Mahoning Valley Lawmakers To YSU VP: "It's About Economics, Not Politics"
Lawmakers disagree with McNally on political nature of state higher education efficiency report

State Reps. John Boccieri (D-Poland) and Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) today disagreed with Youngstown State University (YSU) Vice President for Finance and Business Operations Neal McNally’s characterization of an Ohio Department of Higher Education school efficiency report as being “somewhat of a political tool.”

“The report is about economics, not politics,” said Boccieri. “The state legislature has a duty to ensure institutions of higher education are as lean and efficient as possible with taxpayer dollars.”

The annual report, released last week, showed that YSU is saving only 7.5 percent of what Wright State University is saving this fiscal year.

While YSU had high marks on many areas covered, the report concluded that “no institution was judged to have a strong response to all of the areas we reviewed, reflecting that even the universities that were well-rated overall have work to do.”

“I believe YSU has so much to offer students, especially with its focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Lepore-Hagan. “However, I believe the school efficiency report highlights how YSU and other Ohio universities must work to become more efficient and affordable—Ohio students are paying as much as 30 percent more than those attending college in other states.”

The report also highlighted that Ohio is generally failing to match other states’ low student debt rates and tuition costs. Four-year institutions in Ohio are charging students 6 percent more for tuition than the national average, while two-year institutions are charging 28 percent more.

The Valley lawmakers agreed with YSU President Jim Tressel that the university is a wonderful place to pursue an education, but they believe that every effort must be made to make the institution more efficient and affordable. 

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