MU Extension Communications is drastically reducing the size of its news footprint effective Tuesday. MU Extension Communications laid off two full-time employees and one part-time employee in the Extension news group.
They also let go one employee in its web group. MU Extension Communications Director Dennis Gagnon said there are several groups within communications that perform various functions for Extension. He said this leaves one designated news employee on staff.
“We’ve retained the single news writer, and then if we get into an overflow situation, he knows he can go to other people within our group who have some editorial skills,” Gagnon said.
Gagnon said their dilemma is no different than other parts of MU.
“You have a reduction of funding, and you have to try and determine how to meet your core mission,” Gagnon said. “And our core mission is really creating educational materials. And so we wanted to retain as much of that strength as we could.”
Gagnon said the decision was made a couple of months ago and MU Extension expects to save around 200 thousand dollars. He says these aren’t the only layoffs that have happened recently.
“In addition to these positions, Extension has been making cuts along with other parts of the University,” Gagnon said. “I think there’s a total of 21 positions that were phased out. And the attempt was to maintain as many positions as we could in the field so that we didn’t reduce field faculty across the state.”
Gagnon says about half of the positions that were phased out were on campus.