State funding shortfall prompts budget reallocations

Nearly 25 percent of the cuts will come from the Division of Student Affairs.

Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced Thursday that departments across campus will need to give funds back to the central MU budget, in an effort to cover a $3.8 million state funding shortfall.

MU’s loss comes after the state government’s revenues fell short of its fiscal year 2014 prediction that general revenue would grow by 3.1 percent, which prompted Governor Jay Nixon to withhold funds from several state agencies.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said the $3.8 million reallocation will be a non-recurring situation, independent of the $8.7 million planned to be reallocated from various campus areas over the next four years to fund the MU Strategic Operating Plan.

Nearly 25 percent of the cuts, a total of about $936,000, will come from the Division of Student Affairs.

Student Affairs oversees nine departments: Residential Life, Campus Dining Services, Student Life, MU Student Recreation Center, Counseling Center, Disability Center, The Mizzou Store, Student and Auxiliary Services, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, which includes the Office of Parent Relations.

Student Affairs Director of Fiscal Operations Alysha O’Neil said a majority of the division’s cuts will come from its reserve funds, which would typically be used for unexpected expenses in projects and building management.

O’Neil said while the cuts may be an inconvenience to the division, it is not completely unexpected and not without precedence, as the state withholds funds whenever revenues do not meet their fiscal year target.

Academic areas will see a total of approximately $1.3 million of their budgets reallocated.

Some of the largest cuts will come from the School of Medicine, which will reallocate over $324,000, the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources ($227,000) and the College of Arts and Science ($189,000).

Auxiliary areas that do not receive state funding, such as Intercollegiate Athletics and Residential Life, will also participate in the reallