UM System President Dr. Mun Choi said the system is facing a "fiscal challenge" at a special meeting with MU faculty members Wednesday.
Choi started off the meeting on a positive note, sharing his vision for the university's future before addressing the current budget crisis.
In terms of the budget, Choi said the UM System expects $41 million in cuts to its core mission from the state. "It's not rosy," Choi frankly told faculty members when discussing the deficit.
Choi said the university must increase enrollment, tuition, philanthropic support for student scholarship and faculty research and make a compelling case for state support. He said the university system needs to show the state that their return is much greater than their investment.
With regards to a tuition increase, Choi said university leaders will keep affordability in mind. He told ABC 17 News he doesn't know what that tuition increase might look like just yet.
"We're not sure yet but we are so mindful of the cost of education and the debt that students incur after they graduate," he said. "Whatever decision we make, we're going to do it in a very prudent way."
Choi concluded his presentation by noting that not everyone is going to be happy with the tough decisions they have to make, but said they are going to make them with staff, faculty and students' best interests in mind.