In this issue of “Clif’s Notes,” I want to review the State of the University address and provide the results of the veto session and how it affects Missouri State, as well as other updates.
State of the University address
I want to thank those of you who were able to attend in-person or watch the live streaming of the 2013 State of the University address yesterday (Sept. 19). If you were not able to attend or view the speech, I invite you to review the speech, including the PowerPoint slides and video of the address.
As you know, the title of the speech was “Thinking Bigger and Bolder: The Eight Major Goals for 2013-14.” Provost Frank Einhellig and I reviewed some of the achievements of the past year, highlighted our record enrollment and then outlined some of the key issues and initiatives for 2013-14. As you recall, these are the eight goals the Board of Governors approved for this year. These eight goals will guide us, and we will strive to achieve them.
I hope you will find this information useful as we work together this year toward these priorities.
There has been much in the news all summer about HB 253, which would have reduced revenue to Missouri State University by between $6 million and $11 million annually, according to Governor Nixon’s calculations because of cuts to business income taxes. That size of cut would have been catastrophic for us on top of the $11 million in cuts we have already sustained over the previous four years.
On Sept. 11, the first day of the session, the veto was sustained by 15 votes. It takes two-thirds (109 of the 182 members) to override a veto in the House. For HB 253, 94 voted to override and 67 voted against.
Thank you to our representatives
I want to publicly thank Republican representatives Lynn Morris, Jeff Messenger, Lyndall Fraker, Lyle Rowland, Don Phillips and Sue Entlicher from our corner of the state who, despite enormous party pressure, did not vote to override the Governor’s veto. I also want to thank Democrat Charlie Norr who also voted to sustain the veto. We are indebted to these representatives, and we will not forget their support for education.
Besides not reducing our appropriations further, that action has resulted in the governor releasing the money held back from this year’s general appropriation ($3.1 million) as well as the specific health care funds which had been withheld in their entirety (another $1.3 million). We can now move on with expanding our healthcare programs on both the Springfield and West Plains campuses. On behalf of Missouri State, I thank Governor Nixon for releasing this money.
Continue to monitor
Finally, I encourage all sides to work together to find a compromise plan to reduce taxes without diminishing state support for education inasmuch as quality education is the most important driver in economic development. We need to avoid a repeat of this fight next year.
Marketing research on diversity
The final phase of the marketing research project has been completed. Phase IV focused on diverse students, both current and prospective. Review the results online.
This research will be part of the background material for the Board of Governors as it prepares for its discussion on diversity at the Oct. 18 meeting.
The research phase of the marketing project by Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), a global research-based consultancy headquartered in Washington, D.C., is now complete. By the end of September, we anticipate having marketing recommendations from PSB’s partner, Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods (CJRW), an advertising, marketing and strategic communications agency, from Little Rock, Ark. When those recommendations are available, we will share them with campus as we did with the research results.
The My Ideas Faculty/Staff Suggestion Program has been refreshed and is now more active than ever. This program provides a way for the faculty and staff of Missouri State University to receive recognition by developing and submitting ideas that benefit the University through saving money or increasing revenue.
This program is based on a process improvement project completed by University Staff Ambassadors (USA) 2010 members. However, over the past year, the current My Ideas Committee has worked to update the program.
Quarterly drawing implemented
One change is a quarterly drawing to reward an idea submitted to the My Ideas Program. Each idea submitted during the quarter that meets the criteria of a good idea will be placed in a random drawing. The idea does not have to be implemented in order to be placed in the drawing or to receive the reward. The winner of the random drawing receives a Missouri State University Bookstore gift card valued at $30. Joni Durden won the first quarterly drawing for her submitted idea.
I invite you to submit your idea.
I want to thank and congratulate everyone who had a part in increasing our enrollment for fall 2013. That was important as we attempt to educate more citizens and, at the same time, maintain an important source of revenue for us to fund our priorities.
I look forward to a great year working with you. We are off to a fast start. Thank you for all you do for Missouri State University.