Apr 11, 2020

As an open access institution with a statewide applied learning mission, Missouri Western serves as an invaluable resource for students, families and local communities. We are critical to attracting and retaining talent in our area. We are vital to the success of local industry and our society. It is important that we not only survive, but also thrive. To achieve both, we must be forward thinking and strategic.

Higher education is facing unprecedented forces related to downward student enrollment trends, strained state funding, rising costs, facilities maintenance needs, tuition limits, long-term debt and online competition. Such forces have led universities (including Mizzou, UMKC, KU, NWMSU, MSU and others) to make significant reductions in personnel and programs in recent years. In some cases, universities have even closed. Now the COVID-19 crisis has added massive disruption to students, institutional operations and university finances.

Without question, Missouri Western is not immune to these forces. Our financial challenges are real and immediate.

To read the full guest column by President Wilson, visit newspressnow.com.