The Board of Governors at Missouri Western State University has approved an operating budget of almost $56 million for fiscal year 2018-2019. The budget includes a 2-percent cost-of-living increase for Missouri Western employees and a $900,000 increase in the scholarship budget for students.

“Providing a cost of living increase to our employees was a top priority in preparing our budget this year after not being able to provide one last year,” said Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Missouri Western’s president. “In addition, we experienced a larger than expected increase in the number of out-of-state students taking advantage of our Griffon Rate Scholarships, so we increased that line item accordingly.”

The budget does not rely on the spending of reserves, thanks to stable state appropriations and a budgeted increase of approximately $1.4 million in student tuition and fees, based on a projected increase of approximately 3 percent in credit hours.

The auxiliary budget for 2018-2019, funded primarily by room and board fees, totals approximately $12.6 million. That budget also includes a 2 percent increase in salary and fringe benefits and an increase in the capital budget to plan for the replacement of the roof on Scanlon Hall.

Also at their July 2 meeting, the Board of Governors approved Pathways to Excellence: A Strategic Vision for Missouri Western State University 2018-2022. The overarching goal of the strategic plan is student success, with the following mission statement: “Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning.” The vision statement is: “Missouri Western will be the premier open access regional university, known for transforming the lives of our students and the communities we serve.”

David Liechti, Board of Governors chair

The Board re-elected officers for the coming year. David Liechti will serve another year as chair, with Deborah J. Smith serving again as vice chair. The board also named Dr. Cale Fessler, vice president for financial planning and administration, as its treasurer, and Kim Sigrist, executive associate to the president, as its secretary.

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit