Regents discuss performance based funding, retention

Staff report 

The Board of Regents met Friday to discuss university issues such as enrollment, retention and performance funding, among other topics.

The performance funding bill passed in the Senate and needs House approval. Davies said the performance funding model is the same model that was proposed at the last Board of Regents meeting.

Davies’ report also included the following:

  • Racer One Stop helped 728 students over four days. It will take place again in the fall for a longer period.
  • He welcomed Firm Faith Watson, new director of Faculty Development Center and Matthew Kirby, director of Career Services.
  • Private gifts to Murray State have exceeded $5.5 million in cost.
  • The alumni association has increased to 11,168 members.
  • Two-hundred-forty-seven students attended Honor’s Day.

Renae Duncan, associate provost for undergraduate education, gave a report about EDGE, the Office of Experiential Education. Duncan said the initiative grew from the quality enhancement plan, and its purpose is to involve the entire campus in experience-rich activities such as study abroad, service learning and internships.

“I think one of the exciting things about this office is that it’s not going to be isolated,” Duncan said. “It’s going to be connected to the community and the university.”

Jason Youngblood, assistant director of Facilities Design and Construction, said the new engineering building – despite its delays and unfinished projects – is still slated for its April 21 dedication date.

For the ongoing project, $1.7 million dollars has been allocated for chemistry remediation in various classrooms. The completion date is set for Aug. 1.

The tuition budget was set at $76.8 million, and Jackie Dudley, vice president of Finance and Administrative Services, said the university was at $73 million at the end of December, resulting in a $6.5 million shortfall. She said summer school is critical to the decreasing the shortfall.

Don Robertson, vice president for Student Affairs, addressed the issue of retention rates and how the university is working to keep students, including the Retention Campaign. Approximately 41 percent of undergraduate students and 40 percent of graduate students are registered in the campaign. He said several initiatives are in place, including focus groups for sophomores. In the future, they hope to establish regular meetings to discuss retention, as well as follow-up with students missing payment plans.

He also discussed the Second Annual Race and Ethnicity Symposium, which is the first of its kind in the state hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA). There were 90 attendees, with 31 students presenting research posters.

Davies applauded the work being done by OMA. He said other schools have contacted him, asking what they can do to model after Murray State.

The next Board of Regents meeting will be June 9.