MU to cut 400 positions amid budget woes

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COLUMBIA (AP) — The University of Missouri expects to cut more than 400 jobs following another year of enrollment drops and a decrease in state funding.

Interim Chancellor Garnett Stokes addressed the cuts with university faculty, students and staff at forums on Monday and Tuesday. Stokes said at least half of the positions being cut are currently vacant.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said the majority of the remaining positions will be eliminated through retirements and non-renewed contracts.

Basi also said that there will also be nearly 80 to 100 layoffs. The final number will be available in June.

"I think, pretty much, everyone at the university probably knows somebody, themselves or others, that are going to be impacted by this, by this situation," MU College of Veterinary Medicine Associate Professor Tim Evans said. 

MU announced last week that roughly $55 million of funding is expected to be slashed from the 2018 fiscal budget. The 12 percent cut is going to affect all schools, colleges and divisions in the university.

"What we have to do is think about a different revenue model for the institution," Stokes said.

MU will increase tuition 2.1 percent for fiscal year 2018, the maximum allowed under state law.

"One does not cut one's way to prosperity," Stokes said.

She also said MU needs to rethink its financial aid models to help the students who need it most.

The cuts come after MU announced an anticipated 7.4 percent drop in enrollment and received around 400 fewer graduate school applications this year.

The Missouri General Assembly voted to cut UM System funding 6.5 percent.

Evans said professors are going to need to look for more research-based grants to help make up some of the difference in funding.

The final budget details will be released on June 2.