Southeast tightening belt in anticipation of budget shortfalls - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southeast tightening belt in anticipation of budget shortfalls

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents approved on Friday room and board rates.

The Regents also approved a $22.64 million Residence Life budget for fiscal 2013.  That's up from $20.98 million last year.

Under the approved plan, average room rates will increase 2.43 percent, while board rates will rise an average of 4.96 percent for fiscal 2013, bringing the average combined room and board rate increase to 3.32 percent for the 2012-2013 academic year, according to Dr. Dennis Holt, vice president for enrollment management and student success.

They also approved combining the College of Science and Mathematics and the School of Polytechnic Studies into the College of Science, Technology and Agriculture effective July 1.

The creation of the new college comes as Southeast faces a fourth straight year of flat or decreased state appropriations.  Current dean of the College of Science and Mathematics Dr. Chris McGowan has been filling in as interim dead of the School of Polytechnic Studies after the retirement of the dean for the School of Polytechnic Studies.

Under McGowan's leadership, departments within both the College of Science and Mathematics and the School of Polytechnic Studies have been working together. According to University President Dr. Ken Dobbins, the merging of the schools will save about $200,000 a year.

It's a waiting game right now as Dobbins and the Board of Regents wait to hear what the Missouri State Legislature will decide when it comes to budget cuts in the coming year.

Right now Dobbins says the University will assume the original $3.3 million in cuts will happen as proposed.

"We will plan on the $3.3 million, and do the planning for that because we don't want to wait until the last minute and also have to establish tuition rates that's going to be necessary," said Dobbins.

The silver lining for the University right now is continued high enrollment. Construction remains underway across campus to construct new residence halls to accommodate the growing student population.

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