Plunging enrollment creates budget shortage at University of Missouri

2 years 7 months 1 week ago Wednesday, March 09 2016 Mar 9, 2016 Wednesday, March 09, 2016 3:22:00 PM CST March 09, 2016 in News
By: Amy Munneke, KOMU 8 Digital Producer and Ashley Holt, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

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
COLUMBIA - Officers have arrested one man after a home invasion Wednesday night, but are still looking for a second... More >>
46 minutes ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 1:58:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Jurors on Thursday began deliberating the case of two Kansas water park maintenance workers accused... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 12:39:00 PM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a man who was in a wheelchair has been found dead in a... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:52:34 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a St. Louis police officer has shot and wounded a suspect during a struggle... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:48:28 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
HOUSE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say it appears that a man was killed after his car fell on top... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 10:35:41 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The former head of USA Gymnastics has been accused of removing documents linked to the Larry Nassar sexual... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 8:56:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - A 78-year-old Fenton man drowned Wednesday afternoon at Lake of the Ozarks. The incident... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 7:39:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Centerpointe Hospital is opening a new location on International Drive in Columbia. The Tennessee-based company has one... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:55:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Facebook has set up a "war room" at its California headquarters as part of its plans to avoid... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 6:32:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - November candidates want to earn your vote by discussing disability-related issues on Thursday. The City of Columbia... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, October 18 2018 Oct 18, 2018 Thursday, October 18, 2018 3:49:00 AM CDT October 18, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - The man killed in a helicopter crash east of Fulton on Wednesday has been identified as Charles... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 8:14:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
GASCONADE COUNTY - A school in Gasconade County went on lockdown on Wednesday after a juvenile threatened to self-harm nearby,... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 7:39:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council approved a request on Monday to change the zoning of nearly 50 properties in... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 6:33:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Andy Neidert's building on the corner of East High Street and Madison Street has been collapsing and held... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:47:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
PANAMA CITY, Fla. - A former Missouri woman, now living in Florida's panhandle, said Wednesday she is experiencing the "catastrophic"... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:41:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Claire McCaskill's office has responded to a investigative piece by Project Veritas,which focuses on her campaign office. ... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:24:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A white woman has been fired after video emerged of her confronting and blocking the entry of a... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 3:23:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Robert Pinhero created a GoFundMe page and is recruiting drivers to help get voters without a car... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, October 17 2018 Oct 17, 2018 Wednesday, October 17, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT October 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 60°
3pm 61°
4pm 60°
5pm 60°
6pm 57°