MU chancellor reacts to higher ed state budget cuts: 'I have concerns'

MU Chancellor Reacts to State Budget Cuts

University of Missouri Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said he has "concerns" about the state budget for fiscal year 2019, which slashes funding for public colleges and universities by at least $68 million. 

"That's a significant dollar amount for Mizzou, for sure," Cartwright said Tuesday. "There are some programs that are affected by it. Springfield medical program, and others, that are affected that we're going to have to look at and understand how we can deliver on those programs not having the resources that are needed." 

The roughly $68 million cut to higher education represents about a 7 percent reduction from the current fiscal year. More than $42 million is being withheld from the UM System, which is about a ten percent cut to the system's core funding. 

In a statement, UM System President Mun Choi, MU chancellor Alexander Cartwright, Missouri S&T interim chancellor Christopher Maples and UMSL chancellor Thomas George said the cuts add up to $71 million over the past three years. 

"We recognize and appreciate the hard work of our elected leaders in addressing the fiscal challenges facing the state. As the largest public institution of higher learning in Missouri, we'll also contribute our share to address these fiscal challenges. The latest reductions in state support for the University of Missouri System add up to $71 million during the past three years with an additional $38 million at risk through performance funding. This has required administrative restructuring, efficiency measures, and cuts to academic and support programs. These budget difficulties also underscore the need for Missouri public universities to have relief from Senate Bill 389 to grow our revenue during periods of shrinking state support. Without this relief, the quality of our educational offerings, access to critical services by our students, and the impact of our institution in creating economic and community development will be diminished. 

"Our commitment to an affordable education is stronger than ever before, and we look forward to working with elected leaders to keep our investment in higher education a top priority for the state of Missouri because of its significant positive impacts for the future of Missouri." 

Cartwright also addressed the limitations set by Senate Bill 389 Tuesday. Passed in 2007, the law limits the amount of tuition increases to the consumer price index. Sen. Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia) has filed a bill that would change the tuition cap

"It means that we really need to be rethinking Senate Bill 389, and we need to be thinking about how do we have the resources that are needed to deliver on a high quality education for the citizens of Missouri and beyond," Cartwright said. 

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