2019 State of the University

2019 State of the University


[Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D.
President]: Thank you to everyone who has taken time
from their busy schedules to be here today. I’d really like to take a moment
just to acknowledge some special guests who are here with us today.
Auburn Hills Mayor Kevin McDaniel, Rochester Hills Mayor Brian Barnett,
Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett, our Board Chair Oakland University Board
Chair David Tull, Oakland Community College Chancellor Peter Provenzano, and
we have quite a few other special guests who are here from outside our campus
from our community who have chosen to be with us here today. Let’s give all of
them a round of applause. [applause] And now I’d like to ask the members of
my cabinet to please stand. I want to thank all of you for your dedication to
Oakland University and for your many contributions to making Oakland
University great. Thank you. Now, to continue to make it great, I’d also like
to hear from you, so please write down any questions that you might have on the
index cards that are located on your tables, and at the end we’ll take a few
minutes to try to answer some of your questions. We are OU. The state of the
University is an opportunity for us to get together to recommit to our mission
and vision, to share in our accomplishments, to acknowledge special
contributions and to illuminate the path ahead. We are OU, and most of all, I
hope that today’s State of the University instills the message of how
we have a profound responsibility and a great opportunity to make a difference
and re-imagine the possibilities of Oakland University. Why are we here? We
are here for the students, we are here for research and for scholarship, we are
here for our communities, and we are here to advance diversity, equity and
inclusion, and to be a community that welcomes all. [Micah DeJonge]: For many years Oakland University has
been a place my family has called home. Not being here, you could say, is like
being a fish out of water. My brother Phillip and I are members of
the OU swim team, as were my Uncle, Aunt and Mother, all of whom were
All-Americans. Attending OU for me is a great part of a great family tradition.
My name is Micah DeYoung and I am OU. [Dezirae Robinson]: I believe in dreams and dreams coming
true. As I continue my journey to become a physical therapist, I know that it is
because of everyone before me that sacrificed everything they had for me to
be here. I know it is because of their courage and their strength that I can
stand here in front of you right now. It is my hope that one day we’ll live in a
world where students don’t have to think about obstacles of race, religion, sexual
orientation, or gender, and they can just follow their dreams. My name is Dezirae Robinson,
and I am OU. [Amy Banes-Berceli]: My passion is mentoring. I know I have
benefited from the power of mentorship myself. At OU, I have witnessed
students making meaningful connections with faculty and staff which lead to
experiences that contribute to personal growth and professional success. My name
is Amy Banes-Berceli, Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Sciences, and
I am OU. [President Pescovitz]: Thank you to all of you. I began my tenure in 2017. During my first
year, I got to know many of you. I set out to listen, observe and learn what makes
Oakland such a special and vital place. Those conversations continue to be a
source of insight and reflection. In the past two years, we’ve made significant
progress in addressing ways we can improve our performance and achieve our
goals and be more effective in helping us to get even better. Let’s take a look
at how we’re doing. OU’s fall enrollment must be considered within the context of
generally declining enrollment at Michigan public and private universities.
