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Reserve funds, allocations to make up for $20 million MU shortfall

Departments across the University of Missouri campus will dip into reserve funds and general revenue allocations to make up for a $20 million budget shortfall.

Interim Chancellor Hank Foley’s office announced this week that the shortfall created by Gov. Eric Gretiens’ January budget withholding would be “backfilled using cash on hand.” That money will come from each college and division, including services that make their own money, like MU Health and Mizzou Athletics.

Greitens’ withheld more than $30 million from the UM System due to lagging state revenues for the current fiscal year, running through June. That amounted to $20 million less to the Columbia campus in that time. Expected cuts to state revenue next fiscal year for higher education will cause further cuts to the budget.

The current plan will require each department to either defer or cut projects it may have been saving for, school spokesman Christian Basi said. Administrators developed a formula to weigh both reserve funds and general revenue allocations to decide how much each school will be responsible for in the shortfall.

“Leaders will have to take a look and determine of those projects, those large purchases, how do they want to delay it or is this something that has to be completely taken off the table,” Basi told ABC 17 News.

MU Health will undergo a different process. Health care industry standards require that hospitals keep certain amounts of cash on hand, Basi said, and the administration would meet with leaders there to decide how to handle its portion of the cuts. Other auxiliary programs, like athletics, Residential Life and campus facilities, will be expected to participate in the cuts, as well.

Foley told ABC 17 News in a special report last week that further cuts would likely be coming for the next budget year, starting July 1. He said campus leaders were ready for tough cuts, but expected them to be “data-driven.” Foley said talks about next year’s budget are in progress.

“The people of Missouri need to know that we cannot do all the things we did before with the kinds of revenue that we have now,” Foley said.

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