Central State University Exceeds State-Mandated Financial Benchmarks

WILBERFORCE, OH. – Ohio Chancellor John Carey announced today that Central State University has exceeded financial benchmarks set by the state of Ohio and is now out of fiscal watch.

The declaration, announced at an event at Central State on April 27, is a result of two consecutive years in which the University’s reserves grew and Central State surpassed financial accountability benchmarks required to shed fiscal watch – accomplishing increased financial liquidity one year earlier than required by law.

“We are pleased with the dedication and effort put forth by Central State University to address its financial situation and get on the path to fiscal recovery,” said Chancellor Carey, of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. “The release of Central State from fiscal watch status is the result of diligence and hard work. We look forward to seeing the University continue on this path.”

Central State University President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond said, “We have worked intentionally to improve our financials and have developed and implemented policies that support effective and efficient operations. The University is healthy and moving forward in our mission to provide quality educational experiences for our students.’’

“This achievement is the result of the entire University working collaboratively to support this great institution!’’

Central State’s focus on effective and efficient institutional operations is one of six compelling priorities of the University. In the past two years, the University has:
· Implemented a targeted student enrollment initiative to recruit and retain more state, regional and international students.

· Secured external partners in planning and operations to maximize University business operations.

· Worked with various State of Ohio Departments, which provided essential services at low to no cost.

· Limited most spending to initiatives that support the University’s strategic priorities.

Central State University’s leadership aggressively embraced its #6 Compelling Priority and exceeded an efficient and effective goal to reduce costs and improve services. Overall, operating costs fell by 20 percent through workforce rightsizing, the implementation of major energy savings initiatives, and collaborative partnerships with the business community and other higher education institutions. Most of the initiatives were in progress prior to the fiscal watch placement.

“Successful implementation of strategic initiatives and bold actions have strengthened the University’s financial health and improved processes and services to students,” said Curtis Pettis, VP of Finance and Administration. “As a result, the University emerged from fiscal watch ahead of schedule and more prepared than ever for growth and new opportunities.”

State Auditor Dave Yost said, “CSU has remediated or is substantially in process of being remediated.”

A regionally accredited 1890 Land-Grant University, Central State offers students outstanding academic choices that include the development of new Agriculture-based degree programs and concentrations. Within the 35 majors available at the University, Central State has the state’s only Bachelor of Science Degree in Sustainable Agriculture.

U.S. News and World Report ranked Central State the fifth most affordable University nationwide for out-of-state students. Affordable Schools.net <http://Schools.net> also recognized the value of a CSU degree in their 2016 ranking of the 25 most affordable bachelor-degree granting Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

In addition, CSU’s value earned the University a 45th ranking in the GoodCall 2016 Best Schools for Scholarships Report. The website examined scholarship and fellowship dollars per enrolled students for more than 4,000 public colleges and universities nationwide.

Mark Hatcher, Esq., Chair of the CSU Board of Trustees, said the board is pleased with the performance of President Jackson-Hammond, her cabinet, faculty and staff regarding the implementation of the strategy to increase fiscal accountability and improvement of financial processes. “We are particularly pleased that these improvements occurred without compromising the academic experience or the value of the University to our students and to the State of Ohio.”

Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White
Cherie S. White is Digital Strategy Director, a writer and editor.