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By Melissa Dunson

mdunson@joplinglobe.com

Things may be looking up for Missouri Southern State University’s bottom line.

During the MSSU Board of Governors monthly meeting today, university officials reported that the school is up 133 enrolled students from about the same time last year. That trend could continue in the fall, according to the admissions department. The university already has 748 new and readmitted students enrolled for the fall semester. That is an increase of more than 100 students compared to last year.

Linda Eis, the university’s treasurer, said MSSU also has $165,000 more in cash currently compared to the same period last year. Much of that, she said, can be attributed to recent cost-saving measures as lowering thermostat temperatures and turning off lights and computers.

MSSU President Bruce Speck also gave the board an update on other cost-saving measures that will go into effect immediately and later this summer.

In an effort to make all summer classes financially self-supporting, Speck recently modified the way faculty are paid for teaching those summer classes. The current system of paying faculty a percentage of their normal 10-month contracted salary will continue as long as the number of students enrolled in a summer class is large enough to counteract it.

In situations where the class has very few students, the faculty member will be compensated in a lesser amount.

John Messick, MSSU vice president for academic affairs, said that change would have saved the college more than $126,000 last summer alone.

Speck is also changing the way faculty get paid for teaching online courses. Since MSSU starting offering Internet classes, faculty got paid a set amount for teaching the class, then an additional dollar amount per credit hour for each student over the 20 student threshold.

Under the new formula, faculty will still get a bonus, but the threshold has been raised to 30 students and the bonus per credit hour has been decreased.

Messick said that change would have saved the university an estimated $187,000 last year.

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