In this issue of Clif’s Notes, I review the governor’s budget recommendations for fiscal year 2015, update you on new academic programs, recognize staff award winners and provide a status report on facilities.
Governor recommends $120 million in new funds for higher education
The budget discussion always begins with the governor’s recommendation, which Governor Jay Nixon presented Tuesday in conjunction with his State of the State address. The governor’s recommendation now becomes the basis for the budget process, which begins in the House and then moves to the Senate.
I want to summarize the governor’s recommendations for higher education and how they impact Missouri State:
The governor recommended nearly $500 million in new funds for all aspects of education: early childhood, K-12 and higher education. Of that total, $120 million was directed to higher education. It is the most positive budget recommendation for higher education in the past six years.
Under the governor’s plan, four-year public universities would receive an increase of 5 percent in core funding for fiscal year 2015. Since the increase is allocated based on performance and since both the Springfield and West Plains campuses met all five of their measures, Missouri State’s increase is 5.2 percent ($4,243,067).
In addition, the governor has recommended more than $22 million in on-going funding for STEM-related initiatives, which amounts to a 3 percent increase for public four-year institutions. Missouri State would receive $2,431,190 of the STEM funding.
So, overall the increase in on-going funding would be 8.2 percent ($6,674,257). You recall that I committed to recommending to our Board of Governors that we keep our in-state undergraduate tuition flat if the state appropriations reach or exceed 5 percent.
Caring for Missourians
Finally, there is nearly $20 million in one-time funds recommended for Caring for Missourians – Mental Health. Missouri State is slated to receive $1,667,930 of this funding.
Statewide, an additional $17 million is recommended for the Bright Flight Scholarship Program and $8.6 million for the Access Missouri Scholarship Program, both of which benefit Missouri State students.
For more information, I invite you to visit the office of administration website which has more details about the budget recommendation.
Again, this is the first step in the process, but it is a very good first step. We look forward to working with our legislative delegation to make these recommendations a reality. I will keep you posted on our progress.
In the meantime, the Executive Budget Committee will meet Friday afternoon to begin discussing the options available and the decisions we will need to make in the coming months.
New academic programs, certificates
We continue to be a progressive campus in curriculum transformation actions focused on meeting student needs.
In December, I reported that the Board of Governors had approved two new academic programs: Doctor of Nursing Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA). We have several new graduate and undergraduates programs and certificates either fully approved or in latter stages of the processes for approval. I wanted to provide an update for you.
At its Jan. 16 meeting, the Faculty Senate approved two new degrees:
- Master of Applied Second Language Acquisition coming from the modern and classical language department in collaboration with the department of English
- MS in Applied Behavior Analysis coming from the department of psychology with collaboration from the special education area in the department of counseling, leadership and special education
These degrees will now be presented to the Board of Governors and then be forwarded to the Missouri Department of Higher Education for review and then approval by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. The MS in Applied Behavior Analysis will be strengthened if the governor’s Caring for Missourians – Mental Health program holds and becomes a reality.
A number of new certificate programs have been approved and require no further faculty action or state approval. They should be open for students this coming fall. All of these are based on already existing courses, and they are a way to package a combination of course work that may be attractive to some people who either already have a degree or may be thinking they want to try a certificate first. All of these will roll into a degree if a student decides to continue work. They do get marked on a student’s transcript if the student files the requested actions.
Certificates approved in the past two months include:
- Undergraduate certificate
- Concentrated Officer Development and Education Program (CODE), which includes several different certificate opportunities
- Graduate certificates
(The first six are in the College of Business and last one is in the department of defense and strategic studies in the College of Humanities and Public Affairs.)
- Graduate Certificate in Computer Information Systems
- Financial Analysis Graduate Certificate
- Graduate Certificate in International Business
- Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship
- Graduate Certificate in Management
- Graduate Certificate in Leadership
- Graduate Certificate in Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction
Majors and minor
Two undergraduate majors and one minor were also approved by the Faculty Senate in December. The majors are a reconfiguration of current offerings and the minor is an interdisciplinary approach. They are:
- BS in Modern Language, Non-Comprehensive
- BS in Modern Language, Comprehensive
- Disability Studies Minor (interdisciplinary program)
Just to remind you, we are not always adding programs. We also look for programs which are appropriate to discontinue for any number of reasons. Most recently, we eliminated all BA, BS and BSEd Programs in French, German and Spanish (comprehensive and non-comprehensive).
Outstanding staff honored
On Jan. 8, we had one of my favorite events: the annual Staff Awards Luncheon. Nearly 900 staff members attended the event where we recognized 225 employees for outstanding work and longevity milestones. I wanted to pay special tribute to two groups of honorees.
Staff Excellence in University Service Award recipients
The Staff Excellence in University Service Award is given annually to six Missouri State staff members in recognition of significant contributions to the University community. The purpose of the award is to recognize those staff employees who strive to do their jobs well on a daily basis, those who go above and beyond the call of duty in a special situation and those who have contributed in a significant way to the success of the University.
The winners of the 2013 Staff Excellence in University Service Awards are:
- Jessica Clements, new media specialist
- Howard Dressler, preventative maintenance coordinator
- Keith Moncrief, custodian I
- Sam Parker, maintenance electrician
- Jaime Ross, executive assistant III
- Mary Ann Wood, director of public affairs support
Excellence in Community Service Award recipients
The Excellence in Community Service Award is given annually to two Missouri State staff members in recognition of their service to the community through volunteer work with charitable, nonprofit, church or similar organizations. (We honor two faculty in the same way each year.)
The award is presented to those who have demonstrated personal action to serve community causes; a significant and sustained record of volunteer service; a significant contribution to improve the quality of community life; the upholding of values consistent with the betterment of society; and being in good standing with the Missouri State community.
The 2013 recipients are:
- Jennifer Johnston, academic specialist at the English Language Institute
- Rachel Peterson, recruitment specialist at the West Plains campus
My congratulations and thanks to these and all other staff members who were honored this year. Well done.
Changing the face of campus
Work on several facilities is well underway. I described these in the August 2013 issue of Clif’s Notes. We are proceeding with our plan to issue bonds with the full support of the Board of Governors. I thought it would be helpful for me to provide a status report on those projects.
This project has expanded to a $6 million project that will include general scheduling classrooms on the second floor and social work on the first floor. This is in addition to the third and fourth floors being home to hospitality and restaurant administration. The work will begin in June 2014, and the completion date is now July 2015.
Occupational Therapy Building
Instead of expanding McQueary Hall, we have determined it is more cost-effective to construct a new facility. Construction on the $20 million facility will begin in fall 2014 and be completed in time for fall 2015.
The design development has been completed on Glass Hall. The work will begin when private gifts are secured.
This facility, which will be used for student admissions and success, will cost $4.5 million, with work to begin in the summer of 2014 and completion scheduled for August 2015.
A major renovation of Kentwood Hall and refreshing of Hammons House and Hutchens House will occur in the summer of 2014. Sunvilla Tower will be fully renovated between fall 2014 and summer 2015. The total costs of these renovations will be $16.1 million.
As you can see for yourself, work on all of these projects has begun. All are on schedule and the budgets remain as planned. As you know, the Jim D. Morris Basketball Complex in JQH Arena has been completed and the Mary Jo Wynn Achievement Center in the Forsythe Athletics Center is scheduled to be completed by Aug. 31, 2014.
The spring semester is off to a good start. We anticipate another record spring enrollment, we have many exciting events on the calendar, and the campus facilities are changing every day. I wish you a productive and positive semester.