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UM Curators Discuss Financials and Safety Amidst COVID-19

The six independently standing columns in front of Jesse Hall serve as a major landmark at the University of Missouri.
Sara Shahriari / KBIA

The topic for the UM System Board of Curators news conference Thursday was COVID-19.

The curators held the news conference after their public session meeting, during which UM System President Mun Choi fielded questions about the university’s financials and the challenges that come with staying on top of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Choi talked about how unique this pandemic situation has been in comparison to issues in years past.

“In the minds of some members of the community; our returning students and their parents; they want to be assured that the campus is safe to return,” Choi said. “That’s why we’re taking every measure now to ensure that our buildings are disinfected, that's number one, but also ensuring we have plans in place to have social distancing if that is still required for the Fall term.”

When asked about the financial state of affairs for the university going forward, Choi was honest about the options the board was considering, citing a survey he shared during his earlier presentation regarding how other university presidents were addressing the pandemic.

“Furloughs were mentioned. Layoffs, restructuring especially for operations at the university. All these are options that we will be considering,” Choi said. “And as it was stated by our curators it will be a painful process.”

Choi remains optimistic that the university will be fully open on time for the Fall 2020 semester.

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