Board of Governors approves FY24 budget, renews Lift for Life partnership
Southeast Missouri State University Board of Governors met to discuss the FY24 budget, the Lift for Life partnership, changes to course fees for students and the progress of construction projects on the main campus on June 20.
The board approved a budget of $152.9 million for the 2024 fiscal year, a $6.6 million increase from the 2023 fiscal budget.
The board renewed the Lift for Life Academy (LFLA) sponsorship for a total of five years, extending the current contract until 2028. Lift for Life is a charter school that provides education, college credit opportunities and special interest classes for students in grades K-12. SEMO has maintained this partnership since 2000.
In a press release by Southeast Missouri State University, University President Dr. Carlos Vargas stated, “It’s been a wonderful partnership that allows our students to gain valuable professional experience and connects LFLA students to the University.”
The board proposed three new fee changes within the Department of Management and the Department of Chemistry.
Governor Brad Sheriff proposed a $10 increase to the Microsoft Excel Certification for students in the Department of Management, which would raise the cost from $30 to $40.
“The cost of testing and the software related to testing are on the rise,” Sheriff said. “Even at $40, this fee is a good deal for our students. It would cost you or I $100 to go and take this test [outside of SEMO].”
Sheriff also proposed a $15 increase for the course materials fee for the Organic Chemistry Lab I and Organic Chemistry Lab II, which would raise the cost from $15 to $30. Sheriff said this change in cost is in relation to the rise in material costs for chemicals and equipment needed for organic chemistry labs.
All three course fee changes passed unanimously.
A new contract was motioned with Becker Morgan Group, Inc. in the amount of $188,990 to have a comprehensive assessment completed for Education and General (E&G) buildings on campus. This assessment will provide the university with information about the status of plumbing, HVAC systems, electrical, roofing and other considerations.
Governor Brad Sheriff said SEMO did a similar assessment five years ago on auxiliary buildings, and this new assessment will allow the board to understand which buildings will be worth renovating from a financial standpoint.
“This is something we will be doing over the next six to eight months,” Sheriff said. “Based on what we have done with the auxiliary assessment, I think this [assessment] will be in use for several years.”