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I am writing to provide some details about the $3,001,000 in “equity funding” that was allocated to seven four-year public institutions for next year (fiscal year 2013).
In order to pass the budget by the constitutionally-mandated deadline, which is today (Friday, May 11), the House and Senate had to compromise on a proposal that would have added $2 million to the budget of Southeast Missouri State University.
In the end, the compromise that was approved consisted of approving an equity pool to $3,001,000, which was allocated to seven public institutions based on their relative funding per student. The amounts for the seven ranged from $55,000 to $886,000.
With this compromise made, the entire $24 billion budget passed.
There were three reasons given for Missouri State University not being included in the proposal.
I was obviously disappointed in this decision. We were aware of the negotiations as they were occurring and aggressively lobbied our delegation to be included.
While we were not awarded any additional appropriations, we were successful in having an amendment added to the bill that establishes a joint legislative committee to examine the question of equity funding for all institutions. Our legislative delegation has assured us that Missouri State will be a significant part of that discussion next year. This will be our first legislative priority next year.
You should know that several members of our area legislative delegation strongly voiced their concern that Missouri State was not included in the equity allocation. That is the primary reason the amendment was added.
The data speaks for itself — Missouri State is relatively under-funded (third lowest) compared to the other institutions, and Missouri State will be included in any discussion about addressing that inequity.
On a positive note, the legislature has passed a budget which funds Missouri State at the same level as last year. Now we wait to see what withholding the Governor will make. We will know that within 45 days.
The primary purpose of this issue of Clif’s Notes is to provide an update on the budget for fiscal year 2013.
The Executive Budget Committee met on Wednesday, May 2, to hear a budget update and to discuss options for fiscal year 2013. The group agreed on the major decision points, which are described below. The committee members also agreed that there was no need to meet again until early in the fall semester when we have more complete information to guide our decisions.
One of the major considerations is the level of state appropriations. The final decision on that will not be available until mid- to late June. I will tell you where the discussion stands at this moment.
First, a little history. As you recall, in late fall, we were advised that there would likely be a 5 percent reduction in state appropriations for fiscal year 2013. In January when the governor announced his budget, the reduction was 12.5 percent. In February, the governor amended his budget recommendation so that the reduction was 7.78 percent. This is what we have based our budget model on since that time.
As the budget has moved through the Missouri General Assembly, first the House, and then the Senate, reduced that cut so that the higher education budget would be the same for fiscal year 2013 as it is for this year — i.e., no reduction. It now appears that will be the Missouri General Assembly’s final decision.
The next step, as required by state law, is for the governor to ensure the proposed budget is balanced and decide what, if any, holdbacks he needs to make. We are hopeful he will make that decision by mid-June.
There are so many factors that must be considered and so many events to occur before mid-June that it is hard to predict what the governor will do. Most “experts” think that he will withhold at least some amount, perhaps 4 to 5 percent, but no one knows for sure.
This subhead is correct — let me try to make some sense out of the dollars for you so you know what we are talking about.
With that background, the Executive Budget Committee has endorsed the following plan:
As has been the case from the beginning, I will keep you informed about our progress on the budget.
I do want to take this opportunity to publicly thank the Executive Budget Committee members for their work this year. They took their responsibility seriously, they surfaced good ideas, and they made every administrative proposal better with their discussion. They represented all of you very well.
The days remaining in this school year are dwindling quickly. I hope the remainder of the semester is productive for you. I also hope you will attend one or more of our three commencements on Friday, May 18, to help our graduates celebrate their significant accomplishment. After all, our graduates are the evidence of our work.
So you know, a couple of days after commencement, Gail and I will travel to China for 10 days. We will participate in commencement ceremonies at Liaoning Normal University, help host three alumni events in three cities (the first-ever for Missouri State) and work on developing additional educational agreements with Chinese institutions.
It has been a great privilege to serve as your interim president for the past year. I want to thank you for your support, your cooperation, your positive attitude, your good ideas and your helpful feedback. As I said many times since June 27, there is no limit to what we can accomplish if we don’t care who gets the credit. You have helped me prove that this year. Thank you.