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UM System President Outlines Budget Cuts

Bram Sable-Smith

University of Missouri System faculty, staff and community members gathered in Columbia Friday to hear system president Mun Choi outline the University of Missouri System’s budget for fiscal year 2018.

Current decreases in state funding, uncertainty about future state funding and enrollment declines at the system’s flagship campus in Columbia have forced officials to look for both short- and long-term solutions to significant budget shortfalls.

Between fiscal year 2017 and 2018, the system was hit with a roughly 6.5 percent cut in state appropriations. Enrollment declines, including a drop of around 2,000 incoming freshmen since 2015 at the University of Missouri, also drove a projected loss of nearly $10 million in tuition for the coming fiscal year.


Together with unavoidable expense increases and “strategic investments” in university sustainability, these pressures created an estimated $60 million revenue shortfall at the Columbia campus alone.

As part of the cuts, a total of 474 positions will be eliminated across the university system. Choi said roughly half of those positions are not currently filled.

Previously, Choi charged all system campuses to cut their overall budgets by 8 to 12 percent. The budget plans released today are the result of campus planning around those cuts.

KBIA will be covering this event live and updating this story as more information emerges.


Ryan served as the KBIA News Director from February 2011 to September 2023
Kristofor left KBIA in fall of 2021
Nathan Lawrence is an editor, documentary filmmaker and data journalist.
A curious Columbia, Mo. native, Bram Sable-Smith has documented mbira musicians in Zimbabwe, mining protests in Chile, and the St. Louis airport's tumultuous relationship with the Chinese cargo business. His reporting from Ferguson, Mo. was part of a KBIA documentary honored by the Missouri Broadcasters Association and winner of a national Edward R. Murrow Award. He comes to KBIA most recently from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine.
Sara Shahriari was the assistant news director at KBIA-FM, and she holds a master's degree from the Missouri School of Journalism. Sara hosted and was executive producer of the PRNDI award-winning weekly public affairs talk show Intersection. She also worked with many of KBIA’s talented student reporters and teaches an advanced radio reporting lab. She previously worked as a freelance journalist in Bolivia for six years, where she contributed print, radio and multimedia stories to outlets including Al Jazeera America, Bloomberg News, the Guardian, the Christian Science Monitor, Deutsche Welle and Indian Country Today. Sara’s work has focused on mental health, civic issues, women’s and children’s rights, policies affecting indigenous peoples and their lands and the environment. While earning her MA at the Missouri School of Journalism, Sara produced the weekly Spanish-language radio show Radio Adelante. Her work with the KBIA team has been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and PRNDI, among others, and she is a two-time recipient of funding from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
Rebecca Smith is an award-winning reporter and producer for the KBIA Health & Wealth Desk. Born and raised outside of Rolla, Missouri, she has a passion for diving into often overlooked issues that affect the rural populations of her state – especially stories that broaden people’s perception of “rural” life.