Higher Education Leaders Describe Effect Of State Cuts

Ann McClure's picture

In a little more than 10 years, the state and students have changed places as sources of money for University of Missouri operations, school officials told lawmakers yesterday.

In fiscal 2001, state appropriations paid 55.4 percent of costs while students paid just more than one-third through tuition. This year, according to a report given to the House Appropriations-Education Committee by the UM System, students will shoulder 54.7 percent of operating costs while the state share will be less than one-third.

The gap will grow in the coming year if Gov. Jay Nixon’s budget is approved. The House committee is the first group of lawmakers to review Nixon’s spending plan, which calls for a 12.5 percent cut in funding for UM and all other state colleges and universities. The UM Board of Curators is meeting today and tomorrow to consider an increase in tuition and fees averaging 6.5 percent across the four campuses.

Interim President Steve Owens explained the university’s role and needs in terms job-conscious lawmakers understand — he labeled the university “the second-largest nongovernmental employer in the state.”

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