A periodic update for faculty from President Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong
May 18, 2007
Thursday's Board of Trustees actions
The tuition increase approved on first reading yesterday by the Board of Trustees will go a long way toward helping us meeting our Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 priorities for next year. The Board will consider for final approval at its June meeting a 7 percent increase in in-state and out-of-state tuition, along with a 1 percent surcharge that will help to offset rising utility costs, which have increased by 30 percent over two years despite heightened conservation efforts.
Also in June, the Board will consider for final approval a proposal to award merit-based pay increases averaging 5 percent.
While this year's improved legislative appropriations for state universities were very helpful, the pending tuition increases are necessary for to us move forward. Average tuition increased 71.8 percent in the 16-state area of the Southern Regional Education Board from 2001 to 2006, compared with a 48 percent increase at MSU from 2001 to 2007. The resulting widening revenue gap makes it difficult for us to keep pace with our peer institutions, but added resources for the coming year will help us to add faculty positions in key areas, strengthen library resources, and ensure that academic programs have the resources to meet accreditation standards.
As you may recall from previous communiqués, our budget priorities for the coming year include:
- Merit pay raises averaging 5% for faculty and staff
- New faculty positions, phase I (We want to add at least 20 new positions in areas of critical need.)
- Start up packages for faculty research
- Library resources
- Recruiting and retention
- Faculty development
- New faculty positions, phase 2
- Start up packages for research, phase 2
- Repair and renovation. (We need to emphasize renovation and facility upgrades over the next several years, with limited new construction.)
Thinking of our MSU family members
I just returned from visiting Peter and Jennifer Rabideau in Jackson, where their daughter, Leah, is in serious condition following an automobile accident early today. Several other students who are children of faculty members also were injured. One young man from Starkville who attended Delta State University was killed. Let's remember all in our prayers.