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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Old Dominion Board of Visitors Adopts 2017-18 Budget with Nominal Tuition Increase

By Jon Cawley

The Old Dominion University Board of Visitors unanimously approved a $626.7 million operating budget for 2017-18 during its spring meeting on April 27. The budget includes a modest tuition increase of $150 per semester, or $300 annually, for full-time in-state students. There will be no student fee increase.

The University's total 2017-18 budget represents an approximately 1 percent increase over the final 2016-2017 operating budget. Earlier this year, Gov. McAuliffe and the General Assembly restored general funds to higher education, decreasing Old Dominion University's anticipated budget reduction from $6.2 million to $3.2 million.

"I feel confident this is a responsible budget that is reflective of who we serve," President John R. Broderick told the board.

The board considered the impact of escalating college costs on Virginia students and their families in approving tuition and fee proposals that keep higher education affordable and accessible.

Chief Operating Officer David F. Harnage said the budget plan marked the first time in the University's history that student fees were maintained at the same level as the previous year.

"That is an important statement on behalf of the University," he said. "We remain the most cost-effective institution among the Commonwealth's doctoral research institutions."

Additionally, the board approved a 2 percent salary increase for full-time faculty and administrators, as well as a 3 percent increase for full-time classified staff, effective in July.

The budget also included funding to support the Online Virginia Network (OVN) Authority, in which Old Dominion and George Mason University have been designated to develop a plan for adult learners and nontraditional students to access online degree programs. The funding to support this initiative - $1 million in fiscal year 2017 and $2 million in fiscal year 2018 - was reallocated from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia to be distributed to ODU and GMU as needed.

Through a web portal, the Online Virginia Network helps Virginians explore flexible course offerings to complete their college degrees online. The Online Virginia Network will host more than 37 college programs in high-demand areas, such as cybersecurity, business, computer science, engineering technology, human services, teacher preparation and nursing.

"This online platform opens higher education, in an innovative way, to more than 1.1 million Virginians who began their college education but never finished," President Broderick said of the partnership. "We are grateful for Gov. McAuliffe and the General Assembly's support of this collaboration to expand opportunity for tomorrow's leaders."

During his regular briefing to the board, President Broderick noted that Old Dominion's new entrepreneurial certificate program is scheduled to launch in fall 2017.

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