The University of Missouri’s Division of Operations notified 20 administration employees in its department that they will be laid off, effective July 1. The department is responsible for a wide range of services including campus safety and custodial work.
These latest cuts are due to decreased enrollment and a decline in state funding, said MU spokesperson Christian Basi.
“We're at a point now where the budget shortfalls that we've experienced are cutting into the core of our operations,” Basi said.
MU’s total enrollment declined by 2,182 students from 2015 to 2016, according to enrollment numbers released by the University. The most significant difference can be seen in the freshmen enrollment numbers. Since 2014, freshmen numbers have been on the decline with 7,864 enrolling in fall of 2014 to 5,995 enrolling fall of 2016.
“As many individuals know, we received a cut withholding earlier this year for the current fiscal budget. There is a proposed cut to the budget for the next fiscal year, so these actions were taken,” Basi said.
The most recent layoff is expected to save the University $1.7 million, Basi said.
“These are the most difficult decisions we will ever make. They are never easy, but we must adjust our staffing levels at this point in time to ensure the long term economic sustainability of Mizzou,” Basi said.
Each University division and department is responsible for balancing its own budget. The Division of Operations has trimmed its staff by 88 employees in the past two years. In addition to the 20 employees laid off, five more are expected to retire.
“The employees who were laid off will be provided some transition benefits. They will receive additional pay, in addition to help with job with finding another job or finding another position on campus,” Basi said. “We are grateful for the service that these very talented employees have provided. It is extremely painful for us to be in this situation and have to make these decisions.”
Campus safety will not be impacted by the employee reduction, Basi said.