SEMO tuition to remain unchanged next year

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tuition rates will remain the same next year for Southeast Missouri State University students.

As part of a proposal from Gov. Jay Nixon, state funding for higher education will continue at the same levels as last year, provided institutions do not raise fees.

At their meeting Friday, the board of regents voted to comply. Tuition, which increased by 4.1 percent last year, will remain $208.50 per credit hour.

The general fee was scheduled to increase by $3 for the upcoming school year. In the final year of five-year plan to fund the student programming, the aquatic center and athletics, fees were set to increase by $2. Another $1 increase was part of a six-year plan for maintenance and repairs.

With the help of stimulus funds, state funding levels will remain the same. Southeast is expected to receive $4.8 million in stimulus money.

Because of increased operating costs, the university still faces a $1.1 million budget deficit, despite state funding levels.

"We thought we would actually have a significant cut," said Southeast president Dr. Ken Dobbins.

He said each division within the university will cut 2 percent from instructional expenditures and 3 percent from noninstructional costs. Dobbins said the cuts will add $1.8 million to the budget.

Revised parking plans

The regents also revised plans for a parking lot construction project along Broadway.

The two-phase plan will add parking to two main areas on south campus. Five buildings near Broadway and Pacific Street will be demolished, including the former Howard's.

Initially, a gravel parking lot was to be added near Pacific Street until funding was available to pave and landscape the area. Several regents expressed concerns about the original plan.

"It sort of runs counter to the original intent, aesthetics," said regent James Limbaugh.

Across from the university's primary entrance on Henderson Avenue, a paved parking lot will be added for residents of the new dormitory. Regents voted to allocate more money to the project to avoid laying gravel on the other lots.

"I don't think a Band-Aid approach is what we want the campus to look like," said regent Albert Spradling III.

Originally $1.4 million, the project will use an additional $700,000 allocated for future residence hall repairs to fund paving on the west side of Pacific Street. The east side will be converted into a green space until the project can be completed.

The project will be funded primarily through the 2008 bond issue to finance $10 million in capital improvements. Kathy Mangels, vice president of business and administration, said $2 million was allocated for the parking project, which included purchasing the buildings. The University Foundation bought five of the buildings in the last 15 months for $990,000, she said.

Other action

In other action, banking services were awarded to Commerce Bank for the next four years. Previously, Southeast contracted services with U.S. Bank.

Marine biology was added as an option for undergraduate biology students.

Michael Dambach was reappointed to a three-year term on the Missouri Research Corporation Board of Directors.

abusch@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

One University Plaza, Cape Girardeau, MO

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