The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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October 19, 2012

MSSU receives ‘clean’ annual audit

The annual audit of Missouri Southern State University’s finances revealed no problems with internal control, revenues and expenditures, or financial aid, the auditors and university staff told the Board of Governors on Friday.

“There were no issues, and that’s big,” Treasurer Linda Eis said. “For it to be clean all the way through is an accomplishment.”

The audit by the BKD accounting firm, which has conducted the university’s annual audit for several years, shows an increase in fiscal year 2012, the year that ended June 30, in total net assets, operating revenues and operating expenses.

The university ended the year with $90.2 million in net assets, compared with $89.2 million in fiscal year 2011.

Operating revenues — made up of tuition and fees, grants and auxiliary enterprises — increased between the two years by 2.3 percent, to $30.8 million from $30.1 million. The increase was the result primarily of an increase in student tuition and fees, according to the audit.

Additionally, operating expenses — which cover salaries and benefits, contractual services, supplies and utilities — increased by 1.2 percent, to $65.4 million from $64.6 million between the two years.

One component that hasn’t increased from year to year: appropriations from the state. Staff and board members were quick to note the audit’s summary of state funding, which has steadily declined in recent years. MSSU received $25.9 million from the state in 2010, $23.5 million in 2011 and $21.9 million in 2012.

Rod Anderson, who chairs the board’s budget committee, said MSSU faculty and staff have helped keep the university’s focus on students despite declining support from the state.

“There’s a big story behind that one line (in) the amount of work this campus did, not losing sight of what we delivered to the students that come to Missouri Southern,” he said.

Eis said the university is currently scheduled to receive about $80,000 more from the state over the course of the current fiscal year over last year, although the amount that MSSU actually receives throughout the year will be subject to how much revenue the state receives and whether the governor withholds any funds.

In other business Friday, work has begun on implementing some of the recommendations in MSSU’s new master plan, which was unveiled in July and is to guide the look of the campus over the next 15 to 25 years.

Rob Yust, vice president for business affairs, told the board that crews have started updating some of the landscaping as recommended in the plan. Other recommendations have included new signs, the creation of pedestrian corridors, the installation of trails linking MSSU to off-campus locations, and a memorial garden at the campus oval.

Website

Following their approval by the board Friday, the audited financial statements will be posted to the university’s website.

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