YSU Faculty and Students Discuss Funding Concerns in Academic Senate Meeting

Youngstown State University faculty members and students voiced concerns that losing technology and laboratory fees will greatly affect their departments.

An Academic Senate meeting was held Wednesday to express these future “in-classroom concerns” with YSU administration. 

The YSU website states the laboratory fee is designed to “partially offset expenses associated with courses that make use of supplies, equipment or personnel support beyond that associated with typical lecture courses.”

YSU Provost Brien Smith assured the senate members that if their budget is not open to their needs, they can meet with their dean, who then would meet with Smith. 

Several faculty members expressed their disappointment and frustration with having to go through these extra steps to provide necessary resources during class time. 

According to Joseph Mistovich, chair of the Department of Health Professions, the greatest issue is in programs that rely on technology for academic use. 

Without the technology and laboratory fees, facilities such as the Dental Hygiene Clinic would not be able to remain open. 

Johnathan Farris, an assistant professor of art history, proposed a resolution “to request better communication, transparency and coordination immediately effective for [the] instructional budgets this year” with YSU President Jim Tressel.

This comes after Smith said in a Nov. 21 Jambar article that deans of colleges and department chairs were not involved in the decision to withhold fees — it was an administrative decision. The YSU Board of Trustees passed the Fiscal Year 2020 Operating Budget in its June meeting. 

The operating budget went into effect on July 1, 2019, and made it possible for the university administration to develop a “process to allocate strategic investment funding,” in hopes of ensuring the responsible use of financial resources, according to Page 4 of the budget.