In part, the reason for this is the number of Michigan high school graduates
will be continuing to decline at least until 2030, but when comparing OU’s
enrollment with the other state public universities, our enrollment since 2009
has increased along with only five other public universities, and we’re fourth in
this ranking. Fall enrollment stands at a total headcount
of nineteen thousand thirteen and you’ll see the breakdown here on this slide. New FTIAC or first time in any college applications and admissions are at
all-time highs. New enrollments are down slightly from last year, but ranked as
the second highest ever. A major reason that we’re succeeding at attracting and
retaining students is the significant progress of the Strategic Enrollment
plan which is creating timely, flexible and aggressive approaches to the ongoing
challenge of attracting and retaining students. In the summer of 2018, we had a
presidential retreat to launch the SEM plan, and the result of the work of
hundreds of people is that Oakland University is way ahead of our peer
institutions. If you are a member of these SEM teams, please stand now and be acknowledged for your great work. Stand up. If there’s any doubt about what teamwork
at OU looks like , that was it, so that was really exceptional. Another key
part of SEM is OU’s twenty-eight articulation agreements with community
colleges, which creates a pipeline of transfer students, and as you can see we
have transfer agreements with community colleges around the state. Recently, we’ve
been advancing program-specific agreements with a number of these
community colleges. The intensive effort is a key part of the reason why new
transfer enrollment is up 10.1%, and the new transfer retention rate is 65.4%. Other new transfer highlights include we have the
second largest transfer class in the state of Michigan, over three hundred
more than Michigan State, and we’re on a par with the most academically talented
transfer class in OU history. Student Success: Let’s now take a look at one of
the fundamental measures of student success, and that’s our graduation rates. The four-year graduation rate stands at 31 percent – nearly double the rate since
2013. We set a 6-year FTIAC undergraduate graduation rate of 55
percent as our goal by 2025, but in 2018 we reached that goal, and have
set the new mark at 57 percent, and then we reached that goal this year. The the FTIAC URM undergraduate 6-year graduation rate is at 39 percent, and we’ve set a
goal of 45 percent by 2025. We aim to make further progress in the area of FTIAC retention. Currently, retention of first-to-
second year students is 76%, and we’re increasing that target to 83 percent by
2025. Meanwhile, the percent of FTIAC URM
retention is 63.5 percent, and our aim is to be at least at
75 percent by 2025. Currently we have an achievement gap between all FTIACs
and URM FTIACs of 9.5 percent, and our goal is to reduce that to less than
8 percent. While the first of our strategic goals is to support student
success, we must be mindful that the cost of higher education continues to
increase, which makes a college education difficult to afford. Compared to other
states, Michigan devotes a smaller share of our budget to higher education. In
fiscal year 2018, Michigan higher education expenditures comprised only
4.1 percent of the state budget, and this compares to the 50-state average of 10.1
percent. The amount of tuition Michigan’s public universities collect
per student is the highest in the nation, making it the most
tuition-dependent state, and since 2000, tuition costs have been increasing as
state appropriations per student have been decreasing. At Oakland, the
percentage of our revenue is more and more dependent on tuition. In fiscal year
2019-20, we expect that about 80% of our revenue will come from tuition. Oakland
University currently receives the lowest state funding per student among
Michigan’s 15 public universities. This map illustrates the average level of
undergraduate student loan debt across the entire country, and you can see that
Michigan students carry among the highest levels, between 30,000 and 35,000
dollars in debt. In fact, we’re among a small group of states that trail behind
only Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Hampshire, which have on average more
than $40,000 in debt. Offering accessible and affordable education is among our
highest priorities. As the previous map indicated, those with
bachelor’s degrees graduate from universities in Michigan with more than
$30,000 in debt. In comparison, the average federal loan debt for OU
students is around $25,000. By the way, the estimated average price for a light
vehicle is $37,000, and a car lasts about eight years and 150,000 miles, so in
comparison, a college education lasts for your entire life and provides limitless
opportunities. An often-cited study from Georgetown University found that on
average college graduates earn 1 million dollars more in earnings over the course
of their lifetime compared to those with no college degrees, and a Pew Research
study found that the median yearly income gap between high school and
college graduates is around seventeen thousand five hundred dollars. According
to the National Association of Colleges and Employers 2019 Salary Survey, earning
a master’s degree makes a substantial difference – as much as tens of
thousands of dollars per year. For example, the survey found that there’s
about a $30,000 starting salary difference between someone who has a
bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and someone with an MBA,
so clearly investing in higher education is the best return on investment
anyone can make in themselves, or that someone can make in their children. Last
spring, Oakland University initiated a new debt forgiveness program designed to
help students return to and stay in school and complete their degrees. The
Golden Grizzlies Graduate program includes
three new micro-grants designed to alleviate the stress of financial
obligations. To date, we have helped a total of 52 students return to school, or kept
them from stopping out, and we expect that number to increase much higher.
Another key development to further enhancing student success and addressing
faculty needs is the progress that we’re making with our second strategic goal –
research. Last December, OU moved up to the R-2 designation (the second highest
tier) in the Carnegie Classification of Higher Education. This tier features
colleges and universities with “high research activity,” a designation that is
only held by 3.1 percent of universities nationwide. A move up in the
Carnegie Classification enhances our ability to attract external grants and
appeal to industry partners. In July, the annual president’s retreat focused on
research. We convened with OU leadership, deans and faculty to help
frame the discussion Highlights of our retreat included a focus on increasing
the number of researchers and grants, increasing undergraduate and graduate
student research engagement, improving research policies and practice related
to facilities, and managing faculty workload to increase research activity.
