Saving Money in Missouri

Despite tuition freezes and calls for a new funding model, Missouri isn’t doing a very good job managing higher education spending, says a report by the state auditor.

According to an Associated Press article by Chris Blank in Businessweek:

The state Department of Higher Education should have been more involved in picking projects for a college construction program and additional coordination is needed among colleges, according to reviews released Wednesday by the state auditor’s office.

Auditor Susan Montee urged elected state officials to work closely with the Department of Higher Education to determine what future construction projects would most help Missouri’s colleges. She also said there needs to be more unity among colleges over funding and recommended giving more power to the State Coordinating Board of Higher Education, such as allowing it to enforce changes to degree programs.

Apparently college construction projects in the state often turned out to be wasteful and unnecessary. Better organization would likely save the state a great deal of money. It’s not entirely clear why the Missouri State Coordinating Board of Higher Education will be able to fix that particular problem but it might be worth a try.

Earlier this year the state’s governor, Democrat Jay Nixon, recommended eliminating the Department of Higher Education, the institution that houses the State Coordinating Board.

Nixon wanted to do this in order save money, explaining that “to get the savings that we need, we must right-size our government.”

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer