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2,630 drop in MU enrollment to contribute to $31.4 million budget shortfall

Columns and Jesse Hall
Adam Procter

The University of Missouri is now projecting a drop in enrollment of 2,630 students for the next school year, which will contribute to a $31.4 million revenue shortfall for MU next year.

University of Missouri leaders briefed faculty and staff Wednesday with the latest figures on enrollment and the budget for the next fiscal year. Vice Chancellor of Finance Rhonda Gibler explained the cuts necessary to right the ship at MU will not be easy.

“Sometimes when we deal with these situations there’s a tendency to hope against hope that it cannot affect any people. It will affect people, and we know that, and we take that very seriously,” Gibler said.

For the next school year, the campus is requiring a 5 percent cut across the board, which will be decided by each unit on the campus. That covers much of the shortfall, but still leaves $6.8 million dollars that Gibler says will be covered by one-time funds pulled from yet-to-be-determined sources.

MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley said if the campus does not recover from the drop in enrollment in future years, it will have to consider making specific cuts from the top down rather than across the board. He says faculty will likely need to teach larger classes and teach more, and that public relations will also be key to recovery.

Ryan served as the KBIA News Director from February 2011 to September 2023