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MSSU Facing Challenges Amid Funding Cuts

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     Missouri Southern is fighting funding shortfalls despite near-record enrollment numbers.
     The culprit...ongoing cuts to higher education in the state.
Missouri Southern President Alan Marble testified before the House Appropriations Committee in January.
He told the committee the university's biggest challenge looking toward the future are all linked to the budget - asking for any help they can provide and saying the university would make them quote "proud of your investment".
Dr. Alan Marble, MSSU President: "Definitely we have some financial stress that we need to correct, and that's exactly what we're trying to do."
The fall 2017 semester saw the second largest total enrollment in the university's history - with around 6,200 students.
Despite increased enrollment, for both the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years, the university received the *lowest* amount of state funding compared to other universities across the state.
Marble: "It's a little disappointing that we're not favored more, perhaps, in the appropriations process, but every university in the state has suffered, it's not just us."
That suffering, may come at a price to students in the future - with the university examining possible tuition increases to help offset budget cuts.
Marble: "I think they get it, they understand that we're providing the best education they can...they're choosing to come here because of the programs, the programs are great, and the programs will continue to be great, we just need to be able to make them better."
Marble also wants to clarify funding for the former library in Joplin - he says all of the funding will be exclusively through fund raising efforts, not from the university's budget.
He added that project though is still essential to the university's efforts to attract students.
Marble: "What we are looking for is the right combination of programs to put downtown that will create synergies that will cause other businesses to grow and apartments to materialize and for students to have kind of a community there."
     The university's Board of Governors will discuss options during next meeting on the 25th.
 

Chris Warner
Reporter

A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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