Missouri State University
Presidential Updates

Clif’s Notes for May 2, 2017

Clif's Notes

Last week the Executive Budget Committee developed its recommendations that I will present at the Board of Governors’ May meeting. I want to take a moment to summarize those recommendations for you.

Identifying expense reductionsStudents study in PSU

You will recall that due to a state revenue gap, Missouri State is developing a budget for the Springfield campus that includes $7.4 million less in anticipated revenue from the state.

One of our guiding principles in our budgeting process is that we will not rely solely on increased tuition and fees to replace the budget shortfall. Guided by this principle, the Executive Budget Committee previously recommended, and the board decided, to raise tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students only by the amount of inflation. Tuition and fee increases will generate around $3.4 million in additional revenue, leaving $4 million to be identified through expense reductions.

Another of our guiding principles is that protecting the core mission of the university — academic achievement, scholarship and student success—is paramount. Hence, as scenarios were analyzed during the budgeting process, the decision was made that the office of the provost and non-academic units would receive a 4.9 percent reduction, but colleges would receive only a 1.2 percent reduction.

Budget committees across the university have worked throughout the spring to identify $4 million in expense reductions required to develop a balanced budget. In reaching its decision, the Executive Budget Committee discussed the recommendations received from college and university level budget committees as well as feedback received at the budget town hall meeting and other input received from various members of the university community.

I am pleased to report that the Executive Budget Committee has identified the remaining $4 million in expense reductions. These reductions include:

  • Eliminating 22 vacant staff positions
  • Eliminating 5 vacant faculty positions
  • Eliminating 8 occupied staff positions
  • Reducing the online course incentive payments from $55 to $40 per student
  • Eliminating institutional support for multiple campus research centers
  • Reducing event-related expenses by eliminating the Ozarks Celebration Festival, reducing the length of the Public Affairs Conference, eliminating summer commencement and reducing or eliminating several other university events

The impactTree by Siceluff in fall

By focusing on vacant positions, we were able to eliminate staff and faculty positions largely through attrition. However, these cuts will involve eight staff layoffs. We know layoffs dramatically impact lives, and we anticipate that several of these individuals will find other positions within the university.

We also recognize that our compensation at the university lags behind our peers, and the recommended budget will likely place us even further behind with regard to faculty and staff pay. While living expenses continue to rise, the budget recommendations do not include a cost-of-living increase for employees. Moreover, the online course incentive reduction will result in compensation decreases for some of our faculty.

I know I speak for all members of the Executive Budget Committee when I say that we do not take layoffs and compensation concerns lightly. I am saddened by the impact these decisions have on people who have invested their careers with us at Missouri State. However, I am confident that the reductions are necessary to sustain the financial health of the university. I remain committed to continuing to work on increasing compensation as we move forward.

I encourage all faculty and staff to remain positive and to continue to pursue the university’s mission. Missouri State is strong. We have grown enrollment in 19 of the past 21 years, topping 26,000 students in fall 2016. We anticipate additional growth again in fall 2017. We have a stable leadership team who has managed budget cuts before. I am confident that, together, we can continue our growth and emerge from these cuts stronger than ever.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

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Clif’s Notes for April 25, 2017

Clif's Notes

Last week the Board of Governors Executive Committee met. I wanted to take a moment to update you on their decisions at that meeting.

Tuition, fees and contracts approved

The most significant decision-item was the approval of the 2017-18 fees resolution. Tuition for 2017-18 will be $210 per credit hour for in-state undergraduate students. This includes inflationary tuition increases for calendars years 2015 and 2016.

These increases will allow Missouri State to continue to lead on affordability and to maintain its value position when compared to other universities throughout the state and region. The tuition and fee increases approved by the board will generate an estimated $3.4 million in additional revenue in fiscal year 2018, which covers a little less than half of the university’s revenue gap resulting from reduced state appropriations.

The board also approved a series of procurement items. Among these items was a revenue contract with BancorpSouth. We anticipate that this contract will allow Missouri State to increase its interest rate on deposit accounts by more than .5 percent, which will result in an anticipated $400,000 of additional annual revenue. Decisions, like this one, to identify every possible source of additional revenue will continue to be a priority as we manage the budget situation.

Finally, the board approved several contracts related to Missouri State’s physical plant. One of our guiding principles for managing the university’s budget in the coming year is that the university must continue to invest in facilities that will grow enrollment and increase revenue while continuing to align with accreditation requirements. These contracts are representative of the board’s and administration’s efforts to implement that principle.

The facilities contracts that the board approved include:

  • A contract with Nesbitt Construction to renovate the computer labs in Cheek Hall. This project will create space to facilitate the university’s new Master of Science in Computer Science program.
  • A contract with Base Construction and Management to expand parking lot 39 north of campus on Walnut Street. This project will address our number one student complaint by adding over 200 new parking spaces.
  • A contract with Shaw Sports Turf to replace the turf at Allison Recreation Fields that will be funded entirely by auxiliary funds.
  • A contract with Hastings + Chivetta Architects to consult on the third floor renovation of the Professional Building.
  • A budget increase to authorize additional work as part of the Glass Hall project that will be funded entirely from foundation gifts and dedicated funds.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

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Clif’s Notes for April 18, 2017

Clif's Notes

One of our signature public affairs events, the Collaborative Diversity Conference, is this week Thursday and Friday. I encourage all of you to register for the conference and attend.

Exceptional programmingDiversity conference presentation

The theme for this year’s conference is “practice what you preach in diversity and inclusion.” The conference will inspire a more in-depth commitment to our public affairs mission by encouraging participants to do more than just speak about diversity and inclusion. The conference will present viable ways for attendees to implement diversity and inclusion practices into their lives.

While the official conference begins on Thursday, there will be a pre-conference session with “American Textures” film director Arnd Wachter. A networking event will follow the session at Q Enoteca.

Conference sessions throughout Thursday and Friday will be highlighted by:

The Collaborative Diversity Conference is an important way the university advances the public affairs mission. I will be out of the country for this year’s conference, but I will be participating in one of the sessions via Skype.

If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to register for the conference and participate in our efforts to become a more culturally conscious university, community and state.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!

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