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MU Lays Off 49 Workers In First Round Of Budget Cuts

The University of Missouri-Columbia and the other three UM System campuses are bracing for cuts because of COVID-19.
KBIA File Photo
The University of Missouri-Columbia and the other three UM System campuses are bracing for cuts because of COVID-19.

Layoffs, furloughs will help UM System absorb $36 million in immediate cuts. In Columbia, the majority of the eliminated positions are in MU Health Care.

The University of Missouri announced Friday it will cut 49 positions to eliminate a $17 million shortfall.

The four UM System campuses – Columbia, Kansas City, St. Louis and Rolla – had to submit their plans Thursday for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.

“So we only have two months to handle a $36 million gap which is across the University of Missouri System,” spokesman Christian Basi said.

That’s equal to about one month of operating expenses, Basi said. The UM System also had to refund students for housing and other services they couldn’t use after COVID-19 closed college campuses in mid-March.

University of Missouri-Kansas City spokesman John Martellaro said that 75 employees of Campus Facilities Management have been furloughed for one week, as the closure of campus buildings has reduced the need for maintenance.

In Columbia, MU Health Care eliminated 32 positions across management, administration, hospitals and clinics. MU School of Medicine faculty will have pay reduced by 10% to 30% over the next three months, and School of Medicine staff will take either a 10% pay reduction for three months or a one-week unpaid furlough.

UMKC, UMSL and the Missouri University of Science and Technology are expected to announce cuts in the coming days.

Basi said the four campuses also need to cut another $36 million from next year’s budget, cuts UM System President Mun Choi has said will be permanent.

Choi is one of 390 MU administrators taking a pay cut in the coming months, which combined will save the university $1.5 million.

KCUR is licensed to the University of Missouri Board of Curators and is an editorially independent community service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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