Legislative Priorities

Priority 1: Maintain support for Missouri State University with an inflationary increase in operating appropriations

Last year the General Assembly increased Missouri State’s operating appropriation by $10 million. This mitigated the gap in state funding per student between Missouri State and the other universities. Legislators worked hard for this appropriation increase, and Missouri State’s students will forever be changed because of this investment. Thank you for your support!

FY2019 appropriations per full-time equivalency student
Appropriation amount University
>$9,000 Lincoln University

Truman State University

University of Missouri—Columbia


Harris-Stowe State University

University of Central Missouri


Missouri Southern State University

Missouri Western State University

Northwest Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University

<$4,500 Missouri State University
FY2020 appropriations per full-time equivalency student
Appropriation amount University

Lincoln University

Truman State University

$7,500-$9,000 University of Missouri—Columbia

Harris-Stowe State University

University of Central Missouri


Missouri Southern State University

Missouri State University

Missouri Western State University

Northwest Missouri State University

Southeast Missouri State University

<$4,500 None

This funding allowed Missouri State to:

  • Develop new, and expand existing, high-demand workforce-training programs.

  • Systemically address the university’s deferred maintenance backlog.

  • Hire additional workforce and construct new infrastructure to accommodate enrollment growth in high-demand programs.

  • Develop a strategic compensation package designed to retain critical university employees and provide an inflationary across-the-board pay increase for Missouri State’s workforce.

Expand regional economic development assets such as the Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center (JVIC), the efactory and the Greater Ozarks Center for Advanced Technology (GOCAT) in West Plains.

Looking ahead

Missouri State University campusFor fiscal year 2021, Missouri State University requests that the buying power of its ongoing appropriations be maintained. This requires only an inflationary increase in state funding to pay for customary increases in ordinary business expenses, such as:

  • MOSERS employer contributions.

  • Health care and medical plan costs.

  • Insurance premiums.

  • Costs for labor, technology, utilities and facilities.

An inflationary increase in operating appropriations is the top legislative priority for all of Missouri’s public universities for fiscal year 2021.

Priority 2: Appropriate $4.85 million in matching capital funds to renovate Missouri State’s Professional Building

This renovation was ranked the number-one capital priority by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education

Missouri State University founded the McQueary College of Health and Human Services, or MCHHS, in 1995 with 2,923 students majoring in eight academic programs.

MCHHS has grown to now include more than 15 undergraduate and more than 20 graduate programs, including four doctoral programs.

The number of students majoring in MCHHS programs has grown to 4,389. MSU anticipates continued long-term growth for this college as we expand our health care programs to meet regional and state workforce demand.

Why the Professional building needs updates

When MCHHS was founded, all of its academic programs were located in the Professional Building. It is located on the northwest corner of campus. The building was constructed in 1947 and purchased by MSU in 1985.

Child Development CenterMSU has added facilities near the Professional Building to accommodate MCHHS’ dramatic growth. The O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center now houses programs in physician assistant studies, occupational therapy and nurse anesthesia. The university also added the McQueary Family Health Sciences Hall, which houses programs in physical therapy and public health.

The Professional Building continues to house programs in biomedical sciences, communication sciences and disorders, nursing and sports medicine. It has an open access computer lab, classrooms and many academic support services (e.g., academic advising, etc.). The building also includes MSU’s Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic, which provides early intervention for children as well as evaluation and treatment for individuals of all ages who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Little work has been done to improve life safety and mechanical systems in the building, and many of the interior and exterior finishes remain unchanged since the 1980s and 1990s. The deferred maintenance backlog for the Professional Building totals more than $15 million. The building is inefficient and does not meet current Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

Proposal for renovation

Missouri State University proposes to complete ​5 million with private and university contributions. The university requests a state appropriation to fund the remaining $4,849,999.

Professional building renovation renderRenovations will involve updating, maintaining and replacing certain life safety, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems in the building. The project will include replacing the building emergency generator, replacing roofs, repairing the exterior envelope, replacing water heating boilers, replacing the fire alarm system and improving ADA accessibility.

Renovations will also update technology in the building and create collaborative learning environments for students. The Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic will be reconfigured and updated. Renovations will involve converting space to create a student success center that will house MCHHS advising and academic support services.

MSU is prepared to begin the project immediately upon receiving the requested state appropriation.

Priority 3: Fund a $1.8 million MoExcels grant to establish the Missouri Cybersecurity Center of Excellence

Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation CenterThe Roy Blunt Jordan Valley Innovation Center, known as JVIC, is a secure research facility. It leases space to private businesses and provides them with academic and research services from Missouri State University to develop technology products and pilot manufacturing efforts.

JVIC is located in Missouri State’s IDEA Commons in downtown Springfield. IDEA Commons has been enormously successful. It has supported experiential learning opportunities for more than 1,400 students, generated more than 1,600 jobs, served more than 900 business clients, facilitated more than ​19 million in research and grant support.

MSU is expanding the successful Jordan Valley Innovation Center

JVIC is a former MFA mill that the university transformed into a state-of-the-art research facility. It has reached capacity. To expand the facility, MSU plans to take a dilapidated building attached to the existing JVIC facility and turn it into space that may be occupied by JVIC tenants.

Proposed Missouri Cybersecurity Center of Excellence will provide real workforce training

As part of the JVIC expansion, Missouri State University seeks start-up funding to establish the Missouri Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, or MCCoE, and incorporate it into JVIC. This was the fifth-ranked MoExcels proposal by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, and the Coordinating Board for Higher Education recommends that it be funded.

JVIC renovation renderMissouri State has partnered with area employers and higher education institutions to establish MCCoE as an education and training center to build a pipeline for development and placement of students into the cybersecurity workforce.

With start-up funding, MCCoE will focus on hands-on training that meets the experience and industry certifications desired by employers. MCCoE will operate a cybersecurity operations center to provide training programs focused on developing cybersecurity professionals. This experiential learning center will provide real-world cybersecurity assistance to small and medium businesses to manage cybersecurity risks because they cannot afford a stand-alone information security officer or contracted cybersecurity services. Students will train through real-world security activities and be exposed to state-of-the-art research in current cybersecurity threats and prevention techniques.

MCCoE will provide workforce training through industry-recognized cybersecurity credential programs, with a goal of eventually having these credentials form a part of traditional degree program at partner universities. By 2024, MCCoE targets providing 160 industry-recognized cybersecurity credentials annually.

The total cost for the JVIC facility project is ​295,600 of equipment to begin operations. Missouri State proposes to provide ​1.5 million in facility costs, as well as $295,600 in equipment costs needed to establish the MCCoE.

Priority 4: Appropriate $6.5 Million in Matching Capital Funds to Expand the Darr College of Agriculture

Missouri State University’s William H. Darr College of Agriculture is one of the largest non-land grant agriculture schools in the nation.

More than 650 students are enrolled in the college in 13 undergraduate and four graduate programs. Missouri State provides hands-on experiences for these students through our seven working-farm facilities.

Missouri’s $88 billion agriculture industry employs nearly 400,000 people across the state. The industry faces dual challenges of an aging workforce and robust job growth.

Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC) data reflects more than 1,700 annual openings for jobs in Missouri directly related to agriculture. This does not count the numerous jobs that require agricultural training and are not directly classified by MERIC as part of the agriculture industry.

By expanding the Darr College of Agriculture, MSU will work to mitigate this labor gap and educate the next generation of Missouri’s agricultural workforce.

Precision agriculture expansion

MSU operates the state of Missouri’s 120-year old Fruit Experiment Station. MSU is an international leader in cutting-edge grape genomics research thanks to the work at the station.

A combine is offloading grain to a truck.MSU has expanded its plant science curriculum and operations with forage and timber production throughout southwest Missouri, and with the recent addition of a fully operational row-crop farm.

MSU will enhance its existing plant science curriculum by developing coursework and experiential learning opportunities in precision agriculture and site-specific crop management.

MSU plans to construct a 13,500 square foot agricultural mechanics lab to provide students with hands-on access to modern farm equipment and precision agriculture technology.

Animal science expansion

MSU’s animal science curriculum is largely built on its substantial cattle operations. The great majority of the university’s 4,151 acres of farmland are committed to cow-calf operations (including the largest purebred Hereford herd owned by any university in the United States).

MSU plans to construct a 12,000 square foot livestock show barn to facilitate students’ education and exposure to the university’s cattle operations. The show barn will also assist the university in showcasing its cattle to attract prospective students into the agricultural workforce.

MSU further plans to round out its animal science footprint with additional small animal science academic programs and curriculum and a 12,500 square foot small-animal education facility.

K-12 curriculum

MSU partners with K-12 school districts each year to host 1,800 high school students on campus for a Salute to Agriculture event. MSU also hosts 2,200 high school students on campus for FFA contests.

MSU has partnered with Springfield Public Schools (SPS) to provide more agricultural learning opportunities for K-12 students. Through this partnership, MSU will collaborate with SPS to develop agriculture curriculum to be provided throughout the SPS system.

MSU will also construct a 16,500 square foot K-12 magnet school on its agriculture campus that SPS will staff and operate.

Request for appropriation

The total cost to expand the William H. Darr College of Agriculture is $13 million. The Darr Family Foundation has generously donated $6.5 million for the project.

Missouri State University requests that the state appropriate $6.5 million to fund the remaining balance for the project.