By Jeff Murphy, August 30, 2022
Steve Abney, right, a longtime Warrensburg resident who served as president of the
University of Central Missouri Board of Governors for two years, was honored with
a citation and gift commemorating his service on Aug. 18. UCM President Roger Best,
left, and 2022-2023 Board President Ken Weymuth, Sedalia, are shown with Abney as
as the presentation was made.
WARRENSBURG, MO – When the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors met in August, it approved a contract with Hollis and Miller Architects in the amount of $2.7 million for professional design through construction services for the renovation of the Humphreys Building. Board action was part of a meeting that also included approving a contract with Transact Campus Inc. as the operating system to allow electronic student purchases on campus; an Enterprise License Agreement with Adobe Systems Inc. for licensing, support and maintenance of the Adobe Creative Cloud of products used by UCM; and an agreement with MOREnet (Missouri Research & Education Network). MOREnet provides Internet connectivity and services to the university, which also includes Internet services that are utilized by UCM-Lee’s Summit at the Missouri Innovation Campus and by students, faculty and staff at Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport.
Board discussion on these items followed the reading of a citation and the presentation of a gift by President Ken Weymuth, Sedalia, honoring Steve Abney, Warrensburg, who served for the past two years as board president. Weymuth, who previously served as vice president, was named board president in June. Abney continues to provide leadership as the vice president, and Mary Dandurand, Warrensburg, is the board secretary.
Bill Hawley, vice president for finance and operations, presented several items to the board for discussion and action. This included matters pertaining to the Humphreys Building, which the university hopes to renovate with $19.9 million in state funding, and a $19.9 million match in funding from UCM. One of the oldest structures on campus, the four-story building covers 86,235 square feet, and is located at the quadrangle, housing both academic and non-academic programs. The university plans to modernize the facility to enrich the learning experience for students, while also upgrading systems that will help Humphreys adapt to changing technologies and spatial needs over time. Although a timeline has not been announced, renovation will cover areas such as classrooms and lab spaces, and repurposing some space for alternative programming. Hollis and Miller Architects will be responsible for providing the architect-engineering design through construction services needed to renovate the facility and keep it on schedule.
Transact Campus Inc. provides the operating system that allows electronic student purchases using Central Cash and UCM Dining Dollars. This inludes software that tracks and verifies a student’s ability to access meal plans, laundry services, entry into the athletic events, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, the shuttle bus service, Union Cinema, and other services across campus. The board approved a five-year contract to utilize Transact’s signature support software licenses as UCM’s current software licenses and renewals are expiring. The total cost for the duration of the project is $481,813.
The board authorized entering a three-year agreement with Adobe Systems Incorporated through Aug. 22, 2025. UCM has used Adobe products for many years, and they are considered the industry standard in many career fields for a number of specific academic programs at UCM. The total three-year cost will be $489,708. Funding comes from the Academic Affairs budget and includes funding made possible by student technology fees.
UCM has used MOREnet for Internet connectivity and services for approximately 30 years. Because UCM is a MOREnet consortium member, Internet connectivity and services through MOREnet are discounted from what the university would pay on the open market. In the proposal presented to the board, the primary and redundant Internet circuits will be expanded from 5 Gigabits per second (GBPS) to 9.5 GBPS. Although the proposal is for a five-year term, it includes an annual cost for the monthly Network Connectivity Fee and Healthcare Connect Fund discount. The contract approved by the board is for Internet connectivity and services not to exceed $650,000. This will be funded from the Office of Technology budget.
In January 2022, the board approved a conditional aviation fuel surcharge of $6 per hour of flight to be applied when the fuel purchase reaches $4 per gallon. Since this action was taken, the cost of fuel has continued to increase resulting in a significant impact on the financial viability of the Aviation Program. As a result, the School of Aviation proposed the establishment of a dynamic fuel surcharge which was approved by the board this month and will be determined prior to each semester and announced to students. The fuel surcharge will be calculated on the largest price from the most recent three fuel purchases, less $4 already covered in the aircraft rental fee, and the difference will be marked up by 25 percent. The flexibility of the fuel surcharge will protect UCM Aviation from potential losses due to increasing fuel prices and potentially provide some funding for the fuel farm and the fuel refuelers’ repairs. When the cost of fuel falls below $4 per gallon, accounted in the general aircraft rental fee, the School of Aviation will remove the flexible fuel surcharge.