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Auditor Galloway announces expansion of state higher education a - KOAM TV 7

Audits to examine students' access to college, along with administrative and financial practices in state colleges and universities

Auditor Galloway announces expansion of state higher education audits

Updated:
MO State Auditor Nicole Galloway MO State Auditor Nicole Galloway
JEFFERSON CITY, MO -

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today announced the start of two additional audits of Missouri higher education. The audits will examine affordability in all state-funded universities, and the administration of the University of Missouri System. An agency-wide audit of the Missouri Department of Higher Education and an audit of the state's higher education performance funding measures were started in 2015.

"College affordability for Missouri families is tied directly to how we fund our institutions of higher education," Auditor Galloway said. "These audits will examine how affordable college is in Missouri, the implementation of the performance funding formula and how decisions made at the system level impact students. Taking an assessment of all institutions receiving state money is a healthy way to make sure we are getting the most for our investments."

The audit of statewide college affordability will review compliance of the state's 13 four-year universities with the Missouri Higher Education Student Funding Act, and its intended impact on education costs.  Currently, tuition for state colleges and universities is set by each entity's governing board. The Department of Higher Education, along with its commissioner and coordinating board, monitor for tuition increases that exceed the rate of inflation or otherwise appear unreasonable.

The University of Missouri System administration audit will include a review of UM System administrative spending and policies, as administered by the UM System President and Board of Curators, and how those decisions made at the system level affect students' education.

The audit of performance funding for state universities and colleges focuses on the factors that determine how the measure allocates funding to Missouri's 27 public institutions of higher education. The current performance funding model awards funds based on performance measures in a number of areas, including student advancement, graduation rates and financial responsibility.

"Whether it's today's first-generation college student or a third-grader who dreams of being an engineer, we owe it to the next generation to hold our higher education system accountable and seek opportunities for improvement," Auditor Galloway said. "The way these resources are managed by the Department of Higher Education, the coordinating board and the institutions themselves has a direct impact on the 250,000 students who attend Missouri's public colleges and universities. Investments in higher education are essential for Missouri's success, and I believe these audits will help us improve as a state."

The ongoing audit of the Missouri Department of Higher Education includes standard audit review and measurement criteria, including evaluation of compliance with policies and the law, management practices and operations and  internal controls over financial functions.

In Missouri, 14 technical and community colleges and 13 universities make up the state's 27 public institutions of higher education. The Missouri Department of Higher Education, the Education Commissioner and the Coordinating Board for Higher Education are responsible for coordinating and implementing higher education policy in the state. Four out of the 13 state universities in Missouri are part of the University of Missouri System.

Individuals who would like to provide information for consideration related to these or any ongoing audits may contact the State Auditor's Office at moaudit@auditor.mo.gov or 800-347-8597.

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