2009 State of the University Address Transcript

The title of the presentation today is Missouri State University's Long Range Plan, Progress and Prospects. I really want to accomplish three things today in this presentation to the university.

The first is to review for you where we are as we enter the fourth year of a 5-year long range plan. And the first part of this presentation is based on a summary of where we stand with that long range plan. A summary that I gave to the board of governors in the summer.

The second topic today is to present to you the eight goals that were recommended for this year by the administration to the board of governors. Subsequently refined by them and delivered to us as the board's formal expectations for what we will concentrate on in the current academic year.

And then the third part of the presentation today is for us to consider how best to plan for a future that will be challenged particularly with respect to the university’s revenue.

And I want to begin a discussion today that I anticipate will extend over the next couple of years, as we consider how best to respond to those challenges. I think you’ll see that the university's progress on the long range plan has been excellent. And you will, as we make today of these selected goals and achievements, you’ll see that we have already hit or very close to hitting almost every one of the goals that were established in the current 5-year plan. With respect to our prospects, I think they're also very exciting and very strong.

But today, I hope you will leave with also the understanding that it is going to take exceptional levels of smart planning for us to realize those prospects. And as the university seeks to build the social capital that the state of Missouri needs and in fact is short on. We are going to have to make decisions about how best to organize this university and align or personnel with our programs and priorities. And that is not obviously a quick decision.

So, let me real quickly, here are the eight goals for 2009 and 10 and I'm going to return to those near the end of the presentation. Enhance the quality of, and improve access to educational programs. We'll talk about some enrollment management strategies under that first goal.

Develop and implement a strategic marketing plan. The board wants us to emphasize the distinctive nature of receiving an education at Missouri State University. And the marketing plan that is being developed to do that, I think is going to be quite successful in achieving that.

Improve campus facilities. We have a number of aging facilities. We have enrollment growth that needs to be responded to adequately. And then independent of enrollment growth, we have needs in academic facilities. Particularly those in the sciences and the health sciences. Or if you're going to do a good job of educating students at a high level of quality, we are going to have to make additional investments on those facilities.

Make significant progress on the comprehensive campaign. The comprehensive campaign was finally announced officially with a $125 million goal. Indicate where we are in that.

Identify and make selective investments in research and scholarship. We remain the region's main institution for this purpose. And as we think about the nature of the institution as we go forward, this has to be something, with respect to economic development for the Ozarks as well as for the entire state, that remains an important priority for us.

Promote diversity through inclusive excellence across the institution. For us to deliver the kind of education that students of all types need and for us to also recognize the practical realities of the demography of Missouri as well as the United States, this has to remain an important objective for us.

Focus on financing university. That will be the last segment of this presentation. And then the beginning steps of actually developing a new long range plan and planning process. So, I'll come back to these, near the end. What I want to do now is step really quickly through a highlight of some of the achievements in this current plan so that you have an idea of where we stand on it.

This presentation is available on the Web at 1 o'clock today. I’m not going to go through some of the material here at the beginning in a lot of detail. You can refer to that later on and I think it will provide sufficient documentation for the presentation that I make today about the fact that we really have done, this institution has done a great job in achieving the aims of the current long range plan.

We did have an exceptional year and here are some highlights for this past year. Another record, in terms of private fundraising up 7% over the previous high watermark. Third year in a row that we've had $20 million or more and extramural sponsored programs. We are beating the graduation rate at public universities and that data for this year will confirm that. The most recent data confirm that and we are beginning actually to lengthen our lead over bench over national rates, in terms of first year retention.

Seventh consecutive year in Princeton Review as a best in the Midwest institution. Again, named to the President’s higher education community service honor roll. Our administrative assistance did a great job of representing this institution and we receive an international award for the quality of place that Missouri State was for their employment.

In recognition of that success and fundraising, one a few institutions in our category nationally to win a case award and then West Plains campus and I'll emphasize this for them in particular when I make this address next week at their campus, was included in the chronicles, great colleges to work for.

Now, the first goal in this current long range plan was democratizing society had mainly to do with access and affordability. We set targets for enrollment. In terms of degree seeking, undergraduate students and non degree undergraduates and for degree seeking graduate and post baccalaureate, non degree graduate students.

You can see that as of this fall with the actual enrollment figures, we have hit every one of those targets. It's been nice steady progress. And so we begin the fourth year of this plan, we are right on the money with respect to those enrollment targets.

We said we would increase transfer students and we knew that that would be an important goal for us and that will become a more important goal as we go forward with the implications with the A plus program and over these 4 years we have added 300 transfer students. An increase of over 25%.

We said we’d increase our graduate enrollments to this zone of 3,000 to 3,500. And you can see in 2009, we’re right there. Actually getting towards the upper end of that zone with some really good enrollment increases in our graduate programs and also what I believe is an all time record with respect to first time first year enrollments this year with 854.

We have done this without sacrificing our selective admission standard. In fact, the selective admission index is either been increased or recomputed in a way to tighten it, every year or maintained at least from a prior year. And you can see that in terms of those students that we bring in the top 10% of their class to the top 25% of the class, we continue to achieve the enrollment growth without any sacrifice whatsoever in the quality of student as measured by traditional academic indicators. And if you have the ACT scores that period, you'd see we remain at a 24 ACT score when the average ACT score of seniors in Missouri going into colleges in the 21 to 22 area.

We said we would increase accelerated masters programs and we have done that both in terms of the number of programs that are available across these 5 years, as well as the number of students who enroll. I'll come back to that with an idea about how to make further better use of the accelerated masters option. Which again is something that Missouri State has in the region, that’s a pretty unique feature of this institution.

In the long range plan, we said we would increase our online enrollment. And here we have it broken out and you can see a nice steady increase. Maroon is the undergraduate and the gray is the graduate enrollment. You can see both continue to step up at a pretty good rate.

We continue to reach out to high school students who want to take college courses. Recognizing that that increases our efficiency as well as lowers potentially their cost of education for a college degree. And the folks associated with the high school dual credit program have done an exceptional job of extending our outreach. Here you can see number of schools, number of classes, headcount, credit hours steadily increase across this period of time. And this is an exceptionally good group of students for us to recruit from as we continue to build large well prepared freshmen classes.

We said we would address need based financial aid. And this is a listing of the scholarships that have been introduced and when they were introduced. They were introduced for undergraduate students. We develop new ones for graduate students. Some of these are aimed at particular opportunities with respect to the nature of the student.

Almost all of them are need based. Some more developed in response to economic challenges that this region and the state and the country face. Believing that it's important for us to reach out and try to give students the best chance they can to afford additional education with us.

This is quite a list, adds up to million of dollars in additional financial aid provided by Missouri State University. These are not federal dollars. These are not state dollars. This is money that the institution is making available primarily for need based financial aid.

Now, we said we would improve retention rates. And you know that's been a hard needle to budge. It’s very good to see this year a retention rate that’s in a new all time high for us. You can see that of course we don’t have the data for the national retention rate for 4-year institutions public but it has been declining. While we have seen a little bit a reversal of that. You can see of our benchmark institutions, retention has been declining.

There are a number of reasons why retention is declining with respect to a different population of students coming into these universities. But I tip my cap to everyone who contributed here to, particularly students who contributed to a nice increase.

In my experience, it is very rare to see a 3% increase in 1 year in retention rates. We said we'd improve our 6-year graduation rates. We've maintained them. I don't think we can claim that we have improve them. It’s nice in see a little bit of an increase from this year to last but we're hovering in the mid 50s now. Keeps us a little bit ahead where the national median for 4-year institution is.

Our goal for retention is 80% and our goal for graduation is 60%. We still have a ways to go, to hit those. We did bring in a consultant with a number of recommendations about how to improve retention and we have implemented every single one of these. Many of them under the direction of Rochelle Duravi who was appointed to the associate provost position.

The bullets we can provide under the recommendations. We can provide more details about each of those but they're all underway. And you can see a visible indication of some of these efforts if you visit the Bear Claw in Meyer library. This is an academic support unit. It’s handsome. It’s well conceived, well organized. It has a lot of resources in it. Provides tutoring. Provides help for high risk courses. The Writing Center has a presence there, as well as study skill workshop. So, this is an integration of a lot of resources at the institution. In the interest of improving the success of our students.

Our second goal in the long range plan was incubating new ideas. It is focused on the research and to some extent the graduate education mission of the institution. The futures program was developed as part of this particular goal in the long range plan. We budgeted $700,000 a year. It’s recurring funding to be awarded to programs within the 11 areas that were identified in the first futures report. You can see that funding was provided unto, this point we have committed almost $2.2 million of that future funding to high priority programs.

Third year review, we said we would conduct and it has been conducted. I receive a report about a week to 10 days ago. It indicates a belief that the program has been very successful but it has also been uneven with respect to its success and it recommends a further tightening of the priority areas basically from 11 to 6. And that recommendation is one that will need some discussion and response from programs that are potentially affected by it. And I intend to go forward with that opportunity very shortly.

But the futures I think was a wise investment. You need to continue to calibrate the impact that it has and that's the point we are now at the third year. Exactly when we said we would do it.

For the third year, our external grants and contracts have been over the $20 million mark. That’s terrific work by the faculty and staff. This gives you a little bit of breakdown on the major categories of funding from extramural grants and contracts. And also shows that this past 3 years as our high watermarks, in a period obviously where it has become much more competitive to earn, to receive particularly the merit based grants and contracts.

The scorecard now includes a baseline and an annual update of the faculty’s scholarly productivity as measured by refereed publications and other kinds of scholarly products, as well as presentations made at professional meeting. So, we won’t go into the implications of this but you can see that we have established the baseline and will now have an opportunity to see what kind of change occurs as a result of some of the commitment the institution has made through the futures program and other kinds of prioritizations.

We said we would introduce new graduate programs as part of this mission, six. Five have been introduced and the sixth, the doctorate in physical therapy refined from a masters degree to a doctoral degree. So, there is the years in which those were started as well as last fall's enrollment will freeze the enrollments and dig down into those and we’ll have the fall figures shortly. But I anticipate, given everything else that we've seen in enrollment that those enrollments are probably greater in each category than what you see from last fall.

We said we would increase the number of certificate programs at the graduate level. Programs that are less than a full degree program but that provide typically some kind of occupational advantage to the people who earn those certificates and we have double those during this period of time.

We said we would increase student support for our graduate students, financial support for our graduate students in terms of stipends and awards. That we would try to increase the amount of those awards at the same level that we increase faculty salaries. That we would raise the base stipend to $8,000. We have raised the base stipend to 73 40. It will cost us about 130 or 40 thousand dollars to get the base stipend for all graduate assistance to $8,000. It’s something I think we ought to try to do. We have to look at it in the context of the budget which we're going to get to the end of the presentation.

But this is a goal that we have not quite hit. We have done everything else with respect to increasing graduate student support but we haven't gotten to that $8,000 level. For us to be successful in recruiting outstanding graduate students, I think it's important for us to try to get to it.

You can see that the number of GAs have increased a bit across this period of time. That estimate of 525, the latest figure I've seen is that we're right about at 500 for this year. So, there has been an increase but we said we wanted to get to 600 fully funded graduate assistance. That’s going to be hard to do. But I do think getting to the 8,000 might be achievable.

We recognize that we had to increase space that was allocated to meet research needs and here is an example of some of the space that has been reallocated for the College of Arts and Letters, for CNAS and for the College of Health and Human Services. And you can follow up later on what actually has happened at Brick City in terms of this kind of space camper and temple in the professional building.

We knew we needed to improve some of our own internal research support mechanisms, particularly for faculty and you have five examples of things that have been down across this period of time to accomplish that.

The third goal in long range plan was imagining Missouri's future. By which we meant, what is it that is distinctive about being a student here, about coming to Missouri State and receiving our education. We know in part that it’s the public affairs mission but we also knew in this period in time that now is the opportunity for us to better to find what that public affairs mission really meant in terms of the students experience here.

We also knew that we would not be able to do some of the important programs for this region on our own. And so, a specific goal in long range plan was to increase collaborative and cooperative programs. Engineering with Missouri Science and Technology is in its second year. In fact, we are capping enrollments in that program. Giving priority to certain geographical areas because the enrollment has been so substantial.

We did introduce accelerated masters degrees with Drury and Evangel. We have honors articulation with our two new two main community college or 2-year college feeders, MSU at West Plains and OTC. We have several new international partners, universities across the globe who have special programs with us. We sign the pharm-D agreement with UMKC with the intent that the fall 2011 semester would be the initial semester for a cohort of 30 pharm-D students. That would be a UMKC degree, that all of the credit basically, all the activity takes place on our campus. And then there are some additional partnerships for MSU West Plains that extended the reach and impact of that campus.

We knew we need to integrate better, our student development and public affairs efforts. And so under the direction of the provost, you have an umbrella here that spans an awful lot of activities in the area of fostering student success and better integrating public affairs into the fabric of the institution.

Again, at your leisure, you can look at all of the components that are wrapped up into this particular organization at this point. But were the public affairs themes that have emerged and how they are being emphasized.

Community engagement was one and is probably the one that this institution has the longest history with. And you will see, in the chart that I'll show you in a minute, exceptional growth in the degree to which our students are involved in educationally meaningful ways in the community. This is the number and percentage of students involved in community service at Missouri State. And our students deserve a great tribute for the energy and the commitment they show for this activity and our faculty and staff deserve an awful lot of credit for the supervision that they provide for this kind of activity.

Ethical leadership was the second theme in the public affairs mission. There have been both co-curricular and curricular options develop to try to deepen the opportunity to train students in leadership skills. And Belinda has a provost fellow for ethical leadership which I believe is an annual appointment. Libby Roselle has done that us that task this past year and has helped organized a leadership speaker series I was at least at one of those events. It was exceptionally well attended as well as a faculty leadership program.

So, it's not just at the student level, also extends to the faculty level that we've taken this leadership challenge seriously. And then the final is cultural competence. The notion that our students are not sufficiently yet well prepared to deal with the 21st century world, the modern world. And the requirements for cooperation and understanding of people who are very, very different from them if they are to be fully successful. Here are some examples of initiatives under the cultural competence theme.

We wanted to be sure that all graduate experience the public affairs curriculum, trying to move it up to the early years as much as possible. So, again I’ll invite you later to pour over these six bullets as examples of things that are being done now. Most of these are on the ground now with respect to the public affairs curriculum and the expectation that we have for every student here.

The fourth goal in the long range plan is making Missouri’s future. We emphasized six themes at the institution and we said, “We are going to be a university that addresses important subsistive needs that we think the state has, particularly with respect to well educated workforce.” The six themes and what I’ve done in each instance is try to give you an example of three things actually that have happened in these six themes that represent progress.

In business and economic development, federal funding for the Missouri Innovation Academy for the high school students who come here in the summer and learn about some of the core component skills in entrepreneurship. Certainly the planning and development of the idea counts. And the Creative Arts, the development of Brick City for our art and design department ready now to begin phase two of that, an expansion of their presence in Brick City.

In health, some real significant developments. First year funding for caring for Missourians which we’ve already used to expand our nursing program and we will use to expand some other programs in the health professions and the development of the pharm-D program for offering with UMKC.

In professional education, we’ve established a new faculty position for promoting Math and Science education. In the Science and Environment area, the completion and opening of JVIC and already an expansion of JVIC, a $5 million expansion of JVIC through the auspices of the Lewis and Clark funds from, originally the Mohella proceeds.

And then, in the human dimension, three new degree programs that reflect very well on the university's commitment to this particular theme. I did want you to see this. We present it to the board, these are pass rates of Missouri State University, compared to the national averages for those respective licensing exams in the fields of Health and Human Services, Education and Business Administration.

You'll see that almost without exception, our students are successful on these validation exams at a level that exceeds the national averages. There are a few areas where we trail a little bit. But the overwhelming majority of these shows a superiority in terms of the preparation for our students on an exam that basically is the key to that student being able to practice the profession he or she chooses to.

And then finally modeling ethical and effective behavior. We have five areas here that we said we wanted the institution to do well with. Increasing our diversity, improving our facilities, enhancing our compensation, promoting transparency in the way we do our business. And then finding the money to do what we said we wanted to do.

Let me go through each of those five quickly. If you look at diversity as indicated by the nature of our students, faculty and staff. Percentage in a number of international students at Missouri State has more than doubled over this 5-year period. We’ve gone from 495 to 1,275 international students. And you can see the corresponding increase with respect to the percentage that international students represent on the campus.

Study Away, a reciprocal of this is beginning to develop. 203 students participating in Study Away programs is inadequate for an institution of this size. And it is something that actually I’m a bit chagrined about that we only have 200 students who studied away. We need to improve this and then increase it and of course a lot of work has been done and I think we’re going to see it step up quickly.

But one of the main ones is the very last bullet which is the provision of that $500 Study Away voucher for students who entered this year to become eligible for it next year. And a commitment to that voucher program that is a continuing one for entering students.

Global studies has more than tripled with respect to the number of majors in that curriculum. What about our minority and international student enrollment? A good story here and one that the board was pleased about and yet not satisfied with. We have gone from a total of 1,655 minority and international students to 2,795. We’ve gone from 8.6% of our students being American minority or international students, the 13.4% of our students representing American minority or being an international student.

That has been good progress across this period of time. If we look at the number and percentage of minority in international faculty, we have gone from 83 to 95 across this period of time. An increase of 14%. Good but not terrific. And then if we look the number and percentage of minority staff, we have gone from 60 to 77 across this period of time. Pretty good result. That’s a 28% increase.

The test is, are we preparing all of our students in an environment that looks like the world into which they are going to graduate and work and hopefully succeed? If you look at the percentage of minority and international students in the state of Missouri, we still track those figures. This is an area that the campus needs to stay committed to, sustain the progress we have made but accelerate it.

We did say we would make investments in our physical infrastructure. And what I have done is identify the major projects for maintenance and repair that have been accomplished in the past 4 years. You have this up, it's about $5 million of improvements to core facilities or to academic facilities. And there is a bid over a million dollars proposed. Those are, there you see some of the things that are proposed for this year.

This is a combination of energy efficiency, life safety and basic improvements in the durability of the buildings. In addition to that, the Seislif Hall renovation was a terrific accomplishment for the campus about a $10 million project through Lewis and Clark funds. It’s done. I think any of you that have been in there would say it was a remarkable job and Seislif has now gone from a decrepit building to perhaps the most modern academic building on campus. We did have addition to JVIC which was a $5 million Lewis and Clark project.

