Board of Regents meeting discusses funding options for MSU

On Jan. 11, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education hosted this year’s Board of Regents meeting in Helena. President Cruzado highlighted MSU’s agenda items for the meeting in an email. Besides standard campus reports, MSU discussed research programs, financial items and policy revision suggestions.

MSU representatives brought up one particular research program involving MSU’s Dental Education program. They suggested that MSU should pattern their program after the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI) Regional Medical Education Program’s curriculum. This curriculum aims to improve oral health by “addressing the shortage of dental health professionals throughout the state,” according to Cruzado’s email.

Financially, MSU had a few items to bring to the table. After this year’s statewide budget restrictions, it was time to discuss approving the 2019 biennial state general fund allocations. Adjustments will be made after the budget bill is passed by Montana Legislature, estimating funding for $2.2 million per year during 2018 and 2019.

MSU also requested to increase renovation funding for the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center by $150,000 to $500,000. “The project will be funded with Student Facility Enhancement Fees already on hand, which were approved through a campus-wide student vote,” said Cruzado.

Also on the agenda, MSU proposed a policy revision that requires a meeting at least one week prior to the Board of Regents meetings that allows any property or program to be named for discussion. If approved, this meeting would also have permissions to meet on the property being discussed.