University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe is just a few days away from his one year anniversary and used a press conference Tuesday to push for more money for campus buildings.Wolfe say the four UM campuses need one billion dollars’ worth of repairs to buildings. He told the media that the UM System is in good financial shape because it’s been able to find about $800 million in savings through efficiencies. However, the money will not last long unless the system gets some help from the state.Wolfe believes the UM System is a valuable asset for six million Missourians. He says the research that goes on across the four campuses changes lives, but some of those facilities are in decline and hindering the goal for the UM System.”Not keeping current with your maintenance and repair, buildings are not in the shape that we need to be to house the students that we need to teach and give them the opportunity of the faculty to do the research they need to do,” said UM System President Tim Wolfe. According to Wolfe, it would be difficult to keep up with the maintenance without funding help from the state. There is currently a bill that would bring nearly one billion dollars to various state and higher education buildings. Wolfe says the university system supports the bill fully.However, he believes the system is in good financial shape to support the improvements needed if the bill does not pass, but it would be extremely difficult to do it.Wolfe believes they would need to find even more areas where they could cut back on costs.”We’re sensitive to our financial position with our credit rating and so we would very much look to the state to support some additional financing that’s necessary to improve the infrastructure that we have,” said Wolfe.So far, the bill has only been referred to committees. There is still a long way to go and UM System officials say they will be keeping an eye on it throughout the session.ABC 17 News also asked Wolfe if more job cuts would be coming again. He wouldn’t give a certainty either way, but did say they will try not to. He says if the strategic plan calls for less employees in certain areas then they will follow the plan.
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