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President Baker announces cost increases for the 2009-2010 academic year

Dear alumni, parents and friends,

It is hard to believe that another school year once more draws to a close. As I reflect on the many campus activities and the accomplishments of our students and faculty, I am also mindful that right now we are faced with a particularly difficult set of challenges due to the impact of the economic downturn. As I have visited with alumni and met on campus with faculty, staff, students and their families, everyone asks – what’s happening at Ohio Northern University?

While it has been a very successful year at Ohio Northern, and we have much to be proud of, we are also extremely cognizant of the fact that the economic recession has profoundly affected us all. Like the majority of colleges and universities in the nation and the world, ONU has been hit hard. We have some very real, pressing financial difficulties and know we must make tough decisions that will impact our entire University community, both now and in the future. We especially foresee challenges in the areas of enrollment, affordability for our students and their families, and the rising costs of day-to-day operating expenses.

Despite the obstacles we face, we are, as always, firmly committed to ensuring the very best educational experience for our students. At the same time, we are aware that a very different financial environment will, for the time being, accompany our efforts to fulfill this commitment. With this in mind, our Board of Trustees unanimously approved one of the smallest tuition increases in the history of the University (3.5 percent for undergraduates and 4.8 percent for law students). It also approved a modest 5 percent increase in room and board to cover our continually rising expenses.

This is not the first time in its history that Ohio Northern has faced difficulties and chosen to move forward to overcome them. As we launched our Campaign for Ohio Northern University’s Tomorrow in early November, many asked us why we would go forward, trying to raise money in the face of the economic turmoil around us. My answer then, as it is now, is that it is in our nature to move forward. We will move forward, because we believe in this institution and its future.

Toby and I wish you a wonderful spring and invite you to come home to Ohio Northern! Spend the night at our beautiful new Inn, attend a play or music or athletic event and see for yourself all that is happening here that makes us so proud and that gives us the motivation and conviction to move forward.