By accomplishing our research goals, we believe that we will expand our regional
economic impact, and most importantly, we believe that this will lead to our
ability to improve quality of life. This slide gives you an idea of where
Oakland University ranks compared to other federally funded peer research
institutions. While OU has similar numbers of total faculty compared to our
peers, the number of our principal investigators is lower, and so this is an
area where we must look to improve. Our third strategic goal is community
engagement, and this is both an obligation and an ongoing challenge, and
it requires us to mobilize and to utilize our resources to make a positive
and impactful difference in our communities. This marks the fifth
anniversary of the Oakland University Pontiac initiative, and we have built
many valuable relationships throughout the Pontiac community including
connections with 75 local organizations. Our connections include providing
Pontiac residents at risk for chronic disease with vouchers for healthy foods,
a tutoring program with Pontiac Middle School, support for a Patient Care
Technician training program at Pontiac High School, working with the Pontiac
Arts Commission on “Soul Food,” a wonderful cultural and spiritual celebration
featuring inspirational music. Much like you heard from our own chorale, this
year OU will be partnered with the Pontiac
Missionary Baptist Church to address how medical students can play a role in
alleviating poverty and providing health care. Last November, we received a generous
donation that led to the renaming of the Oakland University Center for Autism
Research (OUCARES) to the Joanne and Ted
Lindsay Foundation Autism Outreach Services at Oakland University. As a university, we are making major
strides in promoting a broader multicultural understanding in one of
the most culturally diverse areas of the country, based on a generous gift by
education advocate Cis Maisel, we established the Cis Maisel Center for
Judaic Studies and Community Engagement. Fostering a non-partisan, open dialogue
about timely current issues is the mission of OU Center for Civic
Engagement. Recent forums have included discussions about race, taxes, American
foreign policy, and most recently, women in elective office, and on November 15th,
the Varner Vitality Series in conjunction with the Center for Civic
Engagement will host a lecture by Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa. It’s
this type of high-profile, topical public forum that is elevating OU’s
reputation. Currently less than 10% of our courses include some aspect of
community engagement, but I want every student, every faculty member and every
staff member to find ways to engage and make a difference in our communities. Much like our community engagement work, we are also committed to backing up our talk about diversity, equity and
inclusion with specific actions. Shortly after becoming President, I worked
closely with the OE leadership team to identify initiatives that would
transform Oakland into a more diverse and inclusive community. Our goal is to
continue to broaden the diversity of our student population, our faculty and
staff, but I believe that our work is far from done. Our aim is to increase the
representation of women and minorities, to increase URM faculty from nine to ten
percent by 2025, to increase URM staff from 15.6 to 20% by 2025, to close the
achievement gap between majority and minority students, to enhance and expand
communication of University diversity policies, to increase representation of
international students, faculty and staff on our campus. Diversity, equity and inclusion. A report
that was published in April reflects measurable ways that Oakland University
is upholding this strategic initiative. The report shows overall
underrepresented minority employee headcount has increased to 21.5 %.
Underrepresented students represent nearly 20 percent of our
student population. The OU Trustee Scholarship Program continues to improve the URM
six-year graduation rate and at fifty two point seven percent, women make up
the majority of our faculty. In addition, seeking greater diversity
remains a central principle in faculty search committees and in developing
diversity fellow positions. In September, we began unconscious bias training to
raise awareness of preconceptions and encourage a broader dialogue about
diversity, equity and inclusion. This is a follow up to the diversity pledge that
hundreds of us took last year. At Oakland University, we are committed to upholding
Title IV and we strive to maintain an academic living and work environment
that is free of harassment and discrimination; and I am so proud to
announce that on Sunday October 27th, Oakland University will receive the 2019
American Association of State Colleges and Universities Excellence and
Innovation Award for Leadership, Development and Diversity in Phoenix, and
I look forward to representing us there. Our Leadership Academy program was
selected for its outstanding results and potential to influence and serve as a
model for other institutions. My job is to support the University
mission and goal of graduating a diverse student body.
