Miami University Provost Liz Mullenix spoke with Miami’s Associated Student Government (ASG) about the new excess credit fee and the future of the humanities programs during ASG’s weekly meeting on Nov. 7.
At the beginning of the academic year, Miami enacted a fee if 19 or more credit hours are taken by first-year students. Mullenix said Miami was the only public university in Ohio without this fee and only 4% of students will be affected.
Mullenix offered ways to avoid the excess fee. She urged students to speak with their academic advisers, who are aware of the new changes along with the add or drop deadlines, to make sure they’re not over 18 credit hours at any point. If students are at 18 credit hours and add another course without dropping one of the others, the fee will be issued.
“If you are taking double majors, or a bunch of minors, it's wise to spread [those classes] throughout the four years,” Mullenix said.
Mullenix said the excess credit fee is a result of Miami’s declining revenue brought on by a decline in international students, state subsidies and an increase in fixed costs. Additionally, there was an increase in Ohio resident students with in-state tuition but a decrease in those attending out-of-state that negatively impacted the university.
Mullenix said that there are other options to ease budget challenges beside new fees.
“We are working to increase revenue through new online graduate programs, summer initiatives, etc.,” Mullenix said. “We must do this.”
Parliamentarian Eli Davies asked Mullenix about Miami’s plans to balance the budget while protecting programs from being pulled or downsized. He said some people are unsure of their major until their sophomore year and are introduced to humanities classes through the Miami plan.
According to Mullenix, 72%of Miami students are in 38 out of the 142 majors offered. Miami’s plan moving forward is to eliminate majors with under 35 students over four years, while thinking about these programs’ futures in other capacities. She said Miami is exploring ways to integrate humanities into other disciplines but said the decline in humanities is nationwide.
“Miami is a liberal arts university, and what that means is that we value a well-rounded education,” Mullenix said.
Secretary of On-Campus Affairs Grace Payne said that the committee has answered 28 out of 49 student concerns throughout the semester so far. Payne said most concerns were related to dining or food issues.
ASG is partnering with Campus Services for meal swipe donations ahead of Thanksgiving break. Donations begin Nov. 18 and end Nov. 24. Collections are through the GET app and are directed to the Student Success Center.
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“Don’t donate until you know you aren’t going to need them,” Payne said. “Feel free to wait until you get home.”
The next ASG meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the Joslin Senate Chamber.