Budget cuts made in haste

Budget cuts made in haste

Barry Linduff II

Budget cuts made in haste

At its December meeting, the Board of Governors decided to decrease tuition for the 2005-2006 academic year. This decision by itself was a mistake, but combined with Gov. Matt Blunt’s recent budget proposal, that mistake may multiply.

Last week, Blunt announced his recommendations for the state budget for Fiscal Year 2006. The recommendations included funding cuts for three Missouri institutions of higher education. Percentage-wise, Missouri Southern will be the victim of the largest cut.

Blunt’s budget cuts Southern’s budget 1.2 percent, or by about $250,000.

With every department on campus operating on a tight budget, the combination of a $2 per credit hour decrease and a possible decrease in state funding could potentially bury the University.

Now, one of two things must occur, though both would be ideal. Either our local legislators need to successfully push for more money for Southern, or the Board must go back on its earlier decision and raise tuition fees.

These answers seem obvious, but the problem occurs because out legislators will face plenty of opposition in Congress. Another problem may arise if Southern’s governors cannot humble themselves enough to withdraw their December decision.

What will happen? Only time can truly tell. The Board will likely hold off on a decision until the state’s Congress makes a more definitive budget. But, with any luck, these budgetary concerns will be addressed by the Board at its meeting Friday.