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UM System President Choi responds to letter from AAUP

The University of Missouri Faculty Council will meet on Thursday afternoon to hear from multiple campus departments about the proposed budget cuts at MU.

This meeting comes days after the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) wrote a letter to UM System President Choi discussing the dangers of laying off staff.

The AAUP letter to President Choi asked him to re-evaluate layoffs among MU budget cuts.

“The process recently announced for determining cuts to University programs is opaque, evades shared governance and disregards this institution’s academic mission as a public land-grant university. We ask that teaching, research and student services, which constitute the core mission of a pubic land-grant university, be prioritized.”

MU Faculty chair, Ben Trachtenberg spoke with ABC 17 News about the letter :

“Whether you agree with every specific detail in the letter or not, I think a lot of faculty are concerned that the budget cuts should not be made by administrators who haven’t talked to faculty about what makes sense,” Trachtenberg said.

He added that the departure of Interim Chancellor Hank Foley is putting more stress on President Choi.

“Normally a system president might say to the chancellor that it’s their job to handle it, but we have a chancellor that is not going to be here the next fiscal year. So it may be the president has a more direct involvement on MU campus than they typically would,” Trachtenberg said.

You can read the full letter below:

President Choi sent a response to the AAUP, addressing their concerns.

“We want [to] protect the excellent programs that we have and to reduce the number of faculty and staff separations in the process but we are mindful of the size of the cuts that we face. For example, the $57M in proposed permanent cuts amount to the elimination of the entire School of Engineering, School of Business and the School of Law. We are not going to eliminate these schools but we expect each unit (schools, athletics and administration) to make contributions to address the issues that we face.”

You can read President Choi’s full response below:

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