Missouri State University
Presidential Updates

Workforce development partnerships need state funds delivered

More than 90 percent of Missouri’s counties lack adequate access to health care professionals. At the same time, Missouri ranks among the top 20 states with citizens over the age of 65 who will require more medical care, and the number of elderly people with multiple chronic diseases is expected to double by 2030.

The need for physicians and other health care professionals is a startling — and growing — reality nationwide. Here in Missouri, that need is especially intense and immediate.

Thankfully, we have come a long way already toward addressing these realities. Health care organizations CoxHealth and Mercy Health have come together with the state’s two largest higher education institutions in unique partnerships designed to help alleviate this workforce shortage statewide.

Together, our institutions have developed training programs which would prepare dozens of additional students to enter the health care industry annually. With adequate funding, these programs would take shape in the form of a new University of Missouri School of Medicine Clinical Campus in Springfield and a Master of Occupational Therapy degree program at Missouri State University.

Last year, the state legislature approved a combined $11.3 million to keep these projects moving, but unfortunately, we still await the delivery of that funding.

We understand that there are many pressing needs competing for these dollars, leaving our public officials with many difficult decisions to make. But we strongly believe that this is a wise use of taxpayer dollars that will have a tremendous impact on the state economy. In fact, this is exactly the type of priority that should rise to the top of the list. It will help us meet the urgent health care needs of thousands of Missourians, growing the economy with new capital investment and Missouri job creation along the way.

We look forward to when these pivotal funds from the state of Missouri are released to allow for the immediate implementation of these vital programs.

Written and submitted by:

  • Clifton M. Smart III, President, Missouri State University
  • Timothy M. Wolfe, President, University of Missouri System
  • Steven D. Edwards, President, CoxHealth
  • Jay Guffey, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Mercy Hospital Springfield
  • Matt McCormick, President, Columbia Chamber of Commerce
  • Matt Morrow, President, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce

This editorial was originally published in the Springfield News-Leader.

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Clif’s Notes for Jan. 27, 2015

Clif's Notes

In this issue, I focus on the governor’s proposed budget.

18136_1520-Ellis-HallGovernor’s State of the State address

On Jan. 21 the governor gave his State of the State address. He also released his executive budget for next fiscal year. You can find more information about the governor’s address on the governor’s website and about the governor’s executive budget on the Office of Administration Division of Budget and Planning website. Highlights include:

  • The governor included capital appropriations of revenue bond proceeds in his supplemental budget. These appropriations include four maintenance and repair projects at Missouri State totaling approximately $19 million: Ellis Hall, Missouri Hall, Hill Hall and life safety improvements on the West Plains campus.
  • The governor included an increase of 1.3 percent to operating appropriations for public higher education.

These highlights make clear that we are off and running on our legislative priorities for 2015. We appreciate the governor’s support for Missouri State’s capital projects. We also appreciate the governor’s willingness to include an operating appropriation increase for higher education.

We will use the governor’s executive budget as a starting point to articulate to our elected officials the need for a larger increase to our operating appropriation, the need to release withheld appropriations and the need to keep the $1,325,000 appropriation for our health initiative programs in the budget.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

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Clif’s Notes for Jan. 20, 2015

Clif's Notes

In this issue, I focus on one of our public affairs signature events.

Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame

Last week we announced this year’s inductees to the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame and I am excited about this second class of George Washington Carver, Eric Greitens and Simone Bernstein.

Carver worked to diversify crops in the SouthGWC_1894

George Washington Carver used innovative farming methods to convince Southern farmers to grow soil enriching crops like soybeans and peanuts. Carver came to public attention in 1921 with his captivating testimony before a U.S. Congress House committee debating a peanut tariff bill.

Former Navy SEAL authored this year’s Common ReaderGreitens

Eric Greitens served as a United States Navy SEAL officer and deployed four times to Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, the Horn of Africa and Iraq. After returning from Iraq, Greitens donated his combat pay to found The Mission Continues, a national nonprofit organization that challenges veterans to serve in communities across America. His book “The Heart and the Fist” was read by all our freshmen this year.

Young humanitarian encourages teens to volunteerBernstein

Simone Bernstein and her brother launched VolunTEEN Nation, a national youth-led non-profit organization. More than 83,500 youth have found volunteer opportunities through VolunTEEN Nation, engaging in more than a million service hours.

Tickets available for induction banquet

We will honor this year’s inductees during our annual Public Affairs Conference in April. The induction ceremony and banquet will occur on April 17 at the White River Conference Room with a reception at 6 p.m. and the dinner and induction ceremony at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35.

I encourage all members of the University community to purchase tickets online and attend this event. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to interact with state and community leaders and honor our inductees.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

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