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University of Missouri System cuts to deal with COVID-19 will have wide-ranging effects

ABC 17 News

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

A University of Missouri System spokesman said Tuesday that coming budget cuts will likely affect every employee.

UM System President Mun Choi said Tuesday that university leadership across all four campuses will take salary cuts to lessen the financial blow of COVID-19.

The announcement included a decision on layoffs, restructuring and other cost-saving measures would be made by April 30.

University presidents, chancellors, school leadership, deans, as well as senior leadership positions are all expected to take a 10% salary cut between May 1 and July 31.

The release included there are plans to increase cuts at each university up to 15%.

UM System spokesman Christian Basi said these budget cuts will likely impact nearly every position on campus.

"We want to do the least amount of harm to people," Basi said. "But, in an organization whose vast majority of that budget is people, it will be difficult not to make some of those tough decisions."

Basi also said the university sent notes to other senior administrators asking them to take similar pay cuts as the one announced today.

Choi said last week that system leadership is considering layoffs, restructuring positions and other cost-containment measures. He included that the university system is facing a $180 million budgetary shortfall for the current fiscal year. Choi originally said it would take weeks or months to come up with a decision on layoffs.

Now, leaders at each university campus are creating plans for more cuts.

"It certainly is probably the most stressful budget situation that has hit the university in the past several decades," said Basi.

Choi is expected to speak with MU faculty and staff Tuesday afternoon at a virtual town hall. He is expected to go over the university's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The university system redistributed about $25 million to students and familites recently for room and board refunds.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

Matt Ragsdale

Matt Ragsdale is a broadcast and digital producer at ABC 17 News.

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Molly Stawinoga

Molly Stawinoga is ABC 17’s weekday morning anchor and a reporter at ABC 17 News. Molly joined the news team in 2017 while studying political science, journalism and Spanish at the University of Missouri. She is originally from DeKalb, Illinois.

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