June 24, 2011
Regents approve budget, program changes
MARYVILLE, Mo. - The Northwest Missouri State University Board of Regents during its regular meeting Thursday, June 23, approved the University's FY2011-12 budget as well as the inactivation and deletion of some academic programs in response to a statewide academic program review.
Regents approved Northwest's FY2011-12 education and general operating budget for $81.1 million.
Northwest's total budget for the fiscal year increases about $473,000 over last year's budget. The total budget also includes tuition and fee increases approved by the Board at its March meeting and a 7 percent decrease, a loss of about $2.1 million in state appropriations.
In presenting the budget to Regents, Northwest Vice President of Finance Stacy Carrick said it reflects Northwest's commitment to excellence in education and addresses financial challenges. The budget focuses on academic programs and recognized student success factors in addition to Northwest's emphasis on operating more efficiently and innovatively.
Carrick praised Northwest leadership, staff and faculty members for working together to create the budget amid tough economic times.
"It takes everyone to go through the process, and we challenged everyone to an arduous process this year, to think about what we really need to be successful," Carrick said. "Because of that process we are able to fund more scholarships and invest in success initiatives."
Addressing recommendations stemming from a statewide academic program review, the Board voted to inactivate Northwest's bachelor of science degree in physics, bachelor of science in education degree in physics, and the bachelor of science in education degree in unified science in physics.
Last year, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced statewide goals for education, which were formally adopted by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education, asking that all public institutions review academic programs at all degree levels. The Governor asked that programs meet a minimum threshold of an average of 10 graduates per year for undergraduate programs or an average of five graduates per year for master's degree programs, both over a three-year period.
Discussing the proposal to inactivate the physics degree programs at Northwest, Provost Dr. Doug Dunham noted the average class size for upper division physics courses during the fall of 2010 was 3.5 students.
Dunham said that by inactivating the physics and physics education programs, Northwest can focus on growing the bachelor of science degree program in nanoscale science, which has concentrations in biology, chemistry and physics. Upper division physics courses related to that major will continue to be taught, allowing students who wish to complete a bachelor of science degree in a physics-related field to do so by enrolling in the nanoscale science major, physics option. Northwest will encourage students who may have considered a bachelor of science in education degree in physics to consider another science.
The Board also approved the deletion of the bachelor of science and master's degree programs in alternative energy, which included the deletion of 11 related courses. None of those courses are associated with another major or minor.
Finally, the Board approved the inactivation of the statistics major and the restaurant and food management option of the comprehensive major in foods and nutrition, pending final action by the Faculty Senate to delete these majors.
The Board of Regents develops policy and has responsibility for sound resource management of the University, and determines general, educational and financial policies.
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