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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Board Approves Mid-Year Fee Increase, Increases in Room and Board for Fall '17

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (March 23, 2017) – In an effort to help the University of Central Missouri meet inflationary costs and  address budget challenges that stem from state withholdings of appropriations, the Board of Governors approved a 0.7 percent mid-year increase in undergraduate students’ academic fees that takes effect this fall. An increase in room and board rates, effective for the fall 2017 semester, also was approved when the board met on campus Friday, March 17.

 The mid-year tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students was approved after taking into consideration Missouri Gov. Eric Greiten’s announcement in January of a current fiscal year withholding of $4.15 million in state funds for UCM, along with uncertain state revenue projections, and a state reduction in FY 2018 appropriations in excess of $5.4 million.

The board previously set its FY 2017 student instructional and general fees in February 2016, agreeing to hold in-state undergraduate tuition at the FY 2016 level in exchange for the state’s commitment to a 4 percent increase in performance- based funding. According to Susan Brockhaus, executive director of UCM Administrative Services, Finance and Administration, although the university did not increase tuition for FY 2017, the university was authorized by state statute to increase FY 2017 in-state, undergraduate tuition up to 0.7 percent without need for a state waiver. The Higher Education Student Funding Act (HESFA) limits the amount by which an institution may increase its resident undergraduate tuition and student-required fees based on the increase in the rate of inflation, and on the institution’s existing tuition in relation to average tuition as defined by HEFSA. Institutions that increase above those limits must either return a portion of their state appropriations or seek a state waiver of the financial penalty. The rate of inflation used to calculate FY2017 tuition was 0.7 percent.

Approval of the mid-year academic fee increase will not change what students pay for tuition during the spring or summer 2017 semesters, and the university will not retroactively charge the increase to students who are already enrolled. Approving the 0.7 percent increase is a strategic move that allows the university to better position itself to generate additional revenue from tuition during the 2017-2018 academic year amidst significant reductions in state financial support. With this mid-year increase, students this fall can expect to pay $1.63 more per credit hour, or $48.90 per year, based on a full course load, 15 credit hours per semester. The university also has the option to increase  FY 2018 fees to the rate of inflation without a state waiver. This rate is currently 2.1 percent.

Following a presentation by Shari Bax, vice provost  for student experience and engagement, and Patrick Bradley, associate vice provost for student experience and engagement, the board authorized an increase in FY 2018 room and board rates, effective for the fall 2017 semester. The total meal plan increase is 3.8 percent. This includes a 1.5 percent increase to fund capital improvements as per the agreement between UCM and Sodexo, its dining services provider, and to cover an additional increase of 2.3 percent in the “Food Away from Home CPI Index.”  University residence halls and apartment rates, which are furnished and include all utilities paid, were increased by
2 percent.

In order to continue to meet the requirements of a self-supporting flight school, which includes ongoing maintenance of aircraft and flight operations, the board approved an increase in fixed wing flight fees for the university’s nationally known aviation program at Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport. Effective this fall, this will result in a 5 percent increase per certificate across the Pro-Pilot-Single Engine-Track (ANSEL) program and the Pro-Pilot Multi-Engine-Track (AMEL) program. Board action followed a presentation by Tony Monetti, executive director of aviation and the airport, and Roger Best, dean of the Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies. They indicated that the university will continue to be highly competitive in cost with similar programs across the country, while also taking advantage of relationships with aviation business partners that are leading to job opportunities with UCM aviation graduates.

Following a presentation by Someswar Kesh, chair of the Department of Computer Information Systems and Analytics, the board approved a recommendation to offer a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree with a major in Big Data and Business Analytics. Kesh noted that the program will focus on knowledge and training to help organizations utilize and analyze data for strategic decision making in business to help fill a national need for professionals with these skills. Students will learn various software tools and how to use them to interpret data and identify important business trends. They will learn applications of data analysis, business forecasting, modeling, operations management, market analysis and project management techniques. The program become effectives in fall 2017, pending approval by the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

In other business, the board approved the removal and replacement of the existing fire alarm system in Foster Knox Apartments with a new network-based system that offers improved monitoring and reporting of fires, and voice notification of other critical events. The contract will be awarded to RF Fisher Electrical Company,  LLC, Kansas City, Kan., in the amount of $303,807.

The board awarded a contract for financial audit services to Rubin Brown, LLP. The contract is for one year, but includes the option for four one-year renewals. The first-year cost is $78,800, and the cumulative cost through Fiscal year 2021will be $437,645.

A one-year contract with four one-year renewals for banking depository services was awarded to Equity Bank. UCM’s current baking depository services contract expires in June 2017.

A bulk fuel contract with MFA Oil, Columbia, was approved. The cost of this contract is expected to be approximately $120,000 annually for unleaded and diesel No. 2 fuel used in university vehicles.

Board members also approved a request to dissolve the current Professional Staff Council (PSC) and the Support Staff Council (SSC) to create a single advisory group, the “Staff Council,” that consists of exempt and non-exempt university employees who are not represented by the Faculty Senate or the Bargaining Unit. Board action followed a presentation by Barb Hicks, SSC president, and Carmen, Binder, PSC president. It was noted that the 2016 reclassification of employees from exempt to nonexempt status has magnified the advantages of having one staff governance group. This also offers benefits by combining fiscal and human resources to better serve staff. Both the PSC and SSC voted in favor of this measure after seeking input from their constituents.