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).
Compromise needed to meet deadline
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.
Reasons for excluding Missouri State
There were three reasons given for Missouri State University not being included in the proposal.
- The University of Missouri and Missouri State were identified as the two statewide universities, so they were separated from the other institutions.
- Missouri State had benefited from the $2 million allocated last year to the University of Missouri-Kansas City for the Doctor of Pharmacy degree in a year where other institutions did not receive similar funding.
- The inequity in funding for Missouri State was too significant for the pool of money that was available.
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.
Committee to examine equity funding
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.
Missouri State funded at same level as last year
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.