University of Missouri System faculty, staff and community members gathered in Columbia Friday to hear system president Mun Choi outline the University of Missouri System’s budget for fiscal year 2018.
Current decreases in state funding, uncertainty about future state funding and enrollment declines at the system’s flagship campus in Columbia have forced officials to look for both short- and long-term solutions to significant budget shortfalls.
Between fiscal year 2017 and 2018, the system was hit with a roughly 6.5 percent cut in state appropriations. Enrollment declines, including a drop of around 2,000 incoming freshmen since 2015 at the University of Missouri, also drove a projected loss of nearly $10 million in tuition for the coming fiscal year.
Together with unavoidable expense increases and “strategic investments” in university sustainability, these pressures created an estimated $60 million revenue shortfall at the Columbia campus alone.
As part of the cuts, a total of 474 positions will be eliminated across the university system. Choi said roughly half of those positions are not currently filled.
Previously, Choi charged all system campuses to cut their overall budgets by 8 to 12 percent. The budget plans released today are the result of campus planning around those cuts.
KBIA will be covering this event live and updating this story as more information emerges.