Statement from the University of Missouri Board of Curators to Governor Jay Nixon regarding capital projects funding
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"We, the board of curators at the University of Missouri, appreciate your public support of higher education and the university during your first term as governor. We realize the current national and state economic turmoil has resulted in a very challenging period of time for all of us with difficult decisions being required—and more still likely to come.
As the governing board of the university, we find reports that higher education and the University of Missouri are once again being considered as a place to make budget cuts on previously committed capital projects very troubling. We are not yet back to 2001 funding levels on a dollar basis, and yet are continuing to balance student enrollment demands that have increased by 18.2 percent during this time. Unfortunately, this has resulted in tuition increases for students to regionally high levels.
The university’s capital needs also have continued to grow. Capital projects in House Bill 22 were previously approved and planning resources were committed—but now for the second time in six months those projects are said to be at risk. During this time, however, the university has repeatedly taken on a variety of difficult measures to keep its required mission to the state strong and even more relevant in these times: we have forced contributions to pension plans; frozen salaries; eliminated programs, centers and institutes; held at various times more than 500 positions open; restructured the overall System administrative area; and hosted a summit relevant to economic development for the state with more to come.
Because of the uncertainty of the passage of a bond initiative, the board does not see such an approach as a viable alternative to funding the university capital projects through House Bill 22. Therefore, we urge you to spare from veto all University of Missouri System House Bill 22 projects, including Benton/Stadler Halls at the University of Missouri‐St. Louis, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center in Columbia, Mid‐Missouri Mental Health Center and eight agricultural research stations across the state. These projects are truly shovel‐ready and will immediately create jobs for Missouri citizens. We ask that you continue to make higher education a top priority.”
Upon the motion of Curator Erdman and a second by Curator Walker, the preceding resolution was approved by the Board of Curators by unanimous vote in a special meeting conducted on June 19, 2009.
I, Kathleen M. Miller, Secretary of the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri, hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and complete copy of an action taken by the Board of Curators at a meeting held on June 19, 2009, the same as will be submitted to the Board of Curators for approval and will subsequently appear in the permanent records of the University of Missouri.
Witness my hand as Secretary of the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri this nineteenth day of June 2009.
Kathleen M. Miller
Secretary of the Board of Curators
University of Missouri