|JOPLIN - The Missouri Southern State University Board of Governors today unanimously voted to join with other universities and colleges in the state to hold the line on increases in tuition and academic fees for the 2010-11 academic year.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has said he must reduce higher education spending by about five percent, or $42 million in Missouri, for the next fiscal year. The agreement required the approval of university boards and state lawmakers, leading to the vote by the MSSU Board today.
Missouri Southern President Dr. Bruce Speck has said the university is looking at a state funding cut of approximately $1.2 million for the upcoming year. Funding for higher education in the Show-Me State could drop even more in 2012 when federal stimulus monies are expended, state officials have said.
We not only will have to take a cut in 2011 but 2012 is not at all certain, Speck said. My caution is that we continue to be very prudent regarding the use of our cash reserves, he added.
The Board began today's meeting with a statement of sorrow concerning the death of Curtis Betebenner who retired as Director of the Missouri Southern Foundation only a few weeks ago. Betebenner died unexpectedly late last week. He served as foundation director more than 10 years.
Dr. Theresa Agee, senior vice president, said that the renovations to the Billingsly Student Center are effectively complete but for landscaping and some signage. She said exterior work on the new health sciences building is almost complete with interior work continuing and renovation of the Mission Hills Mansion continues with demolition of an attached structure currently underway.
The Board of Governors heard its first report from Dr. Mark Parsons, the university's new vice president of development/executive director of the Missouri Southern Foundation. He will serve in a fiduciary capacity and oversee alumni relations, university relations and marketing, development and the grants resource center.