University of Missouri Temporarily Closing More Dorms Due To Decline In EnrollmentBy Anne Collins, UniversityHerald Reporter
The University of Missouri has announced that they will temporarily close three residence halls and lay off some employees due to an enrollment decline and reduced state funding. The layoff aims to cut the fiscal 2018 budget by 8 percent to 12 percent, said UM System President Mun Choi.
The three residence halls are Center, Responsibility and Discovery halls said Christian Basi, the university spokesman. They previously announced that Respect, Excellence, Schurz and McDavid halls wouldn't operate in the fall unless there is sufficient demand to reopen some of them. The seven halls combined are capable of housing about 1,500 students.
Excellence did not operate this year and two other halls were demolished to make way for new halls. One of the new halls opened last fall and the other will be opening this fall. The school estimated to save about $2 million for the closures by reducing utility costs, Basi said.
CBS Local reported, two of the closed halls could possibly be used as guest and conference housing if need. Freshmen enrollment dropped by 1,470 students or 24 percent for this academic year. The university is also planning for reduced funding where they planned to layoff 20 employees.
Basi said the Division of Operations this week will lay off employees from maintenance, policing and transportation. Other divisions will also be leaving some positions unfilled, and additional expenses are being examined.
Choi said that the two-month process of trimming the budget will focus on ensuring programs of excellence. Significant reductions will need to be done in programs that aren't measuring up.
The Columbia Missourian reported, Chrissy Kintner, chair of the MU Staff Advisory Council, said that the largest chunk of the budget is spent on people. The decision to lay off any employee should be carried out with the long-term health of the University of Missouri as a goal, Kinter added.
The university estimated a large cut in state appropriation as much as $57 million. They already have to make up $38 million in lost state appropriations in the current fiscal year. Preliminary plans will be shared with the campus on May 10.