And then we have about $20 million more in Lewis and Clark projects. At West Plains, you have two projects and here back in Springfield a number of Temple King Street, Sheppard, McDonald Arena that are on hold. Pending the release of that $20 million. It has been approved but it is held right now out of, of course consideration for the state of Missouri’s budget woes. We will continue to advocate for that money being released because each of these are very important academic projects for us to be able to complete.

The university rec center has moved forward and we expect completion of it in fall 2011. The students in the first two rows here, I hope were pleased to see that after a lot of delays and zigs and zags, it looks like we’ve got this one on track. Additional capital investments through a combination of private gifts in university funds will be an expansion of the William Darr Agriculture Center out off of Kansas and an expansion of the science labs at Greenwood. Both of these are at various stages right now of design. We expect a construction to begin next calendar year in both cases.

The IDEA Commons has moved forward well in terms of our acquisition of properties for future development for the spin off of and commercialization of products from the institution as well as the potential future home for department such as technology and construction management. Art and design already down there. Fashion, interior design and other support units in the College of Business Administration.

And of course the recent announcement of a $2.75 million grant from the federal economic development agency was a terrific news for us and it will allow us to take that Willow Brook facility and move forward now with a pretty thorough renovation of it.

Here is an example of classroom upgrades made to your university since 2005. Also part of the commitment to improve our facilities. And then finally we were able to complete the implementation of the banner ERP system this last July. It still gives people headache, I recognize that. In some cases, you still may have headaches from what was required. It was an enormous amount of work for people to do this conversion here as it is every place that goes through in the ERP installation. But we’ve got them first big major step done in the refinement and the maximization of its utility now are the tasks in front of us.

Faculty salaries. We said we would make progress on compensation with respect to faculty salaries. This shows across the 4 years the gap that exist at the full associate and assistant professor level for our faculty. At each level, we have made progress. The gap has shrank. Our full professors are within 9% now of benchmarks, associates within 9% and our assistants, professors are within 3 1/2. So, we’re not there but in every category across this period of time, we have made progress in bringing our salaries closer top the benchmark medians.

We said we would increase transparency. I listed a number of activities here. Some of which I think you're very familiar with. Others perhaps not so much, to try to do this. University has a hotline for anonymous reports on violations of policy, other violations that whistle blowers would want to bring to our attention.

We have the public scorecard that we update every year in our benchmark comparisons. The executive budget committee was established continuous to work hard and they'll work hard this year with respect to the university putting together the university budget. We have tried to make more extensive use of the Web so that when we, through this past year had the difficult financial scenarios to work through. You were able to have one place you could go and get accurate information and that was the university's webpage. With respect to what the actual numbers were and what we were doing and in some case what we weren't doing.

The Friday focus, there’ve been 27 of those that I’ve written to you across these 4 years. Those will continue as a way to communicate with the campus on topics that elevate to a level where some kind of communication like that campus wide appears necessary. The community caravan by the way visits to local communities in the Ozarks to reconnect with them. We've done that each of the last 2 years.

So transparency is not just within the institution. We have gone to the small communities in the Ozarks, towns that over the years provided the majority of students who come to Missouri State to make sure that they stay wedded to us and feel that we are answering important needs that they have.

Last year for the first time, the percentage of students at Missouri State University who came from some place other than the Ozarks, actually went about 50%. So, while the Ozarks remains our number one source of students, if you look at the entire distribution of students at the university, the majority of them come from some place other than southwest Missouri. That was a signal to us that we wanted to be sure that our home fliers were well tended and that we continued to be present, active and engage with those communities.

How did we fund this plan? I want to review for you what we have had across these past 4 years and then we’ll move on to the eight goals for next year. We said we expected the state appropriations would increase by a million and a half to 2 million per year and across this 4 years, they increase by 1.96 million, for a total of 7.8 million.

We said tuition and fees, we thought they’d average about 2 1/2 million more a year. A combination of increases in the rate and enrollment growth. And in fact they have been 4.2 million as the average. And here’s what we reallocated on a recurring basis internally, 3.2 million.

You add those together and you have about $23.6 million as the money to do for the plan what we said we would do. Now, I’m going to jump just a minute forward because you’re not going to have $23.6 million for the next long range plan. You may not have anything more for the next long range plan, in terms of the revenue for the institution. And that’s the issue that’s going to occupy us very seriously over the next 2 years as we plan for how to be the Missouri State you want on the basis of the revenue you’re going to get.

This has been a pretty good 4-year period when you think about $23.6 million from these external and internal sources. Add to that the fact that we have done very well and I anticipate we'll continue to do well with the comprehensive campaign.

We said in the long range plan, we do a campaign that had a goal of at least $100 million. We're doing one that has a $125 million goal, which we announced on August 28. And you're at $94 million right now. So, we're going to make that goal. This shows gifts, pledges, deferred gifts that are revocable and deferred gifts that are irrevocable. And that number was of August 15. It's actually higher than that now. Brent and I have meet today about some pretty nice size gifts that have come in. This number is over $95 million at this point.

