UM system President Gary Forsee announced possible budget cuts for the next fiscal year due to a projected budget shortfall, and in a Jan. 14 memo, Chancellor Brady Deaton explained the expenditure reductions that are to take place due to the failing economy.
While Deaton acknowledged the main purpose of the university is to educate students and generate research, he also explained the increasing need for reductions.
MU spokeswoman Mary Jo Banken said the budget has not actually been cut yet, but Department of Higher Education Commissioner Robert Stein asked for possible budget reduction plans in the amount of 15 to 25 percent.
"As a result of the economic crisis the entire nation and state is currently facing, the president asked us to start some money saving strategies," Banken said.
According to Forsee's memo, those cuts will include significantly reduced travel expenses. Only travel directly related to generating revenue will be permitted.
Overtime pay is will also be cut, as well as employee recognition events and business meals at employee-only functions.
Also affected by the proposed budget cuts is the Department of Information Technology. Deaton's memo said with the exception of replacing equipment that is dysfunctional, no new technology is to be purchased. The memo states staff is to continue to use the equipment that is functional, regardless of age.
DoIT Director Terry Robb said the division has been impacted the same as everybody else.
"We are eliminating our travel, our advertising, copy reproduction costs, the usual suspects," Robb said. "But we're also eliminating buying software, which is a big component of what we do around here."
Those money-saving strategies are noticeable during the first week of classes, as professors are now requiring students to print out their own syllabi.
Some students are feeling increased pressure on their wallets, including freshman Jessica Zvanut. "It's not so much my print quota that has been affected, but I had to buy a new ink cartridge and those are not cheap," Zvanut said.
Zvanut said the university should help cover the increased expenses they now face as a result of the budget cuts.
Since the budget is subject to legislative review, Banken said Forsee and Deaton are just planning in case spending needs to be further reduced.
"We won't know the final budget for FY2010 until May," Banken said