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Through its ongoing, comprehensive strategic planning process, Southeast Missouri State University conducted a Strategic Planning Forum in February 2008 where it identified five key priorities for the institution. In an earlier version of its strategic plan, adopted in 1996, the University committed to several initiatives such as a new School of Polytechnic Studies and the development of three new area higher education centers. These initiatives were for a time (FY1998-FY2001) supported by Mission Enhancement funds that were to have become part of the base budget, but which essentially have been eliminated from appropriations due to state revenue shortfalls in prior years.
In its strategic plan, the University is committed to improving participation in and access to higher education throughout its service region; enhancing opportunities for student experiential learning; and providing excellence in all aspects of its operations – including academic programs, human capital, physical facilities, and service to students. These Southeast priorities and the University’s continuing economical development initiatives guide the budget requests contained in this document, and are fully supportive of the Department of Higher Education’s priorities of (1) increasing participation in higher education, (2) improving preparation of high school students for that participation; and (3) improving the performance excellence of institutions.
The economy of this region of Missouri served only by Southeast Missouri State University is essentially rural and historically has been dependent on agriculture, mining, timber products, and small manufacturing plants. As a group, these industries based on natural resources and the region’s relatively under-educated labor force have been a declining sector of employment opportunity. These factors create a need for increased higher educational opportunities in Southeast Missouri in order to give the people of this region a place in the future economy.
Southeast Missouri State University is the only baccalaureate and graduate degree granting institution physically located in the 24 out-state counties of its service region. Thus, maintenance of its core programs as outlined in this budget request, and enhancement of those programs where possible, is essential for the economic development of this large, economically- and educationally-depressed region.
In accordance with Missouri Department of Higher Education recommendations, the University is requesting funds for increases to FY 2014 Core budget to support the core mission items. Included are anticipated increases to employee benefits, increased cost of utilities purchases, costs for the expansion of our operations, and costs of education related to student enrollment increase.
This proposal would improve the University’s ability to meet costs associated with continuing operations.
In order to continue to provide a quality education to the students of our service region at an affordable cost, Southeast Missouri State University is requesting $3,000,000 for need based financial aid. Increased enrollment projections and current economic climate, indicate that the University will continue to see increases in the number of students with substantial financial need. Yet due to state and federal budget shortfalls, need based aid continues to be reduced and restricted. The projected loss in need based funding for Southeast students in Academic Year 2014 is $3.1 million. Therefore, the University is requesting an increase to our core budget appropriation to offset the reductions in state need based aid and the increase in the number of students with financial need.
In addition to the FY 2015 Capital Appropriation request, Southeast Missouri State University has identified a wide range of essential maintenance and repair projects to existing facilities. While no project alone warrants inclusion in the Capital Appropriation request, collectively these projects are vital to adequately maintain and preserve the University’s $538.1 million physical plant investment.
Core budget appropriations for FY 14 included a total of $1,657,670 for ongoing physical plant maintenance and repair efforts. This $6,645,400 request will provide an annual maintenance and repair budget valued at 1.5% of the physical plant replacement value ($553.5 million) and for the University’s critical need for roof replacements. Ideally, annual maintenance and repair expenditures should fall in a range of 1.5%-2% of a University’s physical plant replacement value. Consequently, Southeast will internally reallocate funds to match with this request.
There are several buildings on campus with failing roof membranes. In many instances, the moisture from seepage is damaging building structure. Total roof replacement is necessary in order to preserve the interior finishes and exterior support system. This request addresses this significant need as well as other essential projects to halt the continuing deterioration of buildings, building components, and site conditions.