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April 4, 2012 Volume 33, No. 26

UM System president talks of position cuts, university vision


Cuts will be determined by campus chancellors

About 245 jobs may be lost within the University of Missouri System to help balance a projected budget shortfall of $47 million for fiscal 2013, UM System President Tim Wolfe told Faculty Council March 22 in Memorial Union.

Wolfe said he’s committed to making the four-campus system less dependent on state funding by focusing more on soliciting private donations and developing funding through patent licensing agreements.

“We are in search of alternative sources to fund our growth,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe’s presentation dovetailed with Chancellor Brady J. Deaton’s to council on Feb. 23, when Deaton outlined MU’s budget challenges and vision. At that meeting, Deaton said MU may face nearly 50 position losses, though most would be through not filling open positions. He also touted a university business model less reliant on state funding.

Of the $47 million UM System deficit, Mizzou’s share is $15.7 million, Mizzou budget records show. 

The UM System shortfall is due to a 7.8 percent cut to higher education proposed within the state’s $24 billion budget for next year. The Missouri House passed this budget on March 22, and the Senate began debating it this week. 

Because of the UM System budget issue, Wolfe said programs and positions are being examined to determine where cuts should be made. “We want to fund what makes sense, and for those that don’t we’ll make tough decisions,” he said. 

But it will be the campus chancellors, not Wolfe, who decide where to cut, Wolfe said.

Wolfe also reiterated his commitment to student success and increasing faculty pay. “We continue to chip away at this so we can attract the best and the brightest,” he said.

Thomas Marrero, a professor of chemical engineering, asked for Wolfe’s Mizzou vision.

To have it “globally recognized as a research institution,” Wolfe said. “I don’t see anything in the way of us getting there.”