CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Finances were on the agenda at the Southeast Missouri Board of Regents meeting Wednesday. The board got together and approved a $98.3 million operating budget for the university and $36.7 million in auxiliary operating budgets, both for fiscal 2013.
The 2013 fiscal year begins July 1.
According to the university, the budget increase includes a faculty base merit salary increase of 1.75 percent and a .25 percent salary pool to fund post-professorial merit increases and an increase to regular non-tenure track merit pay from $1,250 to $2,000, according to the university.
"Considering that University faculty and staff have only received a 2 percent salary increase in the last three fiscal years, and the demands placed on personnel to continue university operations with reduced budgets, merit based salary increases were a priority for all groups represented on the Budget Review Committee," said Kathy Mangels, vice president for finance and administration.
According to a university news release, the budget also includes a staff base merit salary increase of 2 percent for administrative and professional staff, 2 percent or $475, whichever is higher, for clerical/technical/service staff and bargaining units, and 2 percent increase for graduate assistant stipends.
President Ken Dobbins says the budget includes an eight percent reduction in operating expenses. That's in line with Governor Jay Nixon's recommendation. However the Governor hasn't signed off on the bill, but he expects to decide by July.
Dobbins says he feels good about the process.
"We're very optimistic because the governor is very supportive of higher education and he's made some tough decisions," Dobbins said. "So we feel very good about the budget, but we're just not going to spend it if we don't know if we're going to get it yet."
Governor Nixon spoke at Southeast's commencement in May, which featured the largest graduating class in Southeast history.
In related action, the university says that Regents approved the fiscal 2013 operating budgets for the University's auxiliary units, totaling $36.7 million. These self-supporting operations include such units as Southeast Bookstore, the Show Me Center, University Center, telecommunications, Residence Life, KRCU-FM National Public Radio and the Student Recreation Center.
The Board of Regents met Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Academic Hall.