Dear Staff and Faculty members,
We know the last several weeks have not been easy. We appreciated the attendance of more than 4,000 staff and faculty at our recent virtual Town Hall. Your dedication to continuing our educational and research mission for the benefit of our students, our communities and our state has been an inspiring demonstration of Mizzou’s spirit.
During the Town Hall, we answered many of your questions. We will be posting more information to answer additional questions that were received. If you were unable to make it, the recording is available for you to watch. As we said during the session, we will provide updates as we learn more information and as we continue to address the financial impacts of COVID-19 on our institution.
We recently contacted every division/college/school leader and provided them with information to generate plans to fill the budget gap created by the recent withhold of $17 million in state funds for our current budget year (which ends June 30).
Your division leader is working to determine what short-term and long-term actions need to be made to fill that shortfall.
While we are continuing to monitor the state revenue situation carefully for the remainder of the current fiscal year (FY20), we do not yet know the complete financial picture for FY21. Our revenue streams are unclear due to the financial impacts of COVID-19 on our country, our state and our families. In order to be prepared, our division leaders are working to build an FY21 plan that includes a 12.5% cut.
As more is known in July and August, the FY21 plans will be revisited to determine if the cuts can be less or must go deeper to sustain the university’s mission.
We have already restricted spending and hiring, eliminated raises and reclassifications, and accepted voluntary pay reductions from many university leaders. We expect other measures, including layoffs, furloughs and reorganizations, will be needed. The exact timing of those actions will vary, as some may be necessary in the coming weeks and others will require more time and be taken in phases as new financial information is available.
We are very appreciative of the many individuals who have done excellent work to save money over the last several years. That resourcefulness will be required as our resilience is tested once again.
We’ve asked the leaders to have their plans for FY20 to us by the end of this month, with actions taken some time after that. The first drafts of FY21 will be due in late May. As those plans arrive, we’ll evaluate the proposed actions and make final decisions. We are working to have transition plans in place to provide as much support as possible to individuals who may be directly affected by these actions. As we work our way through this difficult time, please be mindful and supportive of your colleagues.
We also want to thank you for all the work you have done and continue to do for the university. We know that the university will emerge from this crisis because of your dedication and commitment to our students and our state.
Mun Y. Choi, Ph.D., UM System President & Interim MU Chancellor
Latha Ramchand, Ph.D., Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Rhonda Gibler, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Finance