Gov. Jay Nixon has proposed $270,000 to be given to Missouri Western. This is a 1.2 percent increase over last year’s funding.
In his Jan. 21 State of the State Address, Nixon proposed an additional $25 million for colleges and universities. He explained that the money is to be distributed based on how well individual institutions have done.
Last year, Western succeeded in all five of its performance funding categories.
These categories include graduation rates, quality of learning, financial responsibility, applied learning and retention rates. Each of these awards a varying dollar amount if Western improves on the category. Vice President for Financial Planning and Administration Dr. Cale Fessler explained that meeting these goals helped us to reach these potential funds.
“By meeting all five performance standards, we would receive 100 percent of any appropriated increase for us,” Fessler said. “So we would be able to receive this full $270,000.”
In addition to this funding, Nixon announced that additional monies could be given based on universities’ needs for maintenance.
“Last year, the legislature took the first step by passing additional bonding capacity,” Nixon said. “That means this year, we can move forward with a strategic bond issuance to fund improvements to our colleges campuses, state buildings, state parks and veterans’ homes.”
According to Fessler, these bonds could help Western to receive about $4.8 million for repairs and renovations.
“For Missouri Western, should there not be any financial changes to it, [this] would represent almost $5 million worth of capital improvement money,” Fessler said. This money would be used for renovation and repair, and not for new construction.
Although Nixon has proposed these amounts, it is possible that the legislature could disagree with how much money should be given to higher education. Typically, these funds will be voted on around April.
For the time being, Western’s administration has referred to the situation as a “wait-and-see.”
“Of course there’s a long way to go, and we’ll continue to work closely with our legislative delegation throughout the budget process,” Western President Robert Vartabedian said. “But we’re pleased Gov. Nixon understands the value of higher education and has proposed a modest increase for our operating budget.”