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University of Missouri to begin financial cuts in wake of budget shortfall

Information about personnel actions taken will be provided on a weekly basis

May 1, 2020
Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430, BasiC@missouri.edu

University leaders notified the university community today that despite several cost-cutting actions taken to reduce its budget shortfall, personnel actions, including layoffs, furloughs, pay cuts and restructuring are now necessary. Officials will regularly report the number of personnel actions related to the current public health crisis beginning today, Friday, May 1.

“We have taken several actions — including reducing office and travel expenses, voluntary pay reductions among university leaders, and hiring restrictions — but we still find ourselves facing significant budget pressures and must do more,” said Mun Choi, UM System President and Interim MU Chancellor. “We are grateful to those who have worked to support the mission of the university. We have the utmost respect for these employees and will provide services, support and transition packages during this difficult time.”

In the interest of transparency, the university will release overall numbers of personnel actions that affect employees from the academic campus and MU Health Care each Friday. However, to protect the privacy of these individuals, the numbers will not be reported at a department or division level at this time. Additionally, information about broad cost-cutting measures, including the number of employees and total savings from voluntary pay reductions, will be posted as the data becomes available.

Previously, MU officials had taken several actions, including elimination of travel; voluntary pay reductions by administrators, faculty and staff; restrictions on office expenditures and new hiring; and elimination of merit raises and promotions. Budget pressures for MU include: a $17 million withholding from the state; significant refunds to students for residential and activity costs during the current budget year, which ends June 30; and proposed cuts by the state for FY21 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021).

Because the cuts impact departments differently, actions such as restricting spending, trimming payroll costs and restructuring will take place at different times over the next weeks and months. The uncertainty of the financial situation makes it impossible to provide an end date when final budget cuts will be announced.

“It’s clear the effects of this crisis will present a long-term funding challenge for us and higher institutions across the country,” Choi said. “Temporary measures will not address the budget situation or protect the mission of the university. We must respond in fundamental ways, re-evaluate our structure and invest in priorities that are important to our future. This will mean re-alignment, restructuring and loss of positions.”

As of Friday, May 1, the university, including MU Health Care, reports the following:

  • 49 layoffs, which include 32 layoffs in MU Health Care across management, administration, hospitals and clinics.
  • No furloughs have been taken to date.
  • School of Medicine faculty will have pay reduced by 10% for one-to-three months based on their salary structure. School of Medicine staff will take a 10% pay reduction for three monthsor a one-week unpaid furlough based on department needs.
  • 195 MU employees have volunteered for pay reductions at an estimated savings of $800,000
  • 390 UM System leaders, senior administrators and other employees have volunteered for pay reductions at an estimated savings of $1.5 million.

The information about personnel actions will be updated online on the University’s Human Resources website each Friday afternoon, beginning May 8.

 

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