Funding the future of higher education

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On July 29, 2021

Outline of the state of Missouri with graph to the right showing midwest public higher ed support decline

Higher education support in the Midwest has declined over the past decade. Support per $1,000 of personal income by state Source: State Higher Education Executive Officers Association FY2019 report

As state funding for public universities continues to decline, institutions across the country are turning toward other sources of support. At Missouri S&T, donors have stepped in to address strategic needs. A more balanced approach to sustaining revenue, one that includes private support and enrollment growth, would also help S&T better navigate economic downturns or cuts in state funding. 

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that state and federal support for higher education has declined as a share of overall revenue throughout the country. This places a greater burden on college students. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Missouri S&T has seen a 6.1% decline in state support over the past decade. Grapevine, the Illinois State University database of state tax support, ranked Missouri 46th in state funding for higher education per capita in 2019.

hand icon picking up illustrated building with graph to the left.
Graph shows fundraising total by fiscal year to Missouri S&T. FY13 ($10.1M); FY14 ($13.8M); FY15 ($13.9M); FY16 ($10.6M); FY17 ($14.7M); FY18 ($22.6M); FY19 ($24.3M); FY20 ($14.1M); FY21 ($337.1M)

Rolla on the rise

Given the past 10 years’ state support trends, future support from donors and alumni will help ensure the university’s future growth and development. The $300 million gift from June and Fred Kummer, CE’55, has garnered the most attention. But days before that gift was announced, Linda and Bipin Doshi, ChE’62, MS ChE’63, donated $10 million to endow the chemical and biochemical engineering department — a gift that was the largest ever to S&T at the time. 

Since then, gifts such as Anthony J. Steinmeyer’s $2 million to endow the Steinmeyer Chair of Economics, a $2 million gift from Gary Havener, Math’62, to endow the Havener Chair of Mathematics and Statistics, a $1.5 million gift for scholarships from Rosemary Kilker, and donations from Kay and Tim Bradley, PetE’77 ($5 million), Havener ($4 million), Pat and Jeff Sheets, ChE’80 ($1 million), Joyce and Mike Bytnar, ME’68 ($500K), Betty and Steve Suellentrop, PetE’74, MS PetE’75 ($250K), and Carol and Tom Voss, EE’69 ($100K), to support the new Arrival District all ensure that S&T students will continue to receive an exceptional S&T education in an environment equipped with modern labs, quality faculty, and robust technology and facilities that ensure S&T’s trademark academic excellence.

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On July 29, 2021. Posted in 2021, Around the Puck, Features, News, Summer 2021