This requires advocating for change and promoting diversity throughout the OU
community. I believe we must continue to strive to be a model of a diverse and
inclusive campus. [Omar Brown-El]: I am Omar Brown-El, Senior Director for
the Center for Multicultural Initiatives, the Gender and Sexuality Center and
Veteran’s Support Services, and I am OU. [Johnny Pham]: After attending OU’s Transfer Student Open House, I knew that OU was the right place for me. I have discovered an
inclusive community, helpful faculty who knew my name, and also many many
opportunities to make relationships. Hi my name is Johnny Pham, and I am OU. [Korin Viscocchi]: I’m a lifelong learner, an educator in K-12 education. For the last 15 years, I’ve been teaching humanities and history at
local independent schools. For the last four years, I’ve been at OU pursuing
my PhD. I served as a research assistant in the department of Organizational
Leadership, and earned my doctorate in June.
Thanks. As a woman in the field of education, I’m focused more than ever on
how to bring more diverse voices to the educational leadership table.
My name is Korin Viscocchi, and I am OU. [Ernesto Duran-Gutierrez]: My mission is to serve in my medium which is dance. I am a dance major, and a programming assistant in the
Office of Undergraduate Admissions. My ambition is to be an advocate who brings
people together. My name is Ernesto Duran- Gutierrez, and I am OU. [Pres. Pescovitz]: Our four strategic goals are the pillars that support Oakland University and the foundation on
which we are constructed, and in many ways, this is what makes us the
University of choice. Renovations, infrastructure improvements and new
construction are many of the tangible signs of how Oakland University is
developing our campus to best meet the needs of students, faculty and staff.
Plans are being finalized for the renovation of South Foundation Hall. In
December, the state approved 30 million dollars in public funding for
construction and expansion. Wilson Hall will undergo a renovation and expansion
to streamline and consolidate student services. The OU Board of Trustees
approved 90 million dollars in bonds to finance improvements in renovations to
Varner Hall, the Student Athlete Development Center, Dodge Hall and
the Math and Science Center, and it’s hard to believe, but it’s only a year ago
that we held the grand reopening of this Oakland Center. Today, the OC is a
bustling center of our vibrant campus and a popular gathering place for OU
and our regional community. In the past year, the Oakland Center has attracted
more than 1.5 million visitors. Since 2012, Oakland has seen significant growth
including Hillcrest Hall, the Engineering Center, Elliott Tower, Oak View Hall and
the Human Health Building. In August, Hillcrest Hall earned LEED Gold
certification from the US Green Building Council and Hillcrest is the fourth
building on our campus to earn LEED Gold certification or better. The others are
the Engineering Center, Oak View Hall and the Human Health Building which is LEED
Platinum, and the first building at OU and in Michigan history at a
university to attain this ranking. Of course, one of our highest priorities
is to maintain a safe and welcoming campus and OU remains among the
safest campuses in the entire country, ranked in the top ten in several
national surveys, and I want to thank each and every one of you for making
Oakland a safe and welcoming university. Our notion of community is shaped by
our connection to one another and our shared humanity.
OU’s outreach to veterans has earned the highest rating for veteran friendly
campuses from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. OU has been
recognized as an accessible an accommodating campus for our range of
disabilities support services and OU has been named the most LGBTQ friendly
campus in Michigan. We have demonstrated time and time again that we are a caring and compassionate university community.