The endowment, you can see that the endowment, what happen to our endowment, happen to all endowments, took a hit with respect to the financial crisis. However, that 42 figure as of August 30th is now at 46.2. So, its recovery continues. Very good to see. Not back to its high watermark but considerably higher than what we have there on June 30th. July and August were good months and so the endowment is actually at 46 plus. This shows the breakdown about $15 million in foundation giving that came in last year.

OK. Now, let me go to the eight goals and I'm going to identify the bullets under each of the eight that put a little bit more content and context into each of them. You’ll notice some are in black and some are in red. They were all in black, a month or so ago with the board.

The ones that are in red are there because they indicate a goal that will take money. And therefore, we have got some cautions, as we consider our budget. So, they're not off the table but they're not full steam ahead either. We're going to have to be careful.

Continue to implement the three components to the public affairs mission and make sure that we are delivering on that at the curricular level. Both on the general education courses. I appreciate the good work that Senate is doing at working through that, as well as in our majors.

Explore new academic programs, especially those graduate certificates. Well, we'll see, if that something that we can afford to do. We do want to extend Access Missouri State. You may think of that as the extended campus or distance learning. We've got really good opportunities here, on the revenue side as well as on the access side to grow that part of the institution. And we're looking at some plans to do that.

Strengthen the process for awarding scholarships. We are going to improve the degree to which we align private gifts for scholarships with the actual awarding of those. We have some funding in private scholarships that has not been awarded. We want to make sure it gets awarded and that it helps with the overall financial support for our students. So that's a good one. This is one where we actually have some money that is available for supporting scholarships and we need to be sure that we following through with those.

We have not made good use of our summer academies to recruit students to be undergraduates here. Perhaps to even look at the summer academy as an area in which college credit could be earned at Missouri State. So, we're going to take a look at that.

Should we be looking at introducing and delivering more explicit 3-year degree options at the undergraduate level? We have a number of programs that can be completed in 3 years right now. Wouldn't have to make any changes, we could do it right now. I think we do and I think that may have an appeal to students, both from the point of view of the cost of education as well as their own career plans.

And then we can tie that to the accelerated masters and begin to talk to students about the possibility of coming to Missouri State and earning an undergraduate and a graduate degree in 4 years. This isn't for everybody. And institutions that are ahead of us and that use the 3-year degree recognize it's not for everybody. But it might be for somebody and it might be something that we should explore.

The Study Away enhancements, particularly the voucher program and can we do some Study Away virtually in our classrooms. Again, I have that in red because we're certain going to honor the commitment we have made to the entering freshmen but we want to be sure we can continue to honor that commitment each year as we look at subsequent cost of it.

And then finally, should we consider some new tuition options? Couple of ideas here. There are some graduate programs were probably the market would allow a higher tuition to be charged than we're charging currently. And then we may want to look at tuition that's differentiated a little bit in terms of how much impact does the student actually have here on campus.

Would it be possible to have a program that's delivered almost undergraduate, delivered almost entirely online? A Low impact program with respect to the consumption of services here on campus where we look at a lower tuition. Because you're going to be eventually looking at tuition increases on your on campus programs that have higher impact. So, this maybe something that we want to talk more about.

Develop and implement a new strategic marketing plan. The board was very strong on the need for this. A plan that highlights the major elements of the experience here, the public affairs mission, the strong academic programs, the fact that we're still a good value, both in and outside of Missouri. They wanted us to be sure we were using our numbers to gauge the success of this more diligently than we have in the past. And they believe that intercollegiate athletics is a mechanism for attracting interest from some students and families that we have not taken maximal advantage of.

Third is to improve our campus facilities. Bonding is an opportunity for us with respect to academic buildings. Particularly the extraordinary good rates you can get through the Build America bonds. If we're going to do this, we're going to have to do it next year. Those bonds are unavailable after next year. This is part of the federal stimulus package.

Design and break down for the new rec center. That is on target I think. Receive the approved funding for the Freeup projects. You know where that one stands. There's 20 million out there that we hope we can get flowing.

Statewide capital initiatives. The discussion continues about a major statewide bonding bill for new capital construction. Not only on university campuses but in other areas of the state. But the university campuses, this is a statewide effort, would be a major part of it.

Continue to develop the IDEA Commons. And then Dr Doman and his folks are working on a master plan for student housing.

Significant progress on the comprehensive campaign. We are. We had given thought to an advancement office in St Louis. We'll need to decide whether we can do that.

Selective investments in research and scholarship. Bringing those graduate assistance up to $8,000. I hope we could do that. We have conducted the futures program review. Can we go grow some other graduate programs and can we continue to find ways to improve research space in the budget situation?

