The University of Missouri is reducing on-campus facility hours and staff in an effort to address nearly $60 million in budget cuts for the fiscal year 2018. The cuts are expected to reach into Mizzou's student recreation center, and beyond.
The deficit stems from a $35.9 million reduction in state funding and an $11 million reduction in tuition, along with a $15 million increase in maintenance costs and a $38.9 million increase in strategic investments.
Interim Chancellor Garnett Stokes told ABC 17 News that the cuts were necessary in order to be fiscally responsible. "The re-budgeting process is designed to strengthen the university in the long run and to prepare us for this future that is a bit different financially," she said.
In a budget proposal released in May, it was suggested that the university take drastic measures in 2018, eliminating more than 300 campus jobs.
Among the eliminated positions were 32 retirees, 38 contract nonrenewals, 84 layoffs, 16 resignations and 147 unfilled positions.
A long-term review process initiated at that time delves into possible cuts in academic programs, graduate student tuition waivers, research center funding and incentives.
At the same time, the proposal suggested making strategic investments in graduate student stipends and healthcare, recruitment and retention, and campus safety.
Earlier this month, MU president Dr. Mun Choi addressed the eliminations, telling ABC 17 News, “I am so grateful for their service and whatever we can do to ensure they are productive moving beyond the University of Missouri.”
"We wish it didn't happen but we are also facing some fiscal realities that we have to address, said Choi. "It's based primarily on program efficiency and consolidation.”
Along with the lost jobs, the university has reduced operating hours at several campus facilities, such as Memorial Student Union, the MU Student Center, MizzouRec and campus dining.
According to MU spokesperson Christian Basi, hours at each facility were reduced during the times of lowest student demand.