Robert W. Plaster Center for Advanced Manufacturing on the OTC Springfield Campus.
Ozarks Technical Community College debuted its new strategic plan to OTC employees on Wednesday at The Robert W. Plaster Center for Advanced Manufacturing on the OTC Springfield Campus. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

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The Ozarks Technical Community College Board of Trustees approved its purchasing plan for the upcoming academic year on June 12. 

The budget calls for a total of $138,382,129 in both revenues and expenses. The fiscal year runs from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025. 

It includes $36.9 million from federal student financial aid programs, leaving an operations budget of $101.4 million. OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon said during the meeting this marks the first time in the college’s history that the operations budget has exceeded $100 million.

Higdon said a balanced budget is a practice that OTC has kept for 34 years through careful financial management, conservative projections of enrollment and state government support. Thanks to increased spending from the state and predictable property tax revenue, Higdon said the college feels comfortable with its revenue projections.

“We are assuming flat enrollment, even though we know we’ll probably be up,” Higdon said. “So we feel very secure that our revenue will be at least what we have projected.”

The bulk of the budget’s revenues are projected to come from student tuition and fees: $47.1 million, or 46% of the operating budget. 

Tuition and salary increases lie ahead

In March, OTC raised tuition fees by an average of 3% for the 2024-2025 school year. The increase was hoped to generate about $1 million in additional revenue, and would be used to keep up with increasing costs of instruction and operations. The increase package also made adjustments to program fees. 

OTC's largest expenses go toward instruction and academic support across its seven campuses. The two segments account for $55.8 million or about 55% of the operating budget. 

In May, the board of trustees approved an average salary increase of about 3% for adjunct professors and for full- and part-time employees who started before March 31. 

Salaries for instructors are based on years of experience and level of education or training. The entry-level annual salary is $33,385, and the highest step for someone with a doctorate, according to the OTC salary schedule, is $80,610. 

Campus renovations and program expansions

OTC also has several ongoing construction projects that will be accounted for in the upcoming spending plan. Work continues on renovations of the Industrial Transportation and Technology Center and the Richwood Valley Campus, and the construction of the Airframe and Powerplant Training Center at the Springfield-Branson National Airport.

The college hopes to break ground on a new Workforce and Student Success building during the fall. It will be built near the intersection of Chestnut Expressway and Sherman Avenue. 

Higdon said the state of Missouri has committed $46 million to the project, which is expected to cost an estimated $56 million. Higdon said the college plans to raise money through private funds for the balance of the cost. 

Joe Hadsall

Joe Hadsall is the education reporter for the Hauxeda. Hadsall has more than two decades of experience reporting in the Ozarks with the Joplin Globe, Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine. Contact him at (417) 837-3671 or More by Joe Hadsall