UM-System State Budget Allocation
Securing adequate funding at the state level to ensure quality education at all four University of Missouri System campuses is of paramount importance. As a result of decreases in state funding, the UM System has been continually forced to cut back in key areas to ensure a quality educational experience is maintained. These cutbacks facilitate themselves in frozen salaries for UM System employees, workforce reductions, requirements that faculty contribute to pension plans, and energy saving initiatives. While the UM System has been successful at finding ways to conserve money, there is only so much that can be done before these cutbacks affect the quality of education the four institutions offer. When the state continues to underfund higher education and in turn, the UM System, the students are forced to make up the difference in higher tuition rates.
Historically, the University of Missouri has been underfunded compared to other state public institutions across the country. Every year, ASUM works to inform the state government about the risks involved with the poor funding of higher education. However, state appropriations per full time equivalent (FTE) student have declined 35% since 2001, even though we have seen an increase in enrollment at our UM system schools. Now, the students pay more of the university budget than the state.
With increasing enrollment across the UM System, it is imperative that students urge legislators to invest in quality higher education. An investment in the UM System will result in economic development throughout the state. Sufficient funding for higher education will produce skilled graduates in growing fields like science and engineering. This investment will also attract highly qualified professors and faculty to maintain and improve the UM System’s commitment to quality education.
For fiscal year 2015, the Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM) and the UM System are requesting $434.6 million to continue core operations. This level of core funding is required for the continued excellence in execution of teaching, research, and operation across the four campuses. Additionally, this request includes funds for the UMKC/MSU Pharmacy Partnership, the Missouri Federal and State Technology Partnership Program, the School of Medicine Partnership, and Performance Based Funding. In addition to the Core Funding request, ASUM and the UM System are also demonstrating need for $59.9 million to be used for Advancing Missouri Competitiveness. This additional FY 2015 request includes funds to increase STEM education, research capacity, and funds to leverage state investment through external funding. These two requests combine for a total 2015 state budget request of $ 494.5 million.
ASUM also supports the issuing of state bonds that will fund capital improvements on the campuses to maintain and improve Missouri’s educational infrastructure. Currently, the UM System has $1.3 billion worth of approved building projects in backlog that would further improve the quality of our campuses. With Missouri’s AAA credit rating, now is an ideal time to issue bonds that can in turn fund much needed capital improvements across the UM system.
• ASUM supports protecting the current $407.5 M in core operations along with an additional $27.1M to support faculty and student growth.
• Full support of the BOOST bond initiative that allows funding for capital improvement projects desperately needed on all four campuses.
• Students support receiving an additional $59.9M in appropriations for increased research capacity and private investment leveraging.