JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Matt Blunt announced September 15 that Missouri Southern State University would receive $415,872 from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority destined for the new health sciences building under construction currently near the Leggett & Platt Center. MSSU is among eight colleges and universities in the state receiving MOHELA funds in this round of disbursements.
Blunt's announcement provides more than $3.5 million to benefit students around the state, promote technology and innovation, and help secure Missouri‚s role as a higher education leader. The $3,570,213 payment distribution is the twelfth of the $335 million total that Blunt secured for Missouri students and classrooms through his Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative. Thus far, MOHELA has provided nearly $240 million to the state for the governor's higher education initiative.
"Access to higher education is essential to the future success of Missouri students. This is one reason I have made education the state's highest priority," Blunt said.
Other universities and colleges receiving funding:
Harris Stowe-State University, Child and Parent Education Center, $656,085
Missouri State University, Phase 1 FREUP, $463,170
Missouri State University Incubator, $346,023
Missouri Western State University, Agenstein Science and Math Halls, $10,689
Northwest Missouri State University, Biologics Center, $154,419
Truman State University, Pershing Building, $138,544
University of Missouri, Delta Research Center, $8,400
University of Missouri, Southwest Education and Outreach Center, $9,855
University of Missouri, Graves-Chapple Facility, $5,900
University of Missouri, Hundley-Whaley Center, $25,650
University of Missouri, Thompson Farms, $166
University of Missouri, South Farms, $3,448
Missouri University of Science and Technology, Engineering Building, $644,448
University of Missouri-Kansas City, Pharmacy and Nursing Building, $687,544
MSSU President Dr. Bruce Speck said that money was pass-through money for expenses incurred during the course of construction, with approximately $1 million more submitted recently for payment. "We are getting that money as we spend it and there is a cap on that given the cost of the building. We are grateful for that money and will continue to submit bills as the building progresses."
While the program is benefiting post-secondary education in the state, it has been besieged political wrangling in Jefferson City, most notably from Attorney General Jay Nixon who asserts that MOHELA's funding of these colleges and universities and other higher education institutions by the Discovery Initiative is illegal. Nixon, who has publicly opposed every project funded by the initiative and urged the governor to veto the funding for our colleges and universities, announced at a June 13 meeting before the Missouri Press Association that he wants to withhold this money from Missouri students, colleges and universities.
Blunt's landmark Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative is a partnership between the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority and the state. The partnership, authorized through legislation and supported by lawmakers, reinvests a state asset to generate $335 million to strengthen Missouri‚s colleges and universities for students. The Department of Higher Education and the Office of Administration are working with universities and colleges to process the funding.
The payment amounts reimburse four-year colleges and universities for actual expenditures and are determined by information provided by the institutions each month. Community college payment amounts are set at $2 million each and distributed by request. In addition, $6 million total for maintenance and repair was allocated to community colleges. Community colleges must provide a local match in order to receive the maintenance and repair funds. The $335 million will be distributed over the next five years to maximize the benefit to students and ensure as many projects may be completed as quickly as possible.
The historic initiative takes an enormous stride forward for higher education in our state and provides much-needed funding for state-of-the-art learning and research centers. The new learning centers will prepare students to compete in today's global economy where higher quality learning in areas such as math and science are crucial elements for students‚ future success.
"The Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative is helping to ensure that Missouri's students have the resources they need to be prepared to enter the workforce properly and be competitive in our global economy."
For a complete list of projects funded by the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative and for more information, visit www.ded.mo.gov/lcdi.