In a year of budget cuts, University President Bruce Speck is encouraging entrepreneurialism to help pick up the pennies.

Since the budget announcement this June, University officials have been shaving an additional $500,000 off the budget at the request of the Board of Governors.

Departmental operating budgets have been subjected to a 10 percent cut. Soon fundraising and donations may play a part in funding University activities.

Speck hopes University staff and students will work together to build up the University.

“I would like us to be a team,” he said. “I’m not the one who makes all the decisions around here.”

As part of the budget redistribution the Institute of International Studies took a 36 percent cut.

“When you start looking at cutting budgets and making significant cuts you have to say ‘where is the money?'” Speck said. “What’s good of a hand, if the heart is no longer beating? If we don’t have a healthy institution, it won’t matter what kind of program we have, we won’t be able to support an international program or any other program, so we had to think about the global perspective.”

The cuts will mean less travel abroad for students. The 20-year-old partnership Southern had with Oxford University will end and funding will be cut for other summer trips.

Some students are required to travel internationally before graduation: foreign language majors, international studies majors and honor students all have international components to their degrees.

“Travel was part of the reason I came to MSSU,” said Joshua Shawnee, senior international studies major.

Dr. Chad Stebbins, director of the Institute of International Studies will meet with Speck, John Messick, vice president for academic affairs, and affected students to discuss the cuts.

Speck says he has no plan to move away from the International Mission.

“I think we need to think a little more about how we support the program,” he said.

One international trip which does have funding will be the men’s basketball trip to Puerto Rico. The team raised money for the trip to the exhibition tournament.

“This is four years worth of fundraising,” said men’s head basketball coach Robert Corn, “Puerto Rico is a place that has been very good to us in the past.”

Still subject to future changes in scholarship packaging, the Athletic Department received a budget bump of more than $200,000 to cover travel expenses.

Facilities now under construction and depreciation of buildings and other assets are part of the budget considerations.

Depreciation, by law, must be accounted for in the University budget. However it is not an actual cash cost and refers to the loss of value in property because of basic use.

“Depreciation is not our real problem, our real problem is cash flow,” Speck said.

After completion Southern will have to budget for the operating of both the Health Sciences Building and the Beimdiek Student Recreation Center. Both buildings are being funded by outside sources such as private gifts and Senate Bill 389, or the previously designated fees for the Beimdiek Center.

However, state funding for the Health Sciences Building also tied the rate of tuition increase to the CPI, (consumer price index) preventing tuition hikes to make up for deficit budget.

“I think there is some chaffing about that,” Speck said, “But I think most people are happy for the discipline. The common perception is that universities have not been good stewards and that tuition rates have spiraled out of control. Now I don’t thing that all that’s true, but that is the public perception.”

Scholarships are also undergoing restructuring with 20 new policies being finalized in the past week. Among the new policies, students receiving academic scholarships will be required to enroll in 15 hours instead of the previous 12.

“We have over 750 students we lose that do not make significant academic progress,” said Jim Gilbert, director of student financial assistance, “You can’t set up students to fail.”

The new policy will create students navigate the 30 credit hours jumps from freshman to sophomore in one year instead of leaving them six credits short. The stacking of academic scholarships will no longer be allowed, however the combining of academic scholarships along with financial aid and performance awards will be permitted.