MU interim chancellor gives update on budget allocations

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COLUMBIA - Some deans on MU's campus said they were disappointed about budget cuts that were announced on Wednesday, while others said they are prepared for changes.

MU Interim Chancellor Garnett Stokes said in an email Wednesday that changes will be made to various university programs following a 12 percent decrease in funding attributed to state budget cuts and lower projected enrollment.

The dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, Neil Olson, said he has already started having open conversations with his staff.

"I started with the chairs of the departments in my school, we talked about these changes and prepared ourselves for the loss that was to come," Olson said.

MU News Bureau spokesman Christian Basi said "this 12 percent budget cut decision came out after the university finalized their projected enrollment numbers for next year, and found how much state finding was going to be cut."

The School of Medicine will be contributing 3.1 million dollars to the University of Missouri from its reserve funds. 

That school's public pelations manager, Mary Jenkins, said, "While we consider the amount to be significant, at this time we have not identified any programs that will be cut."

The School of Medicine will be using some of its reserve funds to make up the difference and is in the process of identifying opportunities for revenue.

Other deans across the campus were either not ready to speak on the issue, or did not reach out in time for publication of this story.

Expected program changes include eliminating the Environmental Health and Safety Department building from the MU Education and General-use faculties portfolio and relocating it to the General Services building, relocating the Truman School of Public Affairs to the College of Arts and Science's administration and "sharing common services across units."

Stokes said she understands this 12 percent budget cut is going to have substantial impact, but wants to bring to everyone's attention the progress that is being made on campus. 

The final budget plans are due to UM System President Mun Choi on May 19.  Stokes said the university's senior leadership teams are encouraging the public to participate in a series of forums regarding opinions on budget priorities leading up to the turn-in date.

Those forums are being held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on May 15 and 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on May 16 in Jesse Wrench Auditorium.