In September, our campus banded together to raise more than $19,000 for Dollars
for Dorian, and these funds are aiding our peer institution, the University of
the Bahamas. So as a way to formalize our shared values, will be drafting a formal
value statement, and in the next few months faculty, staff and students are
going to be asked for their input, so you’ll be hearing more details about
this in the coming weeks. Another way to show that we care about one another is
our focus on health. This past year, the Department of Recreation and Well-Being
celebrated 20 years of getting students, staff, faculty and community members to
exercise both our minds and our bodies. A key addition to our health and our
campus is the new fitness court sponsored by Priority Health. With the
goal of making OU an even more desirable place to work, we initiated a
flexible work arrangements initiative to give employees more flexibility and more
options for their work week. Now my challenge to our campus is to strive to
become one of the healthiest campuses in the country and also a
university recognized for our sustainability initiatives, so in the
coming year I really want us to make progress in these areas. Another area
where we’ve been successful is in maintaining our financial health with
the outstanding stewardship of our financial team. OU is among the most
financially healthy public universities in Michigan. Our
Moody’s rating is A1 Stable, and as of June 2019, our endowment is at 106.5 million dollars, and our rate of return is 9.9%,
which outperforms our peers who have an average of 7.8
percent. In looking to our future financial needs, we’re also making
significant strides advancing Oakland University. “Aspire. Advance. Achieve,” is the largest campaign in Oakland University history, and our fundraising goal is one
hundred fifty million dollars. Here you will see the breakdown of the campaign
and what we’ve raised to date. We’re more than a third of the way there, but you
can see that there’s still a lot more that we can, and we need to do, and I’m
extremely proud that in fiscal year 2019, the University has raised fifteen point
three million dollars, which is the highest giving total in five years, the
fourth highest ever, and our best giving year when you exclude prior years
mega gifts, and last Friday, we kicked off the annual All University Fund Drive
for faculty, staff and retirees. The drive is really a major way to
support scholarships programs, research and more, and it’s our participation that
demonstrates that we – all of us – are the best advocates for Oakland University. [Hannah Reichhart]: In
July, I traveled with an OU student group to Israel for what turned out to
be an historic archaeological dig. We uncovered the biblical site of Ziklag. The amazing trip, which is part of the Judaic Studies program, opened my eyes to the layers of history, and the endless possibilities of learning. My name is
Hannah Reichhart, and I am OU. [Daryl Blackburn]: Due to my passion for diversity,
equity and inclusion for all, as an undergraduate, I won a Keeper of the Dream scholarship. Thank you. Currently going on my seventh year on
campus, I’m pursuing my master’s degree in Training and Development, finishing
in April. My name is Darryl Blackburn and I am OU. [Gary Sample]:
I have many fond memories of my years on campus as a student. My Oakland
University education gave me the tools to succeed in a 39-year career with the
railroad industry. My wife Cheri and I are giving back by
supporting a permanent Keeper of the Dream scholarship endowment. I’m a proud member of the SBA class of 1969. I’m Gary sample and I am OU. [Pres. Pescovitz]: With their success and the power of collaboration in mind, we must now prepare to further position Oakland
University for the challenges that lie ahead. We’re in the midst of fundamental
changes reshaping the higher education landscape, especially in the Midwest. This
is occurring at a time when high school graduation trends show a steady decline
in the number of graduates attending college when public funding for higher
education isn’t likely to increase significantly if at all.
When universities are more dependent on revenue from tuition, when people
question the value of higher education, when student debt is increasing, and a
time when higher education and degrees are needed more than ever, our plan to
address all of these challenges is called “Reimagining OU,” and for us to
succeed, we must work together and understand we’re all in this together. [Video – various people speaking]: OU is my home away from home, it’s
where I want to be, a warm and welcoming environment, a
tremendous sense of community. There are so many different cultures and
traditions. I love the people – my colleagues, students, the brilliant
professors, it launched my career, it gave me opportunities, connections, the
research, a passion, the drive, hard work never looked like this, we are the first
ones in, the last ones out, always pushing toward perfection, we are determined,
proud, we are the soul of the community,
grounded in one common goal, making sure our students succeed,
inspired to impact all those we encounter, we are the doers,
the builders, the changemakers, we create collaborate, cultivate,
and we are the ones who carry the legacy forward, and now our landscape is
changing, we face a future filled with new possibilities, new challenges we must
adapt, innovate, grow, we must recommit and rethink our path.
It’s time to imagine the future – a future we alone can define, a future informed by
tradition, inspired by values, illuminated by our common belief that higher
education has a transformative impact this future can only unfold when we unite together we will preserve what makes Oakland University a special place our commitment to excellence in
everything we do, where students are welcomed, challenged
and inspired, where faculty are empowered and encouraged, where staff are supported and appreciated.
