Plunging enrollment creates budget shortage at University of Missouri

10 months 1 week 6 days ago March 09, 2016 Mar 9, 2016 Wednesday, March 09 2016 Wednesday, March 09, 2016 3:22:00 PM CST in News
By: Amy Munneke, KOMU 8 Digital Producer and Ashley Holt, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA – Interim Chancellor Hank Foley sent a letter to faculty and staff Wednesday, projecting a significant budget shortfall for next year's budget starting in July.

Foley said it was “due to an unexpected sharp decline in first-year enrollments and student retention this coming fall.”

“I wish I had better news,” he said.

An approximate $32 million budget gap is possible for next year, Foley said.

He anticipates 1,500 fewer students enrolling next fall compared to current freshman enrollment.

State budget appropriations could be reduced by $7.6 million or more system-wide, Foley said.

“We at MU would probably bear a significant percent of the system reduction in order to maintain treasury, legal counsel, benefits administration and other services system administers,” he said

Foley said a number of short-term and long-term initiatives and projects are underway to offset the declines in first-time students.

“We are reaching out to admitted students who have not yet enrolled and to their parents with phone calls, Skype calls, videos and a text campaign,” Foley said.

The University is in the process of adding more out-of-state recruiters and admissions faculty is making sure admissions materials meet the expectations and needs of prospective students, he said.

Foley addressed tuition increases in the letter as well. He said the Board of Curators would have to approve a higher tuition increase since it is limited to the Consumer Price Index. Last year the CPI was .7% and if the board approved an increase, it would only account for an extra $2 million in new revenues.

Looking to other options to make up the shortfall, Foley has imposed a cut of 5% to general funding, leaving the university still $10 million short of a balanced budget. The university will also implement a hiring freeze for all units on campus unless absolutely necessary. Foley also said raises will end for the budget year but promotional increases for faculty will still be provided.  

Dr. Angela Speck, an MU professor and Executive Committee member of the MU Faculty Council, said the cuts were expected.

“We didn’t know how bad it was going to be, but we kind of had it on our radar, so it wasn’t an entire surprise,” Speck said. 

She said MU administration has been helpful and open with the Faculty Council about the budgeting issues. However, continued communication is vital. 

“If administration does it without faculty, then that’s a problem. But faculty need to understand that we have to play a part in this. If the money’s not there, we have to find a way to survive without it," Speck said.

However, in terms of preparing for falling enrollment numbers, she said the administration failed to prepare for something it should've anticipated. 

“The issue of the drop in number of students in that age range, we knew this was coming, and yet we’ve been building up and building up," Speck said. 

She also said getting out of the hole will have to happen with the help of Missouri legislators. 

“We’re going to need their support in order to not do serious damage to the institution," Speck said. "I think we have the support of our local legislators, but I would say that in general I would say they are not being very good to us.” 

Speck also wanted to clear up one misconception concerning why the budget issues have taken place. 

"People will think we brought this on ourselves because of the protests last semester, this is mostly not to do with that,” Speck said. 

The UM System released this statement: 

"The UM System has been reviewing potential budget scenarios and preparing a variety of options. As currently proposed, a reduction to the system budget could have a number of impacts on campus budgets as critical, centralized functions performed at the system offices would have to be funded or replicated at the campuses.  In the meantime, we will continue to work closely with our state legislators as they determine our appropriation, and are committed to doing so by being accountable, transparent, and fiscally responsible in our leadership and our actions."

 

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Thousands of protesters, mostly women, gathered in Missouri's two biggest cities and Kansas' capital city in... More >>
4 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:44:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A central Missouri technical college plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the school's... More >>
4 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:37:52 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is making a school choice measure called education savings accounts a priority... More >>
4 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:32:26 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Mid-Missouri Solidarity March was organized by area organization to support the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. on... More >>
6 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 6:00:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Counselors helped Columbia residents sign up for health care insurance Saturday, amid rising concern over the repeal of... More >>
7 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 5:02:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Stephens College hosted its first "Fallopian Fest" Saturday. Stephens College student and one of the directors of... More >>
8 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 3:54:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — "The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution" author, Dr. Lynn Rossy, spoke at the Boone County Historical Museum Saturday. The... More >>
12 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:51:00 AM CST in News
BOONVILLE — Several Missouri National Guard Specialists are preparing to leave for their final segment of training before departing for... More >>
12 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:39:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a man in connection with a shooting death last summer in Kansas City,... More >>
12 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:19:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police and court records said a man accused of fatally shooting a St. Louis apartment complex's... More >>
12 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:16:04 AM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A southwestern Missouri woman faces up to 23 years in federal prison after admitting in court that... More >>
13 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:10:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man has been ordered to spend two decades in prison after admitting in court that... More >>
13 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 10:31:15 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis 18-year-old has been jailed on $250,000 bond after being accused of wounding her... More >>
13 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 10:13:19 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Missouri is the only state without a prescription drug-monitoring program in place, but officials in Columbia are hoping... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 6:34:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — At their Jan. 10 Court en Banc meeting, the judges of the 13th Judicial Circuit elected their new... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 5:39:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — A Columbia man has pled guilty Friday to three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 4:43:00 PM CST in Top Stories
FRANKLIN COUNTY (AP) — Franklin County Sheriff's Office charged a man Friday after Authorities say he killed his ex-girlfriend in... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 3:55:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA — All across the country televisions were set to the presidential inauguration to see Donald Trump take office. Craig... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 3:20:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
1am 44°
2am 44°
3am 43°
4am 42°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:02a
LX.TV: 1st Look
12:32a
Open House NYC
1:02a
Open House NYC
12:00a
Lake City
2:00a
Elementary
3:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Dateline NBC
7:30p
Ted
6:00p
Beverly Hills Ninja
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld