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UM System Finance Committee requests campus improvements, updated faculty salaries

Saturday, July 23, 2011 | 6:22 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The UM System Board of Curators' Finance Committee conceded Friday that lingering economic obstacles would make it difficult for the state to fill much of the financial void in the near future.

There is a backlog of more than a $1 billion in facility maintenance and repairs at all four campuses, and the system offers one of the lowest faculty salaries compared to universities similar to those in the UM System.

“We present our requests to keep our needs in front of the General Assembly,” said Nikki Krawitz, vice president of finance and administration at the UM System. “We do understand how difficult this is for the state.”

Curators are requesting more than $516 million in capital appropriations to go toward facility repairs and construction. 

To put the issue into perspective, the committee broke down the appropriations request into three tiers of urgency.

Those in the first tier represent the system's top priorities, including more than $67 million for improvements for the MU College of Engineering’s Lafferre Hall and another $67 million for the optometry and nursing colleges at the St. Louis campus.

Altogether, the committee is asking the state to fund more than $261 million in first-tier needs.

“I don’t think any of us believe we’ll get all of these needs met,” said Finance Committee Chairman Don Downing. “But (the state) needs to know what the highest priorities are.”

As part of its state appropriations request for operations, the university system is requesting $40.3 million from the state to help bring UM faculty salaries in line with peer competitors.

Krawitz said faculty salaries at the system's four campuses have continued to languish at the bottom in comparison to similar university systems. Many institutions in other states have continued to increase faculty salaries while the UM System has not had a salary increase in two years, she said.

The committee agreed this issue should remain at the top of the agenda to maintain the state's standards in quality education.

“The biggest ticket item there is getting faculty compensation up to competition,” Downing said.


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Comments

Ellis Smith July 23, 2011 | 10:48 p.m.

Hasn't Lafferre Hall been "on the books" for renovation for some time? I had assumed it was already being renovated. I believe there was an article in the Missourian commenting upon what sorry shape the building is in.

For $67 million, how much of a building could you have if you built one from scratch? Probably better use of space, and more efficient to heat and cool, but a new building wouldn't be historic.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett July 23, 2011 | 11:15 p.m.

One possible answer to eliminate costly building repair/construction: more online education for higher ed.

http://www.usnews.com/education/online-e...

"Already, about 30 percent of American college students take at least one course online, says Elaine Allen, statistical director of the Sloan Survey on Online Education, which monitors student involvement in online higher education."

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 24, 2011 | 5:45 a.m.

The Missouri university that claims the second largest number of students (after University of Missouri System) is active in on line education.

The university in question has for years brought itself to its students, even before cyber communication. How could they possibly do that?

What's the name of the university? Hint: It is NOT Missouri State University.

{Sorry, Michael, we aren't giving a prize for the correct answer.)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett July 24, 2011 | 6:17 a.m.

@"The Missouri university that claims the second largest number of students (after University of Missouri System) is active in on line education...What's the name of the university? Hint: It is NOT Missouri State University."

A guess: Truman University?

:)

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 24, 2011 | 6:37 a.m.

Truman State University? Not even close.

Hint #2": The university in question is private.

Hint #3: It is not located in the St. Louis metro area. That narrows things down.

(No more hints for now. This quiz has been posted before. Everyone flunked it.)

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks July 24, 2011 | 8:29 a.m.

Columbia College.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2011 | 8:34 a.m.

Well heck, Ellis...why should I even try if there is no prize? I'm too old to participate just for the thrill of competition. I save my "thrills" for important stuff like walleye.

WilliamWoods.

(Report Comment)
Tim Trayle July 24, 2011 | 9:04 a.m.

Re Ellis' quiz: It would have to be Columbia College, with its online program (since the mid-90s, if I'm right), and its satellite campuses around the country--most of them serving some kind of military population. (The college does have v strong connections to the military--a good thing or bad, as you may see it.)
.
But technically, describing Columbia College as a "university" is inaccurate. It isn't structured as a university (there are not a separate college of arts and sciences, a college of business, etc.) It also has very few graduate programs and a v high number of non-terminal-degree, part-time adjuncts tasked with teaching.
.
Of course, all of that has its good sides, as Columbia College seems to be a lithe organization, able to move quickly when that's needed.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 24, 2011 | 9:14 a.m.

