Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has proposed major cuts to the state budget which feature multimillion dollar withholdings from state Universities, including Truman.
Governor Greitens cited revenue shortfalls and a need to balance the state budget. Eight percent of Truman’s core funding will be withheld, in addition to money that had been previously allocated to renovate the vacant Greenwood School.
The plan calls for about $3,144,000 of Truman’s core state funding to be withheld according to David Rector, Truman’s Vice President of Administration, Finance, and Planning. Preparations for the budget shortfall are already underway, with administrators formulating a plan to deal with the budget hole. Specifics on funding for next year will remain uncertain until mid-May. Rector also explains that, even though the University will have to curb its expenditures, the impact on students will be minimal for the spring semester.
“From a student perspective, we’ve been trying to keep it as affordable as possible. So even if we do have to raise tuition a little bit this spring, for a student that’s living on campus, the total cost probably isn’t going to go up that much” says Rector.
In addition to the core funding cuts, Rector points out the $1.5 million that was to be withheld from developing the Greenwood Autism Clinic, bringing state funding down to just over half a million dollars. He says this is enough to complete the design and planning stage of the project, but not much else.
The proposal cuts eight percent of Truman’s core state funding and also withholds $1.5 million from developing the Greenwood Autism Clinic. While funding is down significantly from what was first promised by the state, supporters of the Clinic are pushing to continue with its development.
Janet Gooch, Dean of the School of Health Sciences and Education, has been part of the Greenwood Clinic project since its conception. Gooch says the project began about 20 months ago. After consideration as to how the Greenwood School building could be used to best serve the community as well as the University, the idea of an autism clinic emerged as a great option. Gooch says that area State Representatives Nate Walker and Craig Redmond are very supportive of the clinic, and that efforts will continue to regain the funding and move toward opening the clinic. Additionally, according to Gooch, the advancement office has created a website for the project where people can make a donation to the Greenwood Clinic, and the possibility of obtaining grant funds is being explored.
“We’re not giving up hope. I want to send that message loud and clear” she says. “We really don’t feel like the nail’s in the coffin. There’s hope that we might get the money back, and we’re going to do everything possible to express how much this is needed in the community.”
Gooch says that there has been collaboration with the architects to continue with the design process. Despite the setback, the planning process will continue.