University of Missouri adjusts to budget cuts

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Posted at 4:56 PM, Aug 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-14 17:56:01-04
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Administrators at the University of Missouri in Columbia are working to maintain research and education opportunities despite proposed budget cuts and job eliminations.
   The university released a budget proposal in May calling for the elimination of more than 300 jobs and about $60 million in budget cuts for fiscal year 2018, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported .
   Most of the changes went into effect this summer. Administrators said duties of those lost positions have been either eliminated or reallocated to remaining staff.
   The university hopes to limit expenditures. It also wants to restructure academic programs and administration by consolidating those programs, duties and staff positions.
   But the school is determined to continue providing education and research opportunities despite the cuts, said university spokesman Christian Basi.
   "There are some things that are no longer being done or will be done differently in the future, but the main mission of the university -- the education of our students, the support of our research and the dissemination of that information -- continues without problems," Basi said.
   The College of Arts and Science faced the biggest change, with $9.6 million cut and nearly 70 jobs lost. Other departments that saw job losses include the School of Journalism, the College of Engineering, the College of Education and the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
   "In some cases, program implementation is slowed, but our staff has taken on more responsibilities and work to ensure our education and research can continue," said Cooper Drury, associate dean of the arts and science college.
   The budget proposal said that most of the 2018 savings will become annual or otherwise recurring. It also mentioned plans for an additional $21 million in long-term cuts.
   The university's budget shortfall and widespread reductions is due to low enrollment, slashed state funding, cost increases and strategic investments.
   Base said every division in the school will undergo a review in the next few months to determine if more changes are necessary.