Promote diversity. Again, the board is emphasizing this. I applaud them for it and I thank them for it. We need to increase the rate of enrolling minority students. We are looking at the possibility of appointing a chief diversity officer who would have this area as his or her domain and responsibility.

You can see some other elements associated with the inclusive excellence effort of the institution. Connecting it to what is really a national effort, on behalf of inclusive excellence at the country’s colleges and universities.

Focusing on financing the university. I'm going to come back to this. You can see that my hope was to have a salary increase pool for next year. That's in red, for the unfortunate and obvious reason that I've already mentioned.

And then we need to develop a new long range plan and actually it's upon us. That process should begin in January of 2010. It's going to take the university that long to get one ready that would cover the 2012, 13 period on for 5 years.

Now, to our future. And I've asked the question of myself, "Are we going to look at our future later back through a rearview mirror or can we look at it through the windshield now and begin a 2-year process of planning how to create this university in a way that we aspire to, in a way that our constituents need, where we build the civil infrastructure that this region and Missouri needs."

The state of Missouri and the Ozarks are short of adequately educated human capita. And the fact is we're not catching up. In fact, the United States isn't catching up. We are losing. We have gone from second to eleventh in the college completion rate of adults between the age of 25 and 34. And that's the national trend.

Missouri trails the national trend. Nonetheless, I still occasionally hear people who question the advantages or the strategic interest of increasing the education of people in Missouri. But that's going to be a really important task for us in terms of our immediate, our intermediate and our long term goals.

I think we're going to have to become a different institution in important ways than we are now and that's really what this planning is about. Let me quickly go to the current budget situation. We're likely to receive less money from the state next year than this year. I don't think we'll get a budget cut this year. I think we'll get less money next year.

Why is that? Because this year, the state of Missouri, through its first 2 months is down in terms of its revenue 5.6%. Every percent is about $80 million. That 5.6 is about $450 million but the budget was built on a 1% increase. And so, you're looking at a problem, if this revenue picture continues of something around $600 million.

Our budget was held constant this year because the federal stabilization dollars. I've showed you here where our money comes from. This is before the 3% withal. Of that $90 million, $10 million is federal stimulus money. It's gone after next year. It's not there. I don't think there's enough there next year. That's why I think there'll be more likely than not a reduction in our state appropriation next year.

But I'm confident there's going to be a reduction in 2012. And we have known this all along. Anytime you've heard me talk about the budget of Missouri State University for the last year, I have said 2012 is a cliff. Well, it's a $10 million cliff right now. Is it a temporary or permanent problem? We better treat it as permanent. Why?

Here's why I think most experts agree that Missouri's budget problem with respect to anything that it supports but higher education in particular is not a one time problem. The turnaround in this economy will be slow because Missouri has an economy that's build on income tax and sales tax. Your unemployment rate is at 10%. People aren’t buying as much stuff as they once did. Your two main sources of revenue are going to stay down in an economy that's basically founded on those two primary sources.

Public revenue is down as a consequence of the fact that relative to other states, we have an undereducated workforce and it's not turning around. We’re not gaining ground on the United States, we're losing it. Other sources of public revenue is constrain. We cannot offset the appropriation by jacking up our tuition because we have a state law that constrains it to the CPI index. Which at this point, I think in this year so far is about 2 1/2 to 3% inflation.

And then finally, another reminder the number of high school graduates in Missouri will decline by 5% over the next decade. Just really quickly, what does that annual earnings mean with respect to educational level? Here you are for men and women, you can see there still is a very big gender difference. But look at the mitigation that on income that higher education provides or the enhancement is a better way to think about it.

High school completion average for men 34, for women 22. A bachelor’s degree for men 58, for women 39,000. An enormous premium that comes with a college degree and notice that that premium is just as large when you look at the advantages of a bachelors degree over an associate of arts degree.

Let’s do the unemployment. This shows 2007 to 2008, you can see the impact that the recession has had. Those unemployment rates have gone up but the unemployment of college students, an adult with a college degree is a third of what it is for someone who hasn’t completed high school and it’s less than half of what it is for a high school completer.

The institution is prepared to respond. Here’s why I think that’s the case and why we should not be pessimistic but we have to be diligent and we have to be deliberate and we have to begin to think carefully. We’ve got a really good foundation financially. I’ll show you in a minute.

We’ve got time to do this. We can develop a plan that addresses the size and distribution of our workforce as well as the programs that were going to support with that workforce. The long range plan can extend that out for us but we can’t wait to complete the new long range plan for some of the things that we may need to consider. And the reason that we come back to workforce so often is that two-thirds of the operating expenses at this university are in salaries and benefits. Just as it is in almost any institutions.

Real quickly, here are your financial indicators. We are in good financial shape. Our operating fund balance has gone from $14 million in 2005 to almost $48 million now. That’s one time money but that’s a lot of one time money. The insurance fund balance. How we pay for the self insurance? We have a balance of over 5 million. When the maximum the board would require us to have is in 3 millions.

