more of a challenge. This year has proven to be no exception. We are optimistic that we will balance our budget for the fifth consecutive year, and I am very proud of that campus-wide accomplishment.

   When we develop our budgets at Ozarks, we use a committee approach with 21 members who represent our four major constituencies on campus: faculty, staff, administration, and students. The student representatives for this year were Charles Hurley and Taylor Dodds, and they did an excellent job of presenting the student perspective. As tuition dollars are a major portion of any university budget, I want to be certain that, as a committee, we understand the effect a tuition increase will have on students and that students know how their tuition dollars are being spent.

   The combined increase for tuition, room, board, and fees next year will be 4.83% for students returning to Ozarks. The total cost for returning students will be $14,575 (tuition = $9,815; room = $2,030; board = $2,450; fees = $280), and that equates to an out-of-pocket increase of $671from this year’s costs. We have augmented the budgeted funds available for scholarships and other financial aid assistance to help offset the additional cost. Even with our tuition increase, we should maintain our current pricing position relative to the other private universities in Arkansas and the region. Among our peers, Ozarks is one of the least expensive campuses.

   I want to extend a special thank you to Mr. John Jones, Provost and Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs, for leading the campus budget committee as well as to the committee members for their patience and advice. Because of their efforts, the 2002-2003 budget is realistic and manageable.

Dr. Rick Niece

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