In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I review the significant actions coming out of the Board of Governors meeting last Friday (Oct. 26).
Two percent mid-year raise approved
We recommended, and the Board approved, an amended budget for this year (Fiscal Year 2013). Since the withholding of state appropriations was less than expected (only one percent), our enrollment was strong and new health plan savings were identified (see next item below), approximately $4.7 million more is available than was originally anticipated when the budget was approved in June.
In making our recommendation, we were true to the three priorities the Board has identified for us:
- Increasing compensation for our employees
- Restoring the president’s contingency fund to respond to needs throughout the year
- Providing additional funding for fund-raising activities
We plan to use about half of the $4.7 million to provide a 2 percent across-the-board salary increase for full-time employees. Here are the 10 guidelines that provide the foundation for the proposed mid-year salary increase:
- It will be effective Jan. 1, 2013, for staff, and Feb. 1, 2013, for faculty and staff on deferred pay.
- To qualify for the raise, you must have been in a full-time position prior to July 1, 2012 (current hire date).
- The raise will be 2 percent.
- An employee’s salary after the raise cannot exceed the maximum for the pay grade.
- The raise is only for full-time employees.
- All full-time employees with an appointment percentage between 75 percent and less than 100 percent will receive a 2 percent increase.
- The raise will only be on the base pay.
- Faculty who retire effective Feb. 1, 2013, will not receive the pay increase.
- Graduate assistants will receive a 2 percent stipend increase.
- The total current annual cost of the raise with benefits is $2,223,000 for Springfield and West Plains operating funds, $298,000 for auxiliaries and $242,000 for designated funds.
Other budget highlights
Other highlights of the amended budget include:
- $500,000 — will be dedicated to fund ongoing academic programs, with emphasis on those that are growing in enrollment
- $1,100,000 — since the raise is being implemented mid-year, there is about $1.1 million available this year (Fiscal Year 2013) for funding of one-time projects – guidelines for proposals for these funds will soon be distributed by the provost’s office for academic programs and president’s office for other programs
- $872,405 — will help restore the president’s contingency fund, making the total about $1 million, compared to $2.4 million in fiscal year 2012
- $100,000 — this will fully restore funding to the West Plains campus
- $840,000 — replace one-time funds in the budget
I am very pleased that we are able to respond to the Board’s priorities and have a second consecutive year of salary increases for employees.
Health plan package components now complete
In August, the Board of Governors approved contracts for our third party administrator and our pharmacy plan. Last Friday, the Board completed the health plan package by approving both the dental plan and the medical plan. In total, we expect to realize about $2.67 million in annual savings through these four contracts. This is one of the reasons we were able to make the adjustment in the budget for this year (see first item).
The largest of these contracts, obviously, was for medical services. We had excellent, competitive bids from both the Mercy System and CoxHealth. In the end, the Mercy System proposal was determined to be best in our collective judgment.
As an added feature, the new contract goes into effect Nov. 1, which means we will realize two months of savings in this calendar year, too.
I want to thank Ken McClure, Steve Foucart, and members of their team who evaluated the proposals, did the due-diligence, and conducted the final negotiations. This was important, intense work that occurred over several months. They did excellent work on our behalf.
University purchases The Monroe
The Board approved the purchase of The Monroe apartment complex. The sale is expected to close by Dec. 31, 2012. I invite you to read more about the purchase in the news release we issued Friday.
This purchase contributes to the new entrance of campus, allows us to own a piece of property within the University footprint, and will provide an upscale apartment-style option for our students who want to live on campus. Students had been advocating for this type of housing for several years, and this is our first step in responding to this need. For all of these reasons, I am very pleased with this opportunity and decision.
The purchase will be completed using reserves from the auxiliary system. No general funds are involved in the purchase.
Other meeting highlights
The Board also took several other actions.
The Journagan Family will receive the 2012 Bronze Bear for their extraordinary contributions to Missouri State University. You can read more about it in this news release.
Board officers for 2013
At the meeting, Orvin Kimbrough, executive vice president for the United Way of Greater St. Louis, was elected chair of the Board of Governors; and Beverly Miller, retired educator and now volunteer director of the Lebanon office of the American Red Cross, was elected vice chair. They will take office in January 2013. John McAlear and Steve Foucart will continue to serve as secretary and treasurer, respectively.
It was great to see many of you at Homecoming activities, including the dedication of the Bill R. Foster and Family Recreation Center and Michael T. Nietzel Plaza; the Wall of Fame induction; the Homecoming Awards Dinner; the Homecoming Parade; many reunion activities; BearFest Village; and the third straight win for our football team. Congratulations also to our volleyball team, which knocked off conference leader Northern Iowa on Saturday night. It was a great week for Missouri State University.
Thank you for all you continue to do for Missouri State University.