In an effort to cut $40 million in state funding and proposed funding cuts, the University of Missouri is eliminating about 25 jobs.
All the jobs lost will come from the university’s division of operations and impact people at the administrative level, but “this does not mean there will not be additional cuts like this in the future,” said MU spokesman Christian Basi.
MU will lay off 20 administrative employees effective July 1. Five other employees are retiring and those jobs will not be filled.
The cuts come about a month after UM System President Mun Choi announced that the system’s four campuses — in Columbia, Kansas City, St. Louis and Rolla — face $31 million in budget cuts for the current fiscal year. Much of which, about $20 million, is on the Columbia campus.
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Basi said Gov. Eric Greitens held back $20 million from the university’s current budget and has said it’s not likely that $20 million would be restored in the new budget.
Choi said in March that the system would seek tuition hikes to help offset the cuts and that campuses would have to find other areas to trim including possible program cuts and job losses.
“With previous budget shortfalls in past years we have taken significant measures to identify efficiencies,” Basi said. Those trims impacted programs but not jobs.
“But now we are at a point where the budget shortfalls are cutting into our core budget.”
The first trims announced total about $1.7 million and come from the division of operations, which is responsible for the campus’s physical plant.
Jobs are being lost in such areas as the university power plant and sustainability operations responsible for reducing energy consumption.
The latter is suffering job losses because even the savings from reducing energy use, “is not enough to handle the budget shortfalls,” for that department, Basi said. Some other areas losing jobs are parking and transportation; environmental health and safety, which deals with lab and chemical use safety; and campus police.
The university is still assessing just how much it will need to reduce its budget.
“There are still some unknowns” including how much the university will get from the state and how much it will collect in revenue from tuition for 2017-2018 academic year, Basi said.
While some of the jobs lost come from police and other areas responsible for safety, Basi said the cuts will not compromise the overall safety of the campuses. “Safety is always our primary concern.”