Missouri State University
Presidential Updates

Clif’s Notes for Sept. 20, 2016

Clif's Notes

Last week the Missouri legislature held its veto session. The General Assembly overrode the Governor’s vetoes on 13 bills.

Construction workers on Glass Hall renovation projectPartial funding for Glass Hall renovations restricted

Two of the bills will result in an anticipated loss of more than $50 million in tax revenue for the state. The Governor has announced that because of this lost revenue, he will be restricting additional appropriations from the state’s budget.

These restrictions will have a significant impact on K-12 public education and higher education. The restrictions include more than $24 million in ongoing funding for education at all levels and more than $6 million for higher education capital projects.

One of the restrictions will have a direct impact on our campus. The Governor has withheld $1.875 million of the $5 million appropriated for the Glass Hall project. The $33.8 million project is being funded by revenue bonds, gifts to the Missouri State University Foundation, university reserves and capital appropriations. We will deal with this $1.875 million restriction by modifying the work to be completed and minimizing construction deviations. This is unfortunate, but responsible stewardship requires that we respond appropriately.

The Governor has indicated it is unlikely the restricted funds will be released this fiscal year. However, we will continue to work with the current Governor and the Governor-elect in November to advocate that the Glass Hall funds be released. In the event the funds are not released, university reserves and foundation gifts will make up any shortfall after modifications to the project have been made.

Bikers on campusFirearm legislation does not change campus policy

You may have seen media reports on one other bill— a firearm bill (frequently referred to as “constitutional carry”). The General Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto on this bill.

We have received several inquiries regarding the firearm bill. Despite what you may have heard, this bill does not prohibit public universities from regulating possession of firearms on campus, and the Board of Governors still has the power to adopt such regulations.

We are currently reviewing all of Missouri’s firearm laws to ensure that our existing firearm policy complies and best protects the university community. Missouri State’s existing firearm policy, which prohibits unauthorized possession of firearms on campus, will remain in place unless our Board of Governors changes it.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

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2016 State of the University address

Clif Smart and Frank Einhellig will present the State of the University address at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in the Plaster Student Union theater. You can also watch the live stream below.

Asking questions

During the speech, President Smart and Provost Einhellig will accept questions online:

Supplemental information

Broadcast information

For those who cannot attend in person, the speech will be recorded for replay at 7 p.m. on Sept. 28 on KSMU 91.1, 88.7 in Mountain Grove, 90.3 in West Plains, 98.9 in Joplin, 103.7 in Neosho, and KSMS 90.5 in Branson.

The speech will be televised on Ozarks Public Television at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 2.

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Clif’s Notes for Sept. 13, 2016

Clif's Notes

We have worked hard to maintain affordability for our students at Missouri State. Our hard work has paid off. Missouri State University is a state and national leader on providing a high value, affordable education. Missouri State’s undergraduate tuition and fees are in the lowest half of the state’s public four year universities. Missouri State’s graduate tuition and fees are among the lowest of any of the state’s public universities. In fiscal year 2015, Missouri State’s tuition and fees were 23.3 percent below the average annual tuition and fees for public universities throughout the United States.

Understanding the audit18812_0668-Enrollment-Growth

The Missouri State Auditor released a report last week on Public Higher Education Funding and Affordability. The report confirms that in-state undergraduate tuition at Missouri’s public universities have had the lowest rate of increase of any state in the nation since 2008. I’d like to explain one piece of the audit report that has raised questions.

CPI for the six years included in the audit was more than 10 percent. Missouri State raised in-state undergraduate tuition and fees by 9 percent during that six-year period. Year-by-year information can be found below, and details can be found in the university’s board approved fee schedules.


Fiscal Year Tuition Fees
2009 $5,580 $586
2010 $5,580 $586
2011 $5,580 $586
2012 $5,820 $608
2013 $6,014 $608
2014 $6,120 $614
2015 $6,120 $614

The Higher Education Student Funding Act19214_8460-Enrollment-Growth

Missouri has a statute, the Higher Education Student Funding Act (HESFA), that effectively prohibits universities from raising tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students above inflation. Missouri State has always complied with HESFA.

Rather than evaluating affordability under HESFA, the State Auditor used an alternative method to calculate affordability—net tuition and fees. This calculation includes items that are not relevant under HESFA:

  • Tuition and fees for out-of-state, international and graduate students
  • Study away (a.k.a. study abroad) fees
  • Tuition and fees for internet courses
  • Fees approved by a vote of the student body through student initiated referendums
  • Supplemental and differential fees charged for courses and programs that have unique expenses (e.g. supplies, equipment, enhanced facilities, etc.)

These items should not be part of the evaluation because they do not generally impact affordability for taxpaying Missourians (i.e. in-state undergraduate students). In fact, it is through the revenue received from some of the above-listed items that Missouri State University has been able to maintain affordability for its in-state undergraduates.

The State Auditor’s report also indicates that universities charge supplemental fees to generate revenue outside of HESFA. This is not true for Missouri State University. We do not generate significant revenue from supplemental fees. Supplemental fees constituted less than 1 percent of Missouri State’s net tuition and fees during the years included in the audit. Moreover, Missouri State charges supplemental fees as “pass through” charges tied directly to items like special supplies, consumables, minor equipment and field trips related to particular courses.  Supplemental fees do not result in positive net revenues for Missouri State University.

Affordability is critical for our students. I am pleased at our success in maintaining affordability while enhancing the quality of the education we provide.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

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