Board of governors make decision, athletic dept may be cut

The Missouri Southern Board of Governors, held its first meeting of 2012 on Jan. 20.

The Board, much like many others on campus, focused its discussion mainly on financial issues after Governor Jay Nixon announced during his State of the State address that funding to higher education could see significant cuts.

The cuts could be as high as 12.5 percent for state universities across the board, prompting the Board to take note.

“My view is forward-looking, and the current budget dilemma is only another challenge in revising the future of higher education,” University President Bruce Speck said during the meeting. “I intend to take that challenge seriously.”

Linda Eis, University treasurer, noted that the University has already seen losses over the last year, pointing out that there has been an $8.1million difference in unrestricted cash.

Of that loss, $6million is tied up in investments, meaning a $2.1million decrease in unrestricted funds.

Part of this difference can be accounted for when looking at the $2.5million in deferred maintenance and construction so far this year.

Rob Yust, vice president for Business Affairs, said that one of such projects is a new chiller plant set to be installed at the Spiva Library.

The chiller is scheduled for delivery in March.

Yust went on to say that the Hearnes Hall renovation project will be put on hold once the first floor is completed.

“We have, due to the budget issues, we have put the second floor renovation on hold,” he said. “We’re not sure when that will reconvene.”

Holding off on this project will save the University approximately $2million.

Athletics Director Jared Bruggeman drew attention to Julie Wengert, assistant athletic director of compliance, and her acceptance into a program called Pathways.

“It’s a 12-month program and does involve a lot of different types of meetings around the country, including mentoring from a president of a different university and an athletic director from a different university, as well as different sessions around the country,” Bruggeman said.

Wengert’s expenses within the program will be covered by the NCAA.

All Board members were present at the meeting except Chuck Surface, who left just prior to the meeting due to an unexpected obligation.