The Board of Governors met last week.
The board approved more than $400,000 in equity salary increases for 125 employees. These are pay raises that cost centers on campus have agreed to fund by reallocating money from their existing budgets.
This is the first time staff and administrators have been eligible for these kind of equity adjustments in more than a year. We went through a similar process in the spring for faculty, and the board approved more than $500,000 in equity salary increases and promotions for 88 faculty members in June.
The board also approved more than $70,000 in raises that we are centrally financing for 48 employees to comply with changes to Fair Labor Standards Act regulations.
Moving forward with JVIC expansion
The board also approved a letter of intent laying out the terms of our public-private partnership with The Vecino Group to expand the Jordan Valley Innovation Center. Under this agreement, Vecino will construct a $14.4 million 30,000 square foot white box addition to JVIC. The university will have the option to purchase the facility for no more than $6.2 million in seven years.
Through a financing model that utilizes $9 million in federal New Market Tax Credits as well as conventional financing, the university will pay $530,000 in annual lease payments. The university anticipates that new revenues the university will receive from JVIC tenants will cover these lease payments.
The university and the Missouri State University Foundation will pay up to $4.6 million when the contract closes (less if additional New Market Tax Credits are secured before closing). The university and foundation will work to recuperate as much of these funds as possible by selling $3 million in state tax credits allocated by the Missouri Development Finance Board for the project and by advocating for funding from the state through the MoExcels program.
This model will allow the university to receive a $14.4 million building for between $7.5 million and $10.8 million. We initially explored this project with a goal of developing additional JVIC space for a substantial discount. I am pleased to report that we are poised to accomplish this goal.
The board is excited to move this project forward. We know this arrangement is not without risks, but the potential impact on the university’s economic development footprint and the development of areas surrounding our downtown campus is outstanding.
Darr gift will grow agriculture programs
The board also approved an agreement to establish a Springfield Public Schools agricultural magnet school and to construct a small animal education facility at the university’s Darr Agricultural Center. These projects will be funded with a $6.5 million gift from the Darr Family Foundation to the Missouri State University Foundation.
The generosity of Mr. Darr and his family through this and other gifts have truly transformed the College of Agriculture and Missouri State University as a whole. Please join me in thanking them for this transformative gift.
Recognizing outstanding students
The board also awarded this year’s Citizen Scholar Award to six high performing students:
- Cassidy Cunningham
- Seth Hadley
- Rachel Prather
- Robbyn Rose
- Niyati (Mia) Sethi
- Stephanie Urich
You can find more information about the award and this year’s recipients in the news release.
The board also approved a commendation to William Miller for his service on the board as student governor. It has been a pleasure working with Governor Miller in this role, and he will be greatly missed.
The board received a strategic enrollment management plan update, viewed a presentation about the Darr College of Agriculture, received a report on the Onward, Upward foundation campaign, viewed a demonstration of the university’s variable data marketing initiative and virtual tour, discussed the Springfield and West Plains campus key performance indicators, and announced and approved board committee assignments for next year.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!