The Board of Governors met last week. I want to highlight several of the board’s important discussions and action items.
Update on recent board meeting
In the Programs and Planning Committee meeting, the board discussed scholarship programs, diversity recruitment initiatives and college access programs. The board also participated in a diversity development session that included an overview of diversity and inclusion at Missouri State, a gallery walk and a presentation by Dr. Jake Simmons on “Diverse Student Experiences at PWIs (Predominantly White Institutions).”
At the regular meeting, the board received a presentation from two alums — Bryce Turnbull and Mark Grogan, both employed with the Cerner Corporation — about how they have made their Missouri Statement. The board also approved Terry “Bo” Pace as the recipient of an Honorary Associate degree on the West Plains campus.
The board approved a Master of Science program in Early Childhood Special Education and awarded a contract to renovate the bathrooms in Shannon Tower. The board elected new officers and selected a new executive committee, contingent on the Senate’s confirmation of Govs. Frazier and Silvey as new members.
Direction on the budget
The board discussed the university’s budget at the Finance and Facilities Committee meeting. Several preliminary decisions about the university’s budget were made:
- The board instructed administration to move forward with a strategy that would raise in-state undergraduate tuition and fees on the Springfield campus by only 2.1 percent, the amount of inflation in 2016, for the upcoming fiscal year. This will be in addition to the 0.7 percent increase approved by the board in February for inflation in 2015. We will work to finalize a fee resolution in line with this instruction to present to the board in April. We anticipate that tuition and fee increases will increase university revenue by $3.4 million.
- The board instructed administration to move forward with $2.8 million in proposed expense reductions in non-academic areas and in the provost’s area. These reductions leave approximately $1.3 million in cuts that must still be made to properly budget for the anticipated reduction in state appropriation. Unfortunately, some of these reductions will have to come from academic areas.
There are many financial decisions to be made before we start the next fiscal year. I would encourage all members of the university community to provide input as the final budget is developed and decisions are made about what additional expenses should be cut.
You can participate in these decisions by:
- Contacting your representative on the Executive Budget Committee
- Attending the university-wide Budget Town Hall Meeting at 1:30 to 3 p.m. on April 10 in the PSU Theatre
Focus on democracy
This year’s Public Affairs Conference starts on April 4. The theme for the conference is Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: Perspectives on Self-Government. Participants will explore our rights and responsibilities as citizens in a modern democracy.
The featured speaker for this year’s conference is Doris Kearns Goodwin, a world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Her presentation, titled How did we get here? An historical perspective on our wild 2016 election, will shine a spotlight on the changes in our political systems over the past 150 years.
This session is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on April 4 in Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.
You also won’t want to miss the presentation by J.D. Vance, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis.” This session is scheduled for noon on April 7 in the PSU Theatre.
As in prior years, employees may use up to two hours of their work time, in coordination with their supervisors, to attend the conference. I encourage you to attend, and I encourage supervisors to facilitate attendance by individuals in your offices or divisions.
The full schedule is available on the Public Affairs Conference webpage. All sessions of the conference, including the presentations by Doris Kearns Goodwin and J.D. Vance, are free and open to the public. No registration or tickets are required to attend.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!