MU Reveals New Donations Following Budget Cuts

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COLUMBIA — Following recent budget cuts, MU officials announced Thursday the university has raised $65 million over the past six months, all toward a $1.3 billion campaign called "Mizzou: Our Time to Lead."

The money will go toward:

  • Building a billion-dollar endowment 
  • Creating up to 10 signature institutes 
  • The construction of new buildings

Last December, donations were down $6 million and $17 million in total for the year 2015. In February of this year, donations rebounded, as $21.9 million was brought in through gifts. 

MU's Vice Chancellor for development, Thomas Hiles, said he hopes the legislature notices an upward trend. 

"I hope our legislators understand the importance of higher education as a priority and higher education as part of an economic development plan," Hiles said. 

Rep. Tom Flanigan, R-Carthage, the chairman of the House budget committee, released a statement last month explaining why he felt the cuts were necessary.

"The decision to further reduce appropriations for the system was not made lightly and recent events have proved to Missourians that existing performance measures are not the only indicators of a university's performance," Flanigan said. 

Hiles said while the University has been through adversity, it's trending in the right direction. 

“We did take a hit, I alluded to earlier, right after the November resignations and some of the other controversies that surrounded us but our donors have stayed with us, and they’re very passionate about Mizzou," he said. 

Earlier this month, the state legislature cut nearly $8 million from the UM system. Interim Chancellor Hank Foley stated he anticipates enrollment to drop by 1,500 students, resulting in an approximate $32 million budget gap.