COLUMBUS: After a series of disagreements, the finance committee of Ohio State’s board of trustees has approved a $6.9 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year and a $700 million endowment using funds from its energy privatization deal finalized last year.

The $6.9 billion in spending budgeted for the 2019 fiscal year, which begins July 1, is a more than 5 percent increase over the current fiscal year’s forecast budget.

The university estimates revenue will grow to $7.5 billion in the next fiscal year, up 4.7 percent from the current fiscal year. That growth is driven by patient care at the Wexner Medical Center, which accounts for half of Ohio State’s consolidated budget.

The university budget accounts for $3.7 million of Ohio State’s overall budgeted spending. The largest increases for next fiscal year’s university budget include personnel expenses, totaling more than $2 billion, and student financial aid, totaling more than $403 million.

The committee ultimately approved the budget plan, though three trustees — Jeffrey Wadsworth, John Zeiger and Alex Fischer — voted against it after voicing concern about certain proposed elements of Ohio State’s teaching excellence initiative, which accounts for $9.8 million of the upcoming budget.

Trustees also approved — after much discussion — the creation of several endowments stemming from its 50-year, $1.1 billion Comprehensive Energy Management deal.

The first endowment established a $700 million fund to be used for the university’s “key strategic initiatives,” including support for student scholarships, faculty and staff professional development and increased compensation.

The creation of the endowment ultimately passed, though some trustees questioned creating the endowment without more board oversight of how its funds would be distributed.

Fisher offered a failed amendment to the endowment proposal, adding language that would ensure that the trustees would have approval over how the funds were used. He described the amendment as “good governance.” Fischer had also voiced concerns about earlier, tabled proposals to create endowments using the energy partnership funds.

“This is the largest endowment in the history of the university,’’ Fisher said. “I think a little conversation’s in order.”

Michael Papadakis, interim senior vice president and CFO, pointed out that the endowment needed to be approved by the committee Thursday to support university programs already underway, including the new Buckeye Opportunity Program that covers the remaining tuition and fee costs for certain low- and moderate-income, in-state students after applicable aid has been applied.

The committee also approved a $75 million endowment for energy-related procurement, utilization and optimization, using $43 million from the Comprehensive Energy Management deal and $32 million from utility cash reserves. Also approved were nine endowment funds for the academic collaboration between the university and Ohio State Energy Partners, including endowed dean, chair, professorship, scholarship and other funds.