University of Cincinnati Governmental Relations Update
Capital Requests – March 2016
As we approach the home stretch of the winter season, the temperatures continue to drop but things are heating up in Columbus at the Ohio Statehouse. President Ono and our governmental relations team are working diligently to make certain UC is positioned front and center for possible state funds from the capital bill. Governor Kasich has requested that all College Presidents come together to present a unified proposal for funding of capital projects at our campus. Capital funding is for those “bricks and mortar” projects to build, renovate and equip facilities that serve the educational and general functions of the institution. This does not include athletic facilities or dormitories. The Governor provided the Presidents guiding principles to use when selecting the projects, directing the Universities to consider projects that:
- Help build world-class programs.
- Focus on maintaining the investments the state has already made in existing campus facilities.
- Stimulate creativity by advancing strategic collaborations through partnerships, both on campus and with others in the public and private sector.
- Reflect the needs of today’s student by strengthening their learning environments, ensuring their safety and encouraging new degree and certificate completion opportunities.
- Increase Ohio’s competitive advantage by capitalizing on our existing strengths.
- Strengthen our ability to respond to new or increased workforce development opportunities in the state.
- Encourage joint efforts to reduce construction costs and generate ongoing efficiencies.
It is important to note that UC is currently enjoying the highest-ever enrollment in our nearly 200 year history which has been supported only through higher-than-optimal space utilization, comparatively modest renovations that limit disruption to academic goals and services to students, no new academic buildings in well over 10 years, and balancing the institution’s capital improvement debt in order to maintain financial flexibility. Additionally, student enrollments have been growing in the university sector with UC leading the way with now more than 44,000 students.
UC submitted several projects for consideration at our 3 campuses. If all projects are fully funded, the state would be providing more than $53 million to these vital projects. It is assumed that the Ohio General Assembly will take up a Capital Bill sometime in 2016.