Capital Plan Process

In 1995, the State of Ohio adopted a fundamental change to its approach to capital investments in higher education. Prior to that, planning for the academic capital needs of our campuses was a centralized state function, with state agencies being principally responsible for deciding what improvements would be made, where they would be made, and at what cost. A list of approved projects would appear in the biennial capital bill and would be financed from the sale of state higher education improvement bonds, which would be retired from state debt service appropriations made to the Board of Regents in the operating appropriation bill.

The new system provides campuses with state capital support principally through a new line item, the Capital Component appropriation, in the operating budget. Campus shares of that appropriation are determined by a formula that gives equal weight to the volume of education activity on a campus and the age component of campus academic facilities. The age of facilities is measured by tabulating the number of square feet of Educational and General space that is at least twenty years old, with space older than forty years being weighted.

Responsibility for rationing has been shifted to the campus. The attempt is to decentralize the decision-making to the campus level. Now those who are in the best position to judge the true value of capital improvements on a campus (the Board of Trustees and the officers they appoint) are those who have the principal voice in deciding what will be built or renovated. The three main areas the capital plan is intended for include: New Construction, Maintaining Physical Plant, and Responding to the Challenge of Technology.

Each biennium the University is required to submit a six-year capital plan. This capital plan is developed from strategic planning and long-term facility objectives for the University. The Office of Capital Planning submits a capital plan which includes both State funded projects as well as Locally funded projects. The capital plan is a comprehensive narrative statement that clearly describes what our University plans to invest in and why. It describes the programmatic rationale for each of these projects.

The Assistant Vice President for Capital Planning will forward the list to the President’s Cabinet for their consideration, prioritization, and approval to forward to the Board of Trustees. The final listing of Capital Projects for the biennium is presented to the Board of Trustees at their October meeting.