Students, administrators react to Governor's new plan for higher education

By Holly Brantley
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Wednesday, Governor Jay Nixon proposed a deal to Missouri Higher Education Centers.
Under the deal, Missouri colleges would not raise ruition or academic fees next year if the state spares the schools from budget cuts.
The deal is big news to University Administrators, already asked to consider how they deal with as much as 25 percent of state funding cut.
It's also good news for students as tuition has increased each year for the past decade.
"This is some of the best news I've had in a long time," said Dr. Ken Dobbins, President of Southeast Missouri State University. "It's so important. One issue you always face is balancing affordability and quality. With this move, we get both."
Dobbins says the plan not only makes quality education more attainable, but would also jump start the economy.
"In the Cape Girardeau area, for every 100 students, and we've been growing steadily, that means a million dollars every  year to Cape's economy, and the surrounding area," said Dr. Dobbins.
Students we spoke with are all for any proposal that would cut their expenses.
"It's like a burden's been liften," said Kim Elliott. "Every year you're just wondering how much everything's going to go up. It's nice to know it's going to level off."
"I work as much as I can," said Erin Schwent.  "It's hard to pay for everything. As long as tuition doesn't go up I'm happy."
"It's hard to pay for rent, bills, food, and everything," said Adam Litton. "It all piles up."
Meanwhile Dr. Dobbins says because of inflation on things like health care and the cost of energy, they still need to continue planning sessions with faculty, staff, and students on how to run the University more efficiently.  Still, he's very optimistic about the future.
"We still have things to do," said Dr. Dobbins. "But, this is wonderful news."
Also, administrators at Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff tell Heartland News this proposal is good news for them.  They'll continue budget meetings and wait for lawmakers to give the proposal final approval.