The Truman State Board of Governors conducted a meeting April 13 to discuss current business and legislation impacting the University.
Eleven board members discussed budget items, repair and construction project progress, the funding formula and plans for the new University campaign in front of an open session of about 15 students and faculty.
Mark Gambaiana, Vice President for University Advancement, presented the Advancement Report and gave an overview of student scholarship monies and a new University fundraising campaign.
He said at the end of March 2013, total assets were more than $38 million and total endowments were more than $33 million.
Furthermore, Gambaiana said the University plans to award the highest amount of student scholarships ever awarded for the next academic year.
The University’s new campaign officially will begin July 1, and though he said it will be in the “quiet phase” until 2015, the University will contact 150 donors of interest. After that, the campaign will enter its public phase. Gambaiana said there is no named goal yet, but he said it will be more than the $30 million “Bright Minds Bright Futures” campaign goal.
Board member Susan Plassmeyer delivered a Construction Projects Report during which she gave an update about four different campus projects, all of which are adhering to the proposed schedules and budgets.
The nearly $14 million Centennial Hall Renovations Project is on schedule, with
construction on the building’s south side “well underway,” Plassmeyer said. She said the project will be completed Aug. 2014.
Similarly, she said the Franklin Street Power Relocation Project is on schedule. This project is part of the City’s Downtown Sidewalk Project to repair the west side of the Franklin Street sidewalk and potentially install pedestrian medians throughout campus.
The Stokes Stadium Bleacher Replacement Project is wrapping up and will be completed before May 11 commencement, Plassmeyer said.
Likewise, she said the Soccer Field Improvement Project, which has a budget of $152,000, is on schedule, according to the Construction Projects Report.
Plassmeyer discussed other construction projects, all of which were approved by the Board.
They voted to approve a $127,000 Summer 2013 Concrete Project to repair and replace damaged sidewalks and parking lots on campus.
She said two bids were received during the request for proposals and the lowest bid was from Stanton Contracting in Kirksville, who will contract the project.
During the report, the Board approved a Baseball/Softball Field Improvement Project. She said this $365,000 project will provide a drainage and irrigation system for both fields, a new backstop on the baseball field and a warning track along the fence of the softball field. Houska, Inc. of Foristell, Mo. will contract the project, Plassmeyer said.
A nearly $1 million project to make exterior repairs to Kirk Memorial Building also was approved. The dome of the building will be repaired, Plassmeyer said, to control water leaking. Additionally, she said the cupola— the dome-like structure on top of the building— and all windows will be replaced. River City Construction from Ashland, Mo., provided the lowest bid, she said, and therefore will contract the project.
University President Troy Paino gave an update during his President’s Report about Senate Bill 437 regarding a funding formula for Missouri higher education.
Paino said the Bill has progressed farther than he hoped it would, as he said it is not in the best interest of Truman as a liberal arts and sciences institution of higher education or for the state.
“What will happen with it now is anyone’s guess,” Paino said.
Board member Matthew Potter asked Paino what might happen if the funding formula doesn’t pass. If that were the case, Paino said there would be no change as of now.
“It would still be business as usual, at least in the short term,” Paino said. “But, I do not think that it will go away. If it does not pass in this legislative session, they might extend the timeline and make some revisions but continue to work on something.”
He said although there is not much enthusiasm for SB 437 throughout the Missouri House of Representatives, he doesn’t want to take any chances. Paino said he will continue to go to Jefferson City to speak with Senators about SB 437 and how it will negatively impact the University if it passes.
The Board meets multiple times each semester. The next meeting is cheduled to take place June 15.