University of Missouri update on custodial services contract

University officials will not outsource custodial services this academic year; will look to generate savings internally at this time

July 23, 2020
Contact: Christian Basi, 573-882-4430,

The University of Missouri today announced it will not outsource for custodial services for the current academic year (2020-21). However, the bid process revealed that annual savings could be as high as $3 million through outsourcing with a proven outside firm. The decision to not outsource at this time was made in consideration of the long-term service of employees. University officials will be exploring other options for savings internally.

University officials will work with the union representing custodial employees over the next several months to identify savings and other considerations. If the university is unable to achieve similar savings, officials could move to outsource the service, but any final decision would not be made before the 2021-22 academic year.

“The University of Missouri has experienced tremendous budgetary shortfalls in the economic fallout of COVID-19, and we’ve had to take a hard look at every corner of our finances,” said UM System President and Interim MU Chancellor Mun Choi. “Our primary goal is to protect the teaching, research and service missions of the University. We look forward to engaging our employees and the LiUNA representatives to find a way to support our custodians.”

In the most recent fiscal year, the university spent approximately $12.3 million for custodial services while employing approximately 250 employees. The budget includes services for general and education buildings as well as buildings that house auxiliary services, such as residential life.

Since the pandemic began affecting the state, MU has lost approximately $35 million in state revenue, and provided millions of dollars in refunds to students for room and board and other fees. Across the campus, more than 170 individuals have been laid off, nearly 3,600 people have been placed on furloughs lasting between one week and three months, and more than 2,300 employees have experienced a reduction in their salaries.

“We want to thank our dedicated staff and appreciate the work they have done during these challenging times,” said Gary Ward, vice chancellor for Operations. “We look forward to working with them over the next academic year for ways to reduce costs and provide savings that will protect the mission of the university.”

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