None of the guesses so far are correct or close to being correct.

Final two hints:

Hint #4: Obtain a current official Missouri highway map. Turn it to the inset for the Kansas City metro area. With a little patience you can find the name and location of the university in question. It's not located in downtown K.C.

Hint #5: This university has the second largest number of students of any university in Missouri, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THE STUDENTS ARE ALL LOCATED IN MISSOURI.

These folks have been operating "outside the box" for years, long before it was fashionable to do so.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2011 | 9:21 a.m.

Ah, I got it.

The Henry J. Waters Institute for Artificial Journalism.

I shoulda got it the first time.....

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett July 24, 2011 | 9:37 a.m.

@"(No more hints for now. This quiz has been posted before. Everyone flunked it.)"

Ellis gets the "Quiz of the Century" award!

Ha, ha.

This is why I clicked back in here, to see what the answer is.

Ellis, Ellis, Ellis...your cyberspace class awaits the correct answer sheet.

: )

How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense?

Do we really have to go hunt the answer down?

: )

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2011 | 10:10 a.m.

Delcia: I understand Ellis's game now. Ya see, he's filthy rich and owns a cyberspace university in KCMO; all that talk about "Rolla" and "The OTHER university" is just a diversion. His form of advertising is more subtle than some here.

He's shy.

;^)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett July 24, 2011 | 10:12 a.m.

My next guess would have been the Kansas City Art Institute, but the location would have been wrong for one of the clues now given.

: )

Somebody has got to know the right answer to this.

;)

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett July 24, 2011 | 10:14 a.m.

@ Williams: I do think he is a professor, or was one. Once one, always one, you think?

He is so smart! (No joke).

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett July 24, 2011 | 10:33 a.m.

@Michael Williams July 24, 2011 | 10:10 a.m.
"Delcia: I understand Ellis's game now. Ya see, he's filthy rich and owns a cyberspace university in KCMO; all that talk about "Rolla" and "The OTHER university" is just a diversion. His form of advertising is more subtle than some here."

That is so funny.

Ellis,

Ellis,

Ellis?

: )

Where'd you go?

:)

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2011 | 10:36 a.m.

Delcia: Yeah, Ellis noz stuff.

An' he's a nice guy...or so I hear from those he pays to say so. I'm expectin' 5 bucks from him anytime soon.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 24, 2011 | 10:48 a.m.

The Henry J. Waters Institute of Artificial Journalism? Powerful football team! Did you see what they did to Notre Dame last fall? It was ugly!

The correct answer is Park University, Parkville, Missouri, northwest of downtown Kansas City.

For many years Park University has maintained classroom facilities and faculty near military bases (particularly Navy and Air Force) around the country, catering to service personnel and their families (and accepting local civilian students as well); now they additionally have a growing number of cyber based programs.

The Parkville campus is very small: you could put it in a corner of either the Truman State University or MS&T campuses,, neither of which are large.

Two interesting items on the Parkville campus:

1- Part of the campus is underground, in a man-made limestone cave. This was done long before it became popular to think about doing such things.

2- The administration building, which is architecturally significant, was built in the late 19th century USING STUDENT LABOR! Working on the project was a requirement for graduation. You don't see that requirement much anymore. :)

The underground facilities are open to the public during normal business hours; be careful to park in designated areas.

I'm guessing that many Kansas City residents would flunk this quiz as well.

[Now - going back to the original article, above - we may have a solution to the problem of renovating Lafferre Hall on the MU campus: we'll get those lazy students off their posteriors and set them to work!]

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2011 | 10:59 a.m.

Park University.

I was going to say that......

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2011 | 11:01 a.m.

Yeeeehawwwww.

Grandkids are here.

Later.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 24, 2011 | 11:44 a.m.

