Last week, I shared the fiscal year 2024 Action Plan presented to the Board of Governors during its most recent meeting. Today, I’m covering topics discussed during the remainder of that meeting.
Funding formula for public colleges and universities
The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development commissioned a study that could change the way state funds are allocated to public colleges and universities. The study, conducted by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), identified “adequate” levels of funding each institution needs to conduct basic operations, offer academic programs and serve students. The funding levels were based on peer institutions identified by NCHEMS and each Missouri institution’s unique mix of programs and students.
To no one’s surprise, the study concluded Missouri State needs an additional $53 million a year to achieve adequate funding. Further, Missouri State is the most underfunded public university in the state as a percent, despite our recent $10 million+ in appropriations.
The Department of Higher Education is working with the governor’s office and legislators to determine next steps. The report could be used to make funding recommendations for the FY 2025 budget and would likely be phased in over several years. We hope to use the report as leverage to again increase our state funding.
Executive Vice President Zora Mulligan and MSU-West Plains Chancellor Dennis Lancaster served on an advisory committee to provide study feedback as it was developed.
WP action plan
The West Plains campus presented their action plan. Similar in structure to the Springfield campus, they will focus on:
- Reaffirmation of the Higher Learning Commission accreditation.
- Recruitment and retention.
- Residential student housing.
- New and enhanced academic programs.
- Facilities – including the completion of the nursing simulation lab in Looney Hall and the start of construction of the ASCEND student center.
- Financial resources.
- System coordination.
Governing policy G8.09 determines how operating funds cash reserves are handled and maintained at Missouri State.
As directed by its Board of Governors, the university has established cash reserves for its operating funds requiring a minimum level of $40 million be maintained for the university system, which at the time was roughly equivalent to three months operating expenses.
We’ve recently reached a record level of reserves thanks to former CFO Steve Foucart’s strategic management of our funds. The discussion centered on re-establishing a minimum level after experiencing significant inflation over the last several years.
A major part of that discussion focused on how the university might strategically allocate some reserves in support of current opportunities to continue raising the profile of Missouri State, while also addressing our backlog of maintenance and repair projects.
Missouri State University Leadership Chair
The Board of Governors voted Aug. 4 to grant the University Leadership Chair to Provost John Jasinski and Zora.
The University Leadership Chair was established in 2008 by the Board of Governors under the leadership of Mary Schrag and is awarded every other year. The board awards the endowed chair to members of the university’s central administration who have demonstrated superb leadership. Recent recipients include Steve, Rachael Dockery and Suzanne Shaw.
My annual review
I received my performance evaluation from the board at the end of the meeting. It’s been a very successful year for the university, which the board acknowledged. The highlights, which I’ve shared with you over the last year in Clif’s Notes, include: significant progress on academic realignment, substantial gains in enrollment, continued strong levels of capital funding and appropriations at both the state and federal levels, and the conclusion of the Onward, Upward campaign, reaching a record $274 million.
As with you, I received a 5% across the board raise and will receive a retention bonus on Dec. 31.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State.
- Clif’s Notes for Nov. 28, 2023 - November 28, 2023
- Clif’s Notes for Nov. 14, 2023 - November 14, 2023
- Clif’s Notes for Nov. 7, 2023 - November 7, 2023
- Clif’s Notes for Oct. 31, 2023 - October 31, 2023
- Clif’s Notes for Oct. 24, 2023 - October 24, 2023
- Clif’s Notes for Oct. 17, 2023 - October 17, 2023
- Clif’s Notes for Oct. 10, 2023 - October 10, 2023
- Clif’s Notes for Oct. 3, 2023 - October 3, 2023
- Clif’s Notes for Sept. 26, 2023 - September 26, 2023
- Clif’s Notes for Sept. 19, 2023 - September 19, 2023