The University of Missouri System will raise tuition no more than an average of 3 percent for state residents, less than half what was proposed earlier this month by most of its four campuses.
Nonresidents, however, will find their bills up about 6.8 percent.
Monday’s decision by the Board of Curators means the Rolla, Columbia, St. Louis and Kansas City campuses will see an increase roughly equating to inflation next year — while losing nearly 8 percent of current state funding.
The board action raises Mizzou tuition and fees $268 to $9,185. UMKC goes up $259 to $8,926. Missouri Science and Technology in Rolla will go up $266 to $9,290.
MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said his campus — which had asked for 7.5 percent more in in-state tuition — was left with a $15 million gap to close.
Systemwide, the shortage is $47.1 million.
“We are taking some chances and gambling a bit,” Deaton said, adding that finding creative ways to run the university with less is an ongoing process.
MU will forgo some “badly needed” repairs and renovations, postpone enhancement of some academic programs and absorb some position vacancies to meet ends.
Systemwide, 200 to 245 full-time jobs could be eliminated.
“We realize the significant economic pressures many Missouri families face and the financial hardship significant increases in public higher education costs can bring,” curators chairman David Bradley said. “At the same time, the UM System faces rising operating costs just like all businesses.”
Earlier this month, when Gov. Jay Nixon talked of cutting funding by 12.5 percent, only the University of Missouri-Kansas City wanted to keep its tuition hike down to inflation.
Then about two weeks ago, after a $140 million legal settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage banks, Nixon amended his 2013 budget proposal. Even restoring $40 million to higher education, however, still meant a cut in school funding of 7.8 percent.
Over the last five years, tuition increases at the UM System averaged 2.7 percent.
Between the fiscal years 2007 and 2012, university spending has been trimmed more than $220 million —including reductions in personnel, travel and training.
UM President Tim Wolfe said: “We recognize that we can no longer rely on the state to be a primary funding source for higher education. As a result, we continue to work diligently to pursue public-private partnerships, research and patenting opportunities that can add even more licensing income to our bottom line, as well as other sources of outside revenue.”