I am not nor was I ever a college or university professor. The closest I've come to lecturing at a university is as a guest speaker at seminars, my subject usually being the perils and pitfalls facing practicing engineers.

I am pleased that real engineering professors of my acquaintance treat me as an equal.

Michael, I'm a bit short of cash but don't want to let you down:

Would you like to have two (2) cold bottles of George Killian's Irish Red Lager*? They are worth a bit more than $5 at retail in Columbia.

But because you're such a great guy I will give you an alternative. I have in my kitchen an empty (but sanitized) gallon jug from Flat Branch. I can take it there and have them fill it with one of their brews. That's far more than $5, so I'd hope you'd share a glass with me. :)

If I were filthy rich I might consider making the state an offer for MS&T. Then I'd raise salaries of the faculty and staff. Ridding itself of MS&T could benefit University of Missouri System, because budgeted expenses per student are higher at MS&T than at the other campuses(due in part to MS&T's much smaller enrollment).

*- Imported from Golden, Colorado.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2011 | 1:15 p.m.

Pitfalls facing practicing engineers?

Perhaps there wouldn't be so many pitfalls if you did it for real.

(Sure, I'll share that beer with you someday soon. We can discuss Paul while he's not around).

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 24, 2011 | 1:42 p.m.

Michael says, "We can discuss Paul while he's not around."

Fine. What do you suggest we discuss for the other 59 minutes of our hour together?

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks July 24, 2011 | 1:57 p.m.

Why did Park get out of the military business? I used to live in Parkville after I graduate from College and love running around the area but that is the first I have heard that they had an online program. Also pretty much everywhere you go in the country now you will see Columbia College Online. Even in Kuwait and a few places in Iraq. A lot of places say they work with Soldiers but none as much as Columbia College.

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett July 24, 2011 | 2:18 p.m.

@"I am not nor was I ever a college or university professor. The closest I've come to lecturing at a university is as a guest speaker at seminars, my subject usually being the perils and pitfalls facing practicing engineers."

Close enough.

Takes brains (that work) to do either/or/both.

: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett July 24, 2011 | 2:21 p.m.

@"The correct answer is Park University, Parkville, Missouri, northwest of downtown Kansas City."

Great! Learned something new today. Now, if ever this question shows up anywhere else, we who read here will have the answer!

Besides, we will know another fact about online universities.

Just great!

: )

(Report Comment)
Delcia Crockett July 24, 2011 | 2:28 p.m.

@"Delcia: Yeah, Ellis noz stuff. An' he's a nice guy...or so I hear from those he pays to say so. I'm expectin' 5 bucks from him anytime soon."

He does write like an accomplished literary person, well-read in all sorts of topics. Am not on here every day, but like to see what Paul and Ellis are up to, when am on here a couple of days a week. We get the print version of the Missourian delivered to our doorstep, so I sometimes/often just bypass the online version.

Speaking of Paul, where is Paul today? (Please, nobody say, "Iraq." Thank you.)

: )

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 24, 2011 | 4:46 p.m.

Ellis and the remaining 59 minutes
_________________

Good point.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 24, 2011 | 5:13 p.m.

@ Corey Parks:

I'm not aware that Park University has gotten out of serving the military.

That would be VERY odd, since that's where the majority of their students are located. It would be like MU dumping a large portion of its undergraduate students. (There may be a few MU professors who would LIKE to dump some of their students.)

Popular Park University degree programs:

Accounting
Business Administration
Criminal Justice
Human Resources Management
Nursing (Kansas City only)

Parkville is a nice, quiet place, except for those BNSF freight trains blasting their air horns as they barrel through.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks July 24, 2011 | 10:25 p.m.

I bet there are a lot more students that would like to dump there professors that only show up a few times a month as well. Good thing for student/teacher aids.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 25, 2011 | 6:59 a.m.

"Close enough."

No, giving a 50-minute presentation occasionally is not the same as being a professor, especially a professor who is engaged in research as well as teaching. To suggest the activities are similar is incorrect.

One member of the audience is a professor who holds the Phoenix Award, an international award for lifetime research achievement in glass technology.

(Report Comment)

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