Missouri

MU slashing budgets $25 million to give more scholarships and staff raises

Chancellor Cartwright unveils $40 million fund to fund scholarships to KC students

University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander Cartwright unveils a $40 million fund Monday that will provide 800 scholarships over 8 years for students living in the Kansas City area that choose to attend Mizzou.
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University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander Cartwright unveils a $40 million fund Monday that will provide 800 scholarships over 8 years for students living in the Kansas City area that choose to attend Mizzou.

The University of Missouri is committing another $25 million this year to student scholarships, faculty raises and research as it cuts from the budgets of divisions across the university.

The average cuts are less than 5%, but go as high as a little more than 10%, absorbed mostly by administrative departments, including the chancellor’s office. The university will cut 9.9% from the provost’s office and 7.6% from the finance office.

The changes will be reflected in the budget for fiscal year 2020, which begins July 1.

“We must lead by example, and we’re always looking for ways to make our administrative offices more efficient so we can focus our resources on academics, research and supporting our faculty and staff,” said Rhonda Gibler, vice chancellor for finance, who made the budget announcement with MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright on Friday.

Of the $25 million, nearly $10 million will be targeted for scholarships, $10.5 million for employees’ performance and promotion raises, and nearly $5 million for research.

While cuts of this level often mean jobs are lost, university leaders said the savings will come from not filling empty positions.

In 2018 the university eliminated 185 positions, laying off 30 staff members, to save about $11 million. At the same time the university pledged $100 million toward student scholarships.

Cartwright on Friday highlighted progress and achievements made at the university this year, including a professor winning a Nobel prize, new facilities and freshman enrollment growth. The freshman class for the ending academic year was 13 percent larger than the previous year’s, and MU saw its biggest freshman enrollment jump in decades.

He also said that this year school cost less for more than 80 percent of Mizzou students, due to scholarships and a reduction in the cost of housing, dining, books and tuition. Faculty and staff, for the first time in several years, got merit raises.

“Our strategies and priorities have to drive our budget in order to keep that momentum going,” Cartwright said.

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Mará has written on all things education for The Star for 20 years, including issues of school safety, teen suicide, universal pre-K programs, college costs, campus protests and university branding.


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