For all its other troubles, the University of Missouri’s main campus in Columbia is having a record fundraising year. Its enrollment, though expected to take a big hit in the fall, also has done well in the past decade, rising nearly 26 percent.
Earlier this month, MU announced budget cuts and a hiring freeze to cope with a coming deficit, caused in part by a 1,500-student drop in enrollment expected this fall. That bad news came after protests of racism on campus — protests that led up to the resignation of top officials.
But amid the news, officials noted that alumni and other donors had not deserted MU. Through February of its current fiscal year, which runs through June, the Columbia campus’ foundation has raised $114.7 million. That’s ahead of the $107.9 million it had raised through February in its best fundraising year, fiscal 2014.
A check of other area campuses — the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City — also found that none of them could match MU’s enrollment growth in the past decade.
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KU, in fact, had fall 2015 enrollment that was 5.1 percent lower than in fall 2006. K-State’s was up 4.3 percent, and UMKC’s rose a hefty 17.5 percent.
On the giving side, all the universities have substantial support, and KU’s endowment contributions have grown more than 170 percent in a decade. UMKC, without as much statewide presence, had the smallest totals. But it still received big contributions since its own foundation was set up for fiscal 2010, including a $32 million gift from Henry Bloch in fiscal 2012.