By Janie Southard
The state of Ohio is undereducated for its size, according to Wright State University President Kim Goldenberg.
Nationwide, the state is on the highest tier of expense for residents and on the lowest tier of state aid. "These are related," Goldenberg said in answer to a question from the audience at the annual report to the community at Wright State University-Lake Campus on Wednesday morning.
"The state budget for higher education is flat with only $30 million recommended at this time," he continued.
In response to another audience concern about college graduates leaving Ohio to work in another state, the university president agreed.
"Latest statistics from the board of regents show Ohio is showing a net loss of (working age) people leaving the state. But within the last year, it's not so much we're losing people, we're just not attracting people," Goldenberg said. WSU is one of the lower tuition institutions in Ohio, in fact it ranks fourth from the bottom in 13 state universities.
"How we've done that is by cutting costs. But if we have to continue, overtime, we'll have to start cutting quality," he said, adding tuition increases (12 percent in two years) have not increased as much as the decrease in state funding.
He also spoke of the recent gift of $28.5 million to the Dayton campus School of Medicine, which will be changed to the Boonshoft School of Medicine.
"That money will be used for scholarships as well as developing the department of geriatric medicine, an area where we see the fastest growing generation, those 85 and older," he said.
Calling Lake Campus the "jewel" in the WSU crown, Goldenberg praised the efforts of the new dean, Anita Curry-Jackson. "She's one of Lake Campus' success stories. She's known nationwide and was named one of the top 10 African-American women CEOs by Dayton business leaders," he said.
The annual report ceremonies that followed a breakfast at Lake Campus also included recognition of more than 100 recipients of local scholarships. A listing of corporate contributors for scholarships over the past three years shows 250 local companies.
Helen James of the Western Ohio Educational Foundation (WOEF) has said her goal is for every student attending the Lake Campus to have some sort of scholarship. Since 1990, WOEF has distributed more than $863,217 in direct scholarship assistance to local students.