The Board of Regents voted unanimously to approve the budget for fiscal year 2022. The total budget was $128.4 million.
An overview and summary of the budget took up the bulk of the June 21 meeting in the J.W. Jones Student Union. Stacy Carrick, vice president of finance and administration, presented the budget before the regents. The budget includes a 4.9% increase in revenues and expenses compared to the previous year.
Carrick outlined some of the specific challenges the University faced when putting together the budget, including Missouri’s historic decrease in appropriations and pandemic related issues. Northwest did receive $1 million more in funding from the state this year than it did last fiscal year.
Board Chair John Moore praised Carrick and her team’s continued efforts to keep costs for students low despite decreases in appropriations. Northwest ranks near the bottom of public Missouri institutions in terms of contributions from the state government and also at the bottom for tuition rate increases.
“There are things that we’re not doing as an organization that you would do if you didn’t have to pull back and have those cost efficiencies first and foremost upfront,” Carrick said.
The cost-saving measures include deferring infrastructure improvements and maintaining a “lean” staff Carrick said.
The Board of Regents also approved a nomination to instate Shane Baumgart to the part-time position as director of the arboretum after the previous director retired at the end of December 2020.
The Board unanimously approved a shift deferential which would increase pay from 57 employees across campus working night shifts at ranges from 25 cents to 50 cents per hour depending on the shift. Clarence Green, Northwest’s vice president of culture, said this deferential would make it easier to recruit workers to work those shifts. The cost of this proposal was slightly under $43,000 and was already included in the existing budget.
At the end of the meeting, regent Deborah Roach, a Democrat from Grant City, Missouri, proposed looking into a specific code of conduct policy for the Board itself.
“If we are going to hold other people accountable, then we should be held accountable also,” Roach said to introduce the proposal.
Though the Board does have conduct policies outlined in their existing by-laws, Roach said she wished those would be expanded upon and cited the Universities of Illinois and Stanford as ones that have specific codes of conduct for Regents and Trustees.
Moore said he was hesitant to say whether a code of conduct was necessary until specific gaps or reasons for expansion were presented.