We won’t back down. We are in this together we can see it. Together, we will determine the future of
Oakland University – a future where we are the starting point, the turning point, and the most memorable point. It’s time to imagine the
future, and re-imagine the possibilities of
Oakland University. Reimagining OU calls for timely
innovation and integration of our mission, vision and values, of our four
strategic goals, of more efficient and effective administrative processes
throughout the University, of our ever-evolving campus, of our elevated
reputation in the region, in the state. I have named Deans Corcoran and Harper to
serve as co-chairs of the Reimagining OU Steering Committee charged with
reviewing our current processes and recommending improved ways of operating
our University. The work of the steering committee will be supported by an
external consultant. Our goal is to make better use of our resources and become
more efficient, and more productive in order to position Oakland for continuous
improvement and even greater success. We are strong. Today, we recommit to our
mission, and with a clear vision, I stand alongside you to proudly report that the
state of our University is strong as measured by enrollment, financial health,
and the willingness of all of us to imagine our path ahead. We are OU. In
the final analysis the state of our University depends on our shared
realization that when we work together, we are stronger, we have greater impact,
we make a difference, and we make Oakland
University the University of choice for students, for faculty, for staff and the
community. I am OU, you are OU, and together, we are
OU. Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve alongside you. And now before we open it up for a few
questions and food to eat, I just want to take a moment and let you know that
there were many, many people that were involved in producing today’s program,
and I want to thank just a couple of them at least like to acknowledge in the
back Frank Provenzano, Mandy Summers, Dave Groves and John Young’s entire team,
where’s Sarah? Did I see Sarah standing around here? Sarah for the video and many so let’s give John’s entire team a round of applause [applause], and also Susan and her
team for helping here, so if anybody worked on helping us today could you
please stand and let’s give all of you a round of applause if you worked on
helping us today, please stand all of you. [applause] Steve,
yeah thank you. Everybody that worked on helping us to put on something like this
as you all know takes a enormous amount of work so and choreography, so while
John are you collecting questions? Yeah, we’ll be happy to take them, and the team
is setting out lunch which we’ll be having I think shortly too. [Vice President having I think shortly too. [Vice President John Young]: Penmanship
wasn’t a requirement for these – [Pres. Pescovitz]: Probably a doctor. Ha ha. [VP Young]: All right we’ll go in the order that I can read them well… “How can community partners aid the University
in its research goals?” [Pres. Pescovitz]: Oh that’s great well you know so research is actually an
area that I think we have a lot of room for improvement, and as you saw from the
slide, you know we’re sort of in the we we just moved up from this last year
from being in the R3 ranking of Carnegie institutions to the R2, so we’re
at the bottom of we’re at the top of the R3s, we’re now at the bottom of
the R2s, so we do have an opportunity to do much better in
research, so I think the community has an enormous opportunity to help us there
because especially local businesses because the opportunity to collaborate
with businesses is huge there, and we can certainly partner with local businesses
and companies, schools and industries and other institutions for collaborative
research because that’s certainly a way for us to stretch the investment that is
required to make research successful, so it’s a huge opportunity for us to do
more with less so and it is a big priority for us, and if we want to
advance and make a greater contribution in research which is a priority then
it’s one way for us to move further faster, so I think it’s a great question
and a great opportunity for us to do more, and something we must do [VP Young]: Okay,
thank you I’m gonna do two more there were a couple related to diversity
equity and inclusion so I’m going to use this one as the sample we’re going to
answer all of these online but here’s one “How do you plan to increase
representation of marginalized people and positions of power
at the University? [Pres. Pescovitz]: include increased representation, well first of all, I do
want to say that compared to our peers, I think it’s important for us to note that
while you heard that there was a significant amount of emphasis in my
talk on diversity equity and inclusion, I think we have one of the reasons that I
emphasized it is because it’s very important to me, so I do want people to
understand how much I how important I think this is, and I consider it of the
highest priority. Compared to our peers, I think we do reasonably well, but compared
to the opportunity, I think there’s a long way for us to go, so I think that
all of it – it’s incumbent upon all of us regardless of where we sit in the
organization, whether we’re students, whether we’re faculty, whether we’re
staff, or in the community as well for us to constantly be asking ourselves “are
we doing enough in this space?” so we have to look around and say “do we have
appropriate representation, are we giving people opportunities, are we always
picking , are we always looking for candidates, and are we giving all voices
the opportunity to be heard?” and I think in many cases ,we are not doing that, and
so we always have to ask each other and ourselves that question, and I think
we’re doing better and better, as you can see from the data that I presented, but
there are better and more opportunities. We have to do it at every level. Our
pipeline is good. I mean, you know for example, you saw me present that we have
52.7% women. What I didn’t present is that at the highest levels, we don’t do
very well and so I’m very cognizant of those data and
aware of the opportunity to improve and it’s it’s a high priority for me, so you
know we are intending to make progress at all levels in this space, but all
of you have to work on it – you know you can’t expect just me or the cabinet or
the or the deans to focus on these things.