The central reserves operated. These are operating central reserves that are recurring. We have more than, about three times in increase in that, 2 1/2 increase in that, from 1.6 to 3.5. The endowment is coming back. It’s at 46 as I indicated. And we’re doing this without a tremendous increase in the number of credit hours that we’re teaching.

We have to begin to think about, over the next 2 years a number of ways to generate revenue, increase efficiency and cut our expenses. And so, what I’m going to give you is a long list of options. None of which has been implemented. All of which needs to be discussed.

You’ll have your favorites on here. Your angels and you’ll have your demons on here. Depending on what kind of seat you sit in. But this is putting just about everything on the table for the institution to consider as we develop a mission that we can afford and that we can do a really good job with.

If we were to experience a $10 million cut as a result of the stabilization dollars going away, what are some of the things in 2012, this institution should be prepared to do? Mandatory furloughs and high in restrictions. We can begin now to look at renegotiating some of our long term debt.

I’ll tell you we do that all the time but we can intensify looking at them. Do we need to look at an increase in some of the minimum class size requirements? Will we have to get along fewer staff? As a result of retirements and resignations and then the redistribution of existing staff.

Should we close admissions or suspend temporarily admissions to some of our low degree programs? So that those teaching resources can be deployed elsewhere. I think we should evaluate the impact of our academic minors. Do they make us money or do they lose this money? It’s not really clear at this point.

We need to look at workloads for faculty and staff. For faculty, we have a teaching reduction that comes from active scholarship. We want to be sure that people who are having that reduction are actually active scholars. And for staff, we need to look at their workload as well. It’s not equal. Not every administrative assistant has the same burden or load as every other one.

Do we need to look at reducing the amount of financial aid the institution provides? Or another way to say it, the tuition discount. I wonder about reducing the size of university committees by half or reducing the number of committees. Just a minute.

Now, these are just three examples. But do we need 12 people on the academic calendar committee? Do we need 22 people on the NCAA validation committee? Or 19 on the environmental management policy panel? We probably need all those committees but as we’re looking at workload, do we need that many people on them? Are the decisions, the process that much better as a result of having that kind of population and that kind of time spent on committees?

Should we require all academically qualified administrators and staff to have teaching responsibilities on a regular basis? Do we need to look at the co-pay and the deductible on our healthcare plans? It’s been very successful. As you can see it’s in good shape but it’s going to begin to not roll up those surpluses that we have enjoyed in the past.

Can we expand high degree programs and do more with those from the revenue side. I’ve already mentioned this. One of introducing differential tuition for high and low impact student enrollments as well as for some graduate programs. And then distributing those tuition dollars in ways that are logical.

Should we suspend sabbaticals for a time, other internal support programs? The university does spend a considerable amount of money on these. It is another way to attack some part of the workload issue that could come as a result of real serious budget reductions.

Are there none academic operations, additional ones that we can outsource? Are there other areas where we can cut operating expenses. We went in to travel this year. We want in to some other areas this year. We still have a pretty good travel budget and some other areas of operating expense that perhaps we can get through there trimming from. But again when you look at $10 million, 6.75 of that $10 million is in salaries and benefits.

Should we introduce an incentivize retirement for faculty? Can we lease some of our faculties and increase revenue through the leasing of those facilities at times when they are not heavily used? We need to increase our articulation agreement with OTC and other 2-year schools. Transfers are key in terms of our enrollment, maintaining our enrollment.

There is an opportunity I think to increase enrollment of non traditional students but that will require an expanded and perhaps different concept of the way we use our distance learning resources.

Perhaps we need to do that with an our on campus courses as well. Are there new course delivery mechanism that we can consider, that we can consider that will maintain quality but increase efficiency? And I think we can, and I think we can, should we introduce a program that would encourage the faculty and staff to come forward with additional cost saving ideas that we also then would pay some sort of bonus for, with respect to those that actually result in the reaping of some savings.

Now, what I would like to suggest is that this list, no decisions, no even preliminary actions have been taken with these, other than to begin guess what might we be able to save by doing certain things. But the campus needs to find the proper way to engage in a discussion of this so that we can come institutionally to a decision about how we not only prepare ourselves for the difficulties that I think are likely in 2012 with respect to state appropriations but more affirmatively than that, how can we be ready to continue to excel as an institution? Because we have. You have excelled as a university in these 4 years.

Everything basically that we said we would do in the long range plan, we’ve done or real close to getting there. And we can do that with the next long range plan. But we are going to have to be extremely clever about how we align our people, our programs, our money to achieve the goals that we decide are the most important for the institution.

Thanks so much for your attention this afternoon, to this address. I appreciate it.