JOPLIN, Mo. — $1,500,000,000. That’s how much the state is proposing to spend on higher education in the 2023 Missouri Budget.

It’s just one part of the state meeting hosted at MSSU today. To start with, it would be an increase from this year’s funding, if approved at that level.

That could pave the way for some big changes on campus.

“Things that really fit the needs of each community. So at Southeast Missouri State University, they’re really redeveloping their athletic facilities, and they’re the ones that they teach it in particular,” said Zora Mulligan, MO. Comm. of Higher Ed.

It could pay half the price of a $30,000,000 Health Science Innovation Building at MSSU and at other schools like a proto-plex at Missouri S&T.

“So state to state, you know top to bottom, the investment is really going to be remarkable,” said Mulligan.

The discussion was part of the agenda for the Missouri Coordinating Board for Higher Education, which met at MSSU.

Former State Senator Gary Nodler of Joplin sits on the board and points out that even the meeting itself was unique.

“It’s never happened before. This is the first time that the Coordinating Board of Higher Education has held a meeting in Joplin at Missouri Southern,” said Gary Nodler, Coor. Brd. Higher Ed

He points to a number of ongoing state issues for higher ed, like funding, but also workforce development – which also falls under the responsibilities of the board.

“It’s a bigger, more complex organization now but our role is to oversee basically the educational and professional preparation of Missourians to be successful in the job market, whether it’s an academic progression to a degree or whether it’s a certification of skills or whether it’s training for specific types of work,” said Nodler.

The coordinating board also took a look at funding trends into 2024 concerned inflation could hit colleges and universities hard.