COLUMBIA — The University of Missouri Board of Curators has approved a $1 billion appropriations request for fiscal 2010, a 19 percent increase over this year.
"The state ended up with a record surplus, and I want to be sure that elected officials know that our needs for higher education need to be at the front of the line, and I want to be very direct about that," UM System President Gary Forsee told the curators in a teleconference meeting.
The curators on Friday approved the request, which includes financing for projects to repair crumbling buildings and address the state's need for health care professionals. It also includes projects that weren't in last year's request and some projects that were included but were not funded.
Forsee said he has already met with some key leaders of the General Assembly in an effort to ensure the right "leverage and collaboration" among lawmakers.
Nikki Krawitz, UM System vice president for finance and administration, said funding a $526 million request for operations and a $505 million request for capital improvements will have a reach beyond the four campuses.
"What we're trying to do on both of these is present our real needs to the state and help the state meet some of its needs," Krawitz said. She highlighted the lack of capital funding from the state, which has created a backlog of $800 million in critical repairs, renovations and facility upgrades.
Priorities outlined in a news release include work on Lafferre Hall at the MU College of Engineering, the Missouri Rehabilitation Center and other buildings across the system's four campuses.
The funding proposal features a renamed health care program that would train health care professionals, addressing Missouri's need for doctors, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, and other health-care professionals.
Forsee said the program can be part of the new administration's overall approach to health care, highlighting the university's mission to serve the state.