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MU’s FY19 budget focuses on strategic investments to promote student success, affordability, research, service to the state

University still faces significant budget gap that will be addressed with employee changes and program modifications

June 07, 2018

Story Contact(s):
Christian Basi, BasiC@missouri.edu, 573-882-4430

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright and Vice Chancellor for Finance Rhonda Gibler announced final decisions related to the university’s FY19 (July 1, 2018 –June 30, 2019) budget, saying that strategic investments will promote student success and affordability, support for researchers and service to the state.

“The future is very bright for Mizzou,” Cartwright said. “We are focused on student success, strengthening our research productivity and engaging with Missourians to help find solutions to grand challenges. We are making focused, strategic investments to ensure that happens. Thus, in our FY19 budget, we will place more than $100 million toward undergraduate scholarships and graduate student support—an increase of more than $8 million—providing more financial support to our students so they can focus on their educational success and worry less about their finances. We also are looking to make specific investments in our research and extension programs.”

Examples of new student scholarships include the Missouri Land Grant Compact, which will cover tuition and fees for Pell-eligible Missouri residents; new scholarships for ROTC national scholarship winners; and reductions in housing and dining rates for incoming and current students.

Along with necessary investments, cuts will be made as MU faces a budget gap of nearly $49 million, which requires reductions of up to 12 percent in some units. Cuts to colleges, schools or divisions—which were not across the board—were made after reviewing numerous budget scenarios put forth earlier this year. Cuts include eliminating more than 185 positions, about 30 of which are layoffs. Cartwright and Gibler also expressed appreciation to state legislators for maintaining state support for higher education across the state.

“We are very grateful for all the work the legislature did this year on the higher education budget,” Gibler said. “We’ve also had good news about our incoming freshman class and new transfer students. However, to achieve our goals to remain competitive in compensating our employees, invest in our research enterprise and cover unavoidable expenses such as utility cost increases, we still face some difficult choices that will result in many positions being eliminated. This comes as we are refocusing our priorities to better serve our students and the state.”

Earlier this year, Cartwright announced that the university has started seeking proposals for the MU Translational Precision Medicine Complex that will bring together industry partners, multiple schools and colleges, and the federal government in a public-private partnership to pursue a collaborative approach to disease treatment and prevention. Research that comes from the TPMC could lead to significant health treatments for Missourians and significantly impact the state’s economy with new companies focused on precision health care.

Cartwright also challenged Mizzou faculty to work on doubling the amount of federal grant money received by the university. To help meet this goal, university leaders are investing in an Office of Research Advancement that will target large multi-investigator research grants. Staff in the new office will identify grant opportunities, assist with grant writing and connect researchers across the campus.

Additionally, Marshall Stewart, vice chancellor for extension and engagement, has been visiting with Missourians from every county in the state and is working on plans to address major challenges facing Missouri communities such as access to health care and broadband internet. One current example is where Stewart and Mark McIntosh, vice chancellor for research, economic development and graduate studies, have brought together researchers and Missouri citizens from the northwest corner of the state to discuss challenges associated with wind farms.

“Our researchers and extension specialists are working to solve problems that Missourians face every day,” McIntosh said. “This coming year, we will continue to be on the ground, out in the state, on a regular basis and listening to the concerns of Missourians and finding solutions. One way we’ll do that is through the Translational Precision Medicine Complex, which will have tremendous impact throughout the state and on every discipline on campus.”

Cartwright stressed that while the university still faces budget pressures, administrators will continue to invest in students and researchers so that the university is moving forward and making progress each year.

“You cannot cut your way to excellence,” Cartwright said. “While we will be scaling back certain activities, we continue to move forward with major investments, such as financial aid for our students and the TPMC. It is the only way we can ensure that we are keeping our graduates competitive and supporting our researchers to find the answers to some of the world’s toughest problems.”

Other examples of investments across campus:

  • The Division of Information Technology is updating learning spaces with new technology and expanding wireless access in the Student Center to respond to and support demand from students.
  • The College of Education is installing new video conference equipment to support distance-education courses to allow additional students to take part in face-to-face interactions with Mizzou faculty.
  • The School of Health Professions is expanding clinical services in pediatric psychology, physical therapy and occupational therapy, helping to meet demand for services while also providing students with valuable, real-life experiences prior to graduation.
  • Student Affairs has hired a new coordinator to connect students with campus resources, and they have expanded testing space for students with disabilities, making it easier for students with disabilities to find nearby spaces to complete exams.

Other examples of cuts across campus include:

      • Elimination of 185 positions, 30 of which are layoffs, for a total savings of approximately $11 million.
      • Significant reduction of travel by several schools and colleges across the campus.
      • Other schools and colleges eliminated courses with low enrollment and reduced emphasis areas for academic programs.
      • Divisions are reducing or eliminating sponsorships of community or campus events.
      • Elimination of several print publications and replacing them with internet-based publications.

NOTE: To review a chart outlining the FY19 general revenue reduction plan, click here.

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