Forsee, Deaton speak on university's future, fiscal issues
The Board of Curators also approved new degree programs in film and science.
Oct. 24, 2009
The UM system Board of Curators ended two days of meetings Friday afternoon at Mizzou Arena after hearing from UM system President Gary Forsee and Chancellor Brady Deaton and approving proposals for two new degree programs.
Forsee opened Friday’s session with the State of the University address. In his speech, Forsee outlined a number of specific actions, including making competitive salaries and benefits for university employees a priority, paying continued attention to budget and costs, creating innovative learning technologies and exploring new private partnerships.
Forsee said by the end of this calendar year, he would like each of the system's four campuses to assess its tuition needs. By doing so, Forsee plans to establish variable tuition rates at each of the campuses.
Forsee also emphasized the universities’ challenge of maintaining a commitment to educational excellence, while dealing with economic conditions.
"As you would expect in this economic climate, news is not good," Forsee said. "We could have as much as a 10 percent challenge to our operating budget."
Forsee discussed the university’s need to focus on innovative learning technologies, such as e-learning. It has been a long process in figuring out what e-learning models will work and how students will perceive them, he said at a news conference after the meeting.
“We've spent almost a year looking for successful models around the country,” Forsee said. “We are getting pretty well settled into that model, which is to provide the stimulus and focus on the system level, but the know-how has to occur on the campus level."
Following Forsee’s address, each of the four chancellors of the university system presented individual campus reports to the board.
Deaton discussed enrollment and diversity numbers for the fall, as well as the economic issues facing MU. Later in his speech, he explained the importance of the five Mizzou Advantage initiatives, which are designed to make the university more competitive on a national scale.
"We’re trying to move outside the narrow disciplines of colleges," Deaton said.
The curators also unanimously approved master's and doctorate programs in clinical and translational science, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in film studies.
In other business, Harold Williamson, vice chancellor of the UM Health System, presented the annual university health system report.
Williamson explained the positive outcomes of the reorganization of the health system, which involved a newly formed alliance between the School of Medicine, the Sinclair School of Nursing and the School of Health Professions.
“The alignment of those health professions schools and what they bring the university, as well as to health education is a major plus," Williamson said.
The board also approved four amendments to the universities' Collected Rules and Regulations that would affect university employees. One of these amendments will allow employees to use sick leave time in smaller than eight-hour increments.
The amendment would also require employees to use their personal leave for the first three days of an injury. The board also passed an amendment to temporarily lift the traditional 12-day sick leave limit per year.