University of Missouri lays off communications, governmental staff

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri is laying off many members of its governmental and communications staff, according to UM Systems Chief of Staff David Russell.

He said he could not confirm who was being laid off or how many people are affected, but said the layoffs are part of a plan to reorganize university relations.

Russell said the cuts were the "consequence of efforts to deal with budget cuts we need to take."

UM System President Mun Choi plans a news conference tomorrow to address how the university is addressing a multi-million dollar shortfall. (KOMU will live stream the event, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.)

Russell said there will be additional layoffs ahead.

"It's really a small part of a much bigger list of initiatives we are going to undertake," he said.

Part of the plan is to find funds the university "can reinvest to make us stronger," Russell said.

"We've got to really think transformationally about what the university can do to be more efficient, but also serve the students more effectively," he said.

Choi has ordered all schools, colleges and divisions to slash their budgets by 12 percent.

State funding cuts and declining enrollment have combined to create a substantial gap for MU.