Budget UpdateJanuary 17, 2017
Dear Truman Community:
Welcome back! I am so happy to have the campus full of our students, faculty and staff again, and I look forward to all of the terrific things we will accomplish together this semester.
While it is a wonderful time for us to be back together, unfortunately, it is not a wonderful time for the budget. The state budget situation is very difficult and the Governor of Missouri has a constitutional duty to balance the budget. Yesterday, Governor Eric Greitens announced $146 million in withholdings, with higher education shouldering a large share of that amount. Every 4-year public higher education institution will have 8% withheld from core funding for the remainder of the fiscal year (for Truman, this means a $3,114,832 reduction in our current budget). I met this morning with the President’s Administrative Council to begin developing processes not only to address the current withholdings, but also to address anticipated budget challenges in the next fiscal year and beyond.
In addition to withholding 8% of our core funding, the Governor also restricted more of the Greenwood Center funding, leaving us with only $595,831 of the original $5.5 million appropriated for the project. This amount can fund the planning and design phase of the project. Given the bipartisan support the Center has generated from the community and so many state leaders, I have already been in touch with our governmental relations liaisons as well as our local legislators to begin developing a course of action to try to get the funding restored. We cannot give up on making the clinic happen as it means so much to our region and to our community.
While Governor Greitens announced the withholdings yesterday and will hold his State of the State address tonight, he has said he will not be making any announcements about his proposed budget for next year until February. As such, the All-University Meeting that normally takes place early each spring semester will be postponed until after he has released budget information for next year.
We are in challenging times, but by working together and taking control of our own destiny, we can emerge as an even stronger educational force. Now is the time to be bold and innovative within our mission. While we must look for immediate and future savings, it is imperative that we have an even greater focus on revenue generation. We are an enormously bright and talented community, and I have no doubts that we can do what it takes to ensure that Truman thrives well into the future.
We are Truman!