More budget cuts for Missouri public universities

Truman State University is one of the public universities in the Show-Me-State once again facing another round of budget cuts.

MIssouri Governor Jay Nixon proposed Tuesday to cut state aid to higher education by 12.5% for the next academic year.

The cuts come even though enrollment has been rising at many of Missouri's institutions.

Truman State University President Troy Paino is concerned.

"I think concern would be the good word to describe my feeling, but I'm resolved to lead this university through this difficult time." Paino said. "But no question this is a game changer when you are talking about a 12.5% cut on top of the dramatic cuts we've already experienced. It's going to chance some of the things we do around here."

Paino says he wants to keep the cost of attending college affordable and try not to have the cuts affect tuition.

"We are going to do everything we can to keep any tuition increases as modest as possible. But when you are talking about 12.5 % cut, which comes out to about $5.5 million for us. I think the students can reasonably expect some form of tuition increase. What that is going to be? At this point in time it's too early to tell." Paino said.

Paino also says the cuts won't affect Truman's eligibility to teach students.

"I think that is always the fundamental concern is that we are really about students and student learning and we don't want anything negative to affect their learning experience here at Truman. That's our top priority, always will be." Paino said. "I'm committed to the principal that students are still going to come Truman State University and get the best education that they can receive."

The governor's proposal would mark the third straight year of cuts for colleges and universities in Missouri.

They took a 7.5% cut this academic year and 5% last academic year.

Missouri has yet to return the level of funding originally pledged for colleges and universities in the 2001 fiscal year before the prior rounds of budget cuts began.