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Dec. 2, 2015
Gov. Jay Nixon visited Northwest Missouri State University today to announce more than $6.8 million in improvements made possible through Building Affordability, an initiative proposed by the governor in collaboration with public colleges and universities and passed in the General Assembly last June.
“We are proud to invest in higher education through Building Affordability so that Missouri colleges and universities can make needed improvements without raising tuition,” Nixon said. “The bipartisan $200 million Building Affordability initiative will help make sure students are learning in state-of-the-art facilities that prepare them for the jobs of the future, while keeping Missouri a leader in college affordability.”
The University will invest the funds in electrical system repairs at the B.D. Owens Library, Everett Brown Education Hall, Martindale Hall, the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building and the Jon T. Rickman Electronic Campus Support Center as well as energy efficiency upgrades to its chillers and plant controls.
Northwest also will replace all windows in the Administration Building (280), Brown Hall (150), Colden Hall (340) and the Thomas Gaunt House (40). The Administration Building, opened in 1910, and the Thomas Gaunt House, completed in 1870, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Our outstanding faculty and staff provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in today’s global economy,” Northwest President Dr. John Jasinski said. “We appreciate Gov. Nixon and the legislature for making this considerable investment in our campus so that we can continue to provide students with an outstanding education at an affordable price.”
Northwest’s Board of Regents, at its Oct. 1 meeting, approved a schedule for the projects, which are scheduled to begin during fiscal year 2016 and end in fiscal year 2019.
In addition to addressing Northwest students, employees and community members, Nixon met with Northwest football coach Adam Dorrel and members of the Bearcat football team and toured Northwest’s new Robert and Virginia Foster Fitness Center. Jasinski also presented Nixon with a certificate of appreciation for his ongoing support of higher education and Northwest.
Building Affordability is a component of Build Missouri, a capital improvements initiative that will fund nearly 500 projects in every corner of the state through bond proceeds and other sources. Build Missouri includes bond proceeds for repairs and renovations at state facilities, veterans homes, state parks and higher education campuses, and for the completion of a new state-of-the-art mental hospital in Fulton, Missouri, as well as non-bonding sources for other projects, including conservation areas, highway patrol facilities, and other facilities.
Through Building Affordability, Missouri is investing $200 million in higher education campuses throughout the state. These additional investments by the state will help colleges and universities make needed improvements without raising tuition to cover the costs of these projects.
During the past six years, the governor’s administration has paid down hundreds of millions of dollars in state debt. Based on current projections, after the implementation of Build Missouri, state government will still have lower levels of state-issued bonding debt than when Nixon took office.
Earlier this year, as a result of a strong record of fiscally responsible budget management, Missouri’s AAA credit rating was reaffirmed by the rating agencies, allowing the state to benefit from low interest rates and making long-term capital investments more affordable.
The most recent report on pricing trends by The College Board found Missouri once again leading all 50 states in holding down tuition increases at public universities during the last six years. In September, Nixon and leaders of the state’s public four-year universities and two-year colleges announced an agreement to freeze tuition for Missouri undergraduates for the 2016-2017 school year.
Nixon’s fiscal year 2017 budget also will include an additional $55.7 million – a 6 percent increase – in performance funding for higher education, bringing total state funding for higher education to a record $985 million next year.
Northwest, founded in 1905, is a four-year university that offers a broad range of profession-based undergraduate and graduate programs on its Maryville campus as well as locations in Kansas City and St. Joseph.
With an enrollment of 6,600 students, Northwest recently was ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the top moderately selective regional university in Missouri for the second consecutive year, and it is one of only four four-year institutions in Missouri to meet all measures of the state’s performance-based funding initiative during its first three years. Northwest also provides a significant impact on the regional economy, generating $617.5 million in added regional income – the equivalent of creating 9,465 new jobs – during 2014, according to an economic impact study released last spring.
Northwest boasts a 49 percent graduation rate, which is in the 85th percentile of the University's national peer group. In addition, 97 percent of Northwest bachelor’s degree earners and 99 percent of master’s degree earners secure employment or continue their education within six months of graduation, according to the most recent data.
Northwest places a high emphasis on laboratory- and profession-based learning to help graduates get a jumpstart on their careers. Students have opportunities to build their resumes with experiences on campus in nearly every area of study, including the Horace Mann Laboratory School, National Public Radio affiliate KXCV, the RT Wright Laboratory Farm, Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area, the internationally ranked Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship or Knacktive, a student-driven integrated digital marketing communications agency.
While the Northwest campus also is designated the Missouri Arboretum, its vibrant and diverse learning community offers more than 150 student organizations, and textbooks and a laptop are included in tuition, which is among the lowest in the state, saving students an estimated $7,200 over four years. Northwest also offers 1,200 student employment positions, allowing students to build professional skills through its internationally benchmarked student employment program.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468