This is incumbent upon each and every one of us. One of the reasons why I love
working here is because all of you work on all of these things, so this is
something that you all have to attend to. [VP Young]: Okay thank you. All right this one is
about state funding, that slide always gets attention, I’m going to read the
back half first and then frame it as a question:
“We (OU) continue to have fantastic performance metrics and produce graduates who stay within
the state, therefore why does OU continue to receive the lowest state
funding?” [Pres. Pescovitz]: Yeah it’s it’s a challenge, it’s a problem for me. I am concerned about it.
I know Rachelle is here as well. It is related to the way the original
appropriations were decided and it has nothing to do with our performance even
though there is this measure called performance funding. I don’t know we
don’t know yet what’s going to happen to future performance funding you know down the road. I’ll just give you data from last year so you know what happened. So
last year, and this was under the prior administration, we got the highest
percent of performance funding of any of the 15 state universities, so i’ll just
compare to the University of Michigan Ann Arbor so you have some understanding. So the University of Michigan Ann Arbor got in terms of total funding about 300
million dollars. We got about 53 million dollars. Now, that was related to base
funding and that was related partially to
historical amounts of funding that each University got, and partly related to
size. We’re a lot smaller. The amount of performance funding that Ann Arbor got
was 2.8 percent, the amount of performance funding that we got in terms
of percent was 3.1 percent. That’s because we performed better, but I will be long dead ’till we catch up, because 2.8 percent on three
hundred million versus three point one percent on fifty three million dollars
imagine how long it would take us to catch up. Now, in any case, we don’t know
that that formula is even going to continue down the road because we have a
new administration we don’t know if that’s going to continue, so we don’t
know, but the reason that the original base funding formulas were set was
related to a number of different factors and the reason that we and a couple of
the other universities are at the bottom like for example Grand Valley, has to do
with when the universities were founded and other factors that are out of our
control, and so we are hopeful that down the road we’ll be able to impact this
more. Fortunately, for example, on our board we
have three very influential people including the former Lieutenant Governor
and others who’ve been very influential. I don’t know whether or not we’ll be
successful. The thing that concerns me the most is that the total amount of
money that the state gives – 4.1% of the state’s budget versus
other states that give 10 percent to higher education, concerns me more than
the relative amount that goes to us versus other universities. In other words,
I’m less interested in taking money from another university and having that come
to Oakland than I am about how much the state gives to higher education, because
in my mind the fact that the state hasn’t
made higher education a priority, for me, is a bigger concern than taking money
from Grand Valley or taking money from Eastern or taking money from Central or
even taking money from Ann Arbor because to me, the bigger concern is how much
money is the state what is the what is the state’s value system “how important
is higher education to the people of Michigan?” and that, to me, is the important
question, and so I think that’s what matters. [applause] [VP Young]: Thank you. In order to keep us on track and since
everybody’s now staring at the food, [Pres. Pescovitz]: They’re staring at the food and not at
me? [laughter]. [VP Young]: Oh both. So we’ve got a couple of other questions, we’re going to post all answers
to questions. If you have additional ones, they’ll be posted on the President’s web
page. Thank you Dr. Pescovitz. Thank you everybody for your time.
We’ll let executive events show you to the food. [Pres. Pescovitz]: Thank you very much. I want to thank all of you for coming. We had a full house here. You can see that all the
seats were taken and we’re very appreciative that all of you came. Thank
you. [applause]

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