Board of Regents gets clean audit during meeting

Allison Rosewicz

The Board of Regents received a positive audit report at its meeting Jan. 17.

Chris Churchwell from Mense, Churchwell and Mense PC Accounting Firm presented the report for the year ended June 30, 2002. Although Missouri Southern is operating at a loss, Churchwell said all state colleges are experiencing the same problem. He said he has a “clean opinion” of the College’s audit.

The College’s total net assets, the difference between assets and liabilities, were $54,739,929 in 2002. This was a decrease of $744, 600.

Churchwell said most of these losses took place the last two months of the year when the state implemented budget cuts and withholdings.

College President Julio León discussed the fate of this year’s budget. He said Gov. Bob Holden, during his State of the State address, presented a state budget that will be nearly $400 million in the hole.

Although Holden is expecting to hold $67 million from various state agencies, he has decided to spare higher education.

“He’s determined to make sure we will not suffer withholdings like last year,” León said.

León also addressed the rumor that Southern could possibly be shut down. He said these comments are isolated, and in the 20 years he has been president at Southern, León has never seen any state institution in the country closed.

“To even think of closing one institution is preposterous,” he said. “This college is here to stay.”

León also reported that bills to change the College’s name and to offer graduate programs, either alone or in conjunction with another institution, have been filed.

“It appears as if the name change and graduate program have a good chance of passing in the legislature,” León said.

Dr. Paul Teverow, faculty liaison, said the Missouri Association of Faculty Senates will meet Feb. 3-4.

Zack Odem, student representative, reported that the street name signs for the campus have been completed.

“Hopefully we can get those put up in conjunction with the pedestrian safety project,” he said.

Odem also announced this would be his last meeting as the student representative, and introduced Stacy Allen, Student Senate secretary, as the new representative.

Dr. Larry Martin, vice president for academic affairs, informed the Board of faculty news. Four instructors — Dr. John Knapp, professor geophysics; Dr. Linda Hand, professor of mathematics; Val Christensen, associate professor of art; and Dr. Pedro Talavera, associate professor of communications — have all proposed taking sabbaticals for the 2003-2004 year. Robert Miller, professor of business, and Dr. Steven Roark, associate professor of business, are retiring, while Allen Burch, associate professor of communications, is resigning.

The next Board meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday, Feb. 21.