Southeast Missouri State University official expresses optimism about level of state budget cuts

Friday, February 4, 2011

You may never meet someone more excited about a budget cut.

Kathy Mangels, Southeast Missouri State University's vice president for finance and administration, knows it could be a lot worse.

"I'm thrilled with a 7 percent budget cut," she told the crowd gathered Friday morning for the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce's First Friday Coffee at the Show Me Center.

Mangels was the featured speaker at the monthly coffee klatch, filling in for her boss, Southeast president Ken Dobbins, who was called out of town unexpectedly.

Missouri's universities and colleges are breathing a reserved sigh of relief after Gov. Jay Nixon pledged to cut the state's share of higher education funding by 7 percent. Late last year, it looked like Missouri's dire budget situation would mean higher ed funding reductions of as much as 15 to 20 percent.

Mangels, in her Southeast Missouri State update, said losing 15 percent of state funding would be financially equivalent to cutting operations at the university's College of Education and Kent Library.

A reduction of 7 percent would afford Southeast a bit more breathing room than anticipated, although there's a lot of politics and negotiating to play out before the legislature and the governor come to terms on the state fiscal 2012 budget.

Southeast student are expected to see a tuition increase next year.

Angela Meyer, Southeast's director of facilities management, provided chamber members with an update on the university's campuswide renovation and maintenance plan. Late last year, Southeast's Board of Regents approved a

bond issue topping $59 million to pay for renovations to the century-old Academic Hall, expansions to Magill Hall, the campus' aging science lab, power plant upgrades and deferred maintenance campuswide.

mkittle@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

1333 N. Sprigg St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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