Missouri Southern State University will experience a $2.2 million budget reduction in fiscal year 2018, following an announcement today by Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.
The cuts follow an announcement in January that the university would lose $1.7 million by June 30.
"We understand and respect the governor's obligation to balance the budget, and some of those choices are very difficult," said Missouri Southern President Alan Marble. "However, these cuts will make it hard for us to avoid tuition increases that are higher than what would have been previously required. This will also hamper our efforts to keep higher education as affordable and accessible to as many students as possible."
Following last month's announcement of budget withholdings, Missouri Southern and the University of Missouri-Kansas City suspended plans to create a dental school in Joplin. Marble and UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton both said funding for the project is something the universities will continue to pursue. In addition to their operating budget losses, the universities lost a combined $1.2 million for the project in fiscal year 2017, as well as $3 million in fiscal year 2018.
State funding has decreased to an all-time low of 31 percent of Missouri Southern's operating budget. University administrators and the campus community will meet in the coming days to determine how the latest budget cuts will be handled.
"Budget reductions have a significant impact on the operations of Missouri's colleges and universities," said Marble. "We must continue to develop a talented workforce that will drive Missouri's economic engine. While these cuts make our work more difficult, we are determined to provide an outstanding university experience for our students."
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