UM System Board of Curators approves budget, housing and athletics projects

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | 9:16 p.m. CDT; updated 3:54 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 28, 2012

*The UM System will experience a 1 percent withholding in state funding. But it based its 2013 budget on a 7.8 percent decrease in state dollars proposed earlier in the year. "We going to take those cost-saving measures we established under that scenario and apply them to our strategic initiative," UM spokeswoman Jennifer Hollingshead said. A previous version of this article did not mention the governor's 1 percent withholding.

COLUMBIA — A $2.7 billion budget was approved by the UM System Board of Curators Tuesday afternoon.

The curators unanimously approved the fiscal 2013 budget, which will go into effect July 1.


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Fiscal Year 2013 budget

One component of the UM System's 2013 balanced budget is a 3.6 percent increase in revenue from the 2012 budget. Part of this revenue will come from an increase in tuition fees due to rising enrollment. 

*The UM System will experience a 1 percent withholding in state funding. But it based its 2013 budget on a 7.8 percent decrease in state dollars proposed earlier in the year. "We going to take those cost-saving measures we established under that scenario and apply them to our strategic initiative," UM spokeswoman Jennifer Hollingshead explained later.

The system's spending will be reduced by $35.5 million. Cuts are being made in the following places:

  • Workforce reductions through eliminating positions and not filling vacant positions.
  • Funding reductions in auxiliaries and research.
  • Consolidation of academic programs.
  • Reduction of general spending, which includes cutting back on supplies and travel.
  • Reduction of planned maintenance.
  • Reworking of financial aid at the system campuses.
  • Revenue enhancements.

Money will also be put toward five strategic initiatives that will cost $30 million. These include:

  • The maintenance, repair and renovation of facilities with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) facilities.
  • Hiring new and retaining current faculty and staff.
  • Continued funding of scholarships.
  • Enhancing student experiences by decreasing class sizes and increasing academic advising and student success programs. 
  • Supporting a fund for student entrepreneurship. 

2014 fiscal year preliminary request

The Board of Curator's financial committee also presented the 2014 fiscal year preliminary operating appropriations request to the curators. 

The committee's first priority is to obtain enough funding to maintain the system's core operations. This part of the request detailed information about financing the system, stating that the total minimum funding for core operations is $417.9 million. 

The committee also discussed increasing Missouri's competitiveness by focusing on two areas. The first is increasing STEM education and research funding to $55.2 million. The second is continuing to support Caring for Missourians, which will increase education for health care professions.

Nikki Krawitz, vice president for finance and administration for the UM System, suggested that the requested $10.3 million fund for Caring for Missourians should be permanent. The program received a one-time appropriation in 2010.

"STEM and Caring for Missourians are incredibly good priorities," board member Don Downing said.

Residence hall and athletic projects

The board also approved the building of a new residence hall on MU's campus and the renovation and expansion of Memorial Stadium, along with six other athletics projects.

The curators will reconvene at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Reynolds Alumni Center.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey

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Ellis Smith June 27, 2012 | 5:58 a.m.

TO MISSOURIAN STAFF: Does the emphasis on STEM apply to ALL UM System campuses? One would assume that it does. One UM System campus is, and for 142 years has been, committed to STEM, long before there was the term STEM.

STEM is that campus's primary mandate and concern.


(Report Comment)
Elizabeth Brixey June 27, 2012 | 2:19 p.m.

Ellis Smith, hello. I am the editor on the story. The reporters are finishing up their curators' story from today's meeting, and I'll call their attention to your question when they're done.

Thank you.

Elizabeth Brixey

(Report Comment)
Derrick Fogle June 27, 2012 | 6:40 p.m.

Looks like a tiger chasing it's own tail:

Cost savings via: "Workforce reductions through eliminating positions and not filling vacant positions."

Additional $30M spent on: "Hiring new and retaining current faculty and staff."

I suppose time will tell whether this is just empty rhetoric, or code words for a plan to fire 1,000 janitors and hire 30 more administrators.

For the impaired, that last quip is sarcastic hyperbole. The point is that such directly contradictory language is a great (and often used) tool for justifying irrational and absurdly uneven distribution of resources.

(Report Comment)
Alli Inglebright June 28, 2012 | 3:35 p.m.

Hello Ellis Smith. My name is Alli Inglebright and I was one of the reporters on this story. We looked more into your question and the STEM appropriations will be applied to all four campuses. If we hear of any other specifics we will update you.
Thank you for taking the time to read our article.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith June 28, 2012 | 5:11 p.m.

@Ali Inglebright:

Thank you; I appreciate your response.

And now for a little bad humor:

"Us Darkies out der at UMKC. UMSL and MS&T just want to be certain "Ole Massa" in Columbia don't forget to send funding in our direction."We surely do love "Ole Massa," but sometimes we think he forgets. :)

(Report Comment)

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