In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I will review information from the February Board of Governors meeting in West Plains and provide spring enrollment numbers.
Review of February Board of Governors Meeting
On Feb. 8, the Board of Governors met in West Plains. It was the first meeting for new members Carrie Tergin and Joe Carmichael, both of whom were named to the Board on Jan. 9 by Governor Jay Nixon and confirmed by the Missouri Senate on Feb. 7. The Board discussed a number of topics at the meeting.
Tuition and fee increase discussed
The Board had its initial discussion of tuition and fee increases for fiscal year 2014, which runs from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014. The Board will take final action on all fees at its March retreat in St. Louis.
Our recommendation to the Board is that we remain within the Consumer Price Index (CPI) restriction for resident undergraduate students and not ask for a waiver of that restriction. CPI for this year is 1.7 percent, which is calculated on the combination of full-time tuition and student fees.
So, our recommendation is that we increase the resident undergraduate credit hour fee from the current $200.48 to $204.00. The non-resident undergraduate credit hour fee would go from $412.00 to $420.00; the resident graduate from $242.00 to $247.00; and the graduate non-resident from $484.00 to $494.00.
For fees, we are recommending adding a $3.00 per student per semester fee for Title IX Compliance. The approximately $100,000 per year this would generate will allow us to address significant facility issues for the University to be compliant with Title IX, including upgrading the track for our women’s track and field team to practice and host meets.
These increases are modest and maintain Missouri State’s relative position among public four-year institutions in Missouri. Missouri State will continue to be significantly below competitors such as the University of Missouri ($274 per credit hour for resident undergraduates in 2013-14) and Truman State (which charges a flat rate for 12-17 hours, but cost approximately $290 per credit hour for resident undergraduates in 2012-13), as well as below the national average.
I invite you to track the FY14 budget planning through the Financial Outlook website; it already includes the overarching goals, the budget assumptions and committee structures.
Code of Conduct
The University has a number of documents that address appropriate conduct, from the Declaration of Community Principles, to the Faculty Handbook and Employee Handbook, to state policies, to the Board of Governors By-Laws, and more. What we were missing, however, was a single Code of Conduct. The Board reviewed and approved the new Code of Conduct.
For the February meeting, the major discussion topic was the academic programs offered in West Plains. We had two presentations lasting about 30 minutes total, followed by about 90 minutes of discussion.
In his presentation, West Plains Chancellor Drew Bennett described the history of the West Plains campus, highlighted the 50th anniversary celebration scheduled for this spring and fall, and then discussed the current, planned and future academic offerings at the associate degree and certificate level. He indicated that the growth in associate degrees will likely be in the areas of agriculture and health care.
In his presentation, Provost Frank Einhellig provided a history of bachelor’s and master’s degree completion programs and talked about future plans. At the top of the list is our commitment to providing a secondary education mathematics degree program to West Plains-area residents. We will use a variety of modalities — seated, interactive television, online, blended — to provide this degree program, beginning with the first two courses in fall 2013.
Our commitment is for the Springfield and West Plains campuses to cooperate to provide increased educational opportunities in demonstrated areas of need for the citizens of the seven counties served by West Plains. To accomplish that, the academic leaders on both campuses have pledged to work even more closely together in the coming months and years.
Spring enrollment numbers are in
Good news. Spring enrollment is up on both the Springfield and West Plains campuses. Congratulations to all.
A total of 21,629 students are enrolled in the Missouri State University system, which is believed to be a new system record. On the Springfield campus, the 19,919 students represent a 204 student increase from last year and is a spring enrollment record. On the West Plains Campus, enrollment is up 2.4 percent from a year ago, with 1,768 students. For complete details, see the news release.
Given the financial situation, enrollment will continue to be important to the future of Missouri State. First, it leads to the national and state goals of increasing the number of college graduates. Second, it will continue to be a major source of revenue for the University, providing funding for our priorities.
I want to thank you for your good work on enrollment and retention in both the fall and spring, and I encourage you to keep these as priorities in the future.
I am pleased to report that we have had and approved the first request from the shared leave program. I again invite you to learn more and consider contributing to the shared leave program. When the need arises, I also encourage staff to request help from the Shared Leave Pool.
Thanks for your positive reaction to my Twitter account (@clifsmart). I hope you will consider following me and joining in the regular conversation. I value your input.