(From the Missouri Southern State University Public Relations Department)
The Missouri Southern State University budget for the next fiscal year (2011-2012) was adjusted downward after Gov. Jay Nixon announced last week (June 10, 2011) additional reductions to cover the cost of several disasters that hit Missouri this spring, including the May 22 tornado that devastated Joplin.
Missouri Southern will lose an additional $309,881 in state appropriations as a result of the most recent budget cuts, the Board of Governors was informed by University officials during a regular Board of Governors meeting Thursday, June 16, 2011.
A total of $14.9 million was cut from the budget for four-year institutions and $1.9 million from community colleges and technical schools. Most higher education institutions will receive a 7 percent budget reduction from the state for the new fiscal year that begins July 1, instead of the 5.5 percent reduction originally set by the legislature. The additional cuts push total reductions for MSSU to $1.6 million compared to last year.
At the May meeting, Missouri Southern’s Board of Governors approved the University’s FY2012 budget that then included revenues of $74.2 million and expenditures of $74.7 million. The budget included revenues from state appropriations of $22.2 million, $1.3 million less than FY2011 (now another $309,881 less). President Bruce Speck stated the cuts weren’t unexpected given events in the state this spring. “While we don’t welcome the additional reductions, we understand the Governor’s need to deal with the disasters that have hit Joplin and the state.”
In other action, the Board heard reports from Vice Presidents for Business Affairs, Development, Student Affairs, Academic Affairs and Athletics about how their various divisions and staff were involved with the disaster recovery effort. “There are so many stories and many of the heroes will never tell their stories,” stated Dr. AJ Anglin, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “We (the University) will never be the same. We will be a much for loving, caring, cohesive community after this experience,” he said.
In addition to the devastating loss of life, Dr. Mark Parsons, Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the Missouri Southern Foundation, noted several who were severely injured and he pointed out that MSSU faculty, staff and students saw at least 62 homes destroyed, seven others significantly damaged, 37 cars destroyed and many students who lost their belongings in apartments that were wiped out or lost their jobs due to businesses that were damaged or destroyed.
Dr. Parsons noted the Foundation’s Tornado Relief Fund has received nearly $35,000 in contributions to date. “We have started processing about 135 applications for assistance and most of those are coming from students,” he told the Board. For information about visit MSSU Tornado Relief Fund.
Mr. Darren Fullerton, Vice President for Student Affairs, noted that the Bookstore has written off more than $26,000 for textbooks that were damaged or destroyed in the disaster. Students are encouraged to contact the MSSU Bookstore to report the status of destroyed books in order to avoid being assessed fees for books not returned. Mr. Fullerton also reported that the University is monitoring students who have been forced to move to communities outside of Missouri due to lack of housing. The residency requirement for students in that situation is being waived this fall. He also said the University has received a $15,000 grant from United Student Aid Funds (USA Funds) to help displaced students.
Assistant Athletics Director for External Operations, Mr. Kevin Greim, reported that the University of Missouri will come to MSSU for an Oct. 30 basketball game to help raise funds for disaster relief. The Sunday afternoon game, which may be televised nationally, will include a component to memorialize the 5:41 p.m., May 22 tornado that hit the area. Additional information is available at http://www.mssulions.com.
The Board also heard a legislative report from the University lobbyist Ms. Kyna Iman. She said the Governor was signing a bill that would provide funding for a “Nursing incentive program” and noted that MSSU would be poised to take advantage of this new grant program because it is “one of the premier nursing programs in the state.” She said most of the funds from this program would be dedicated to public, four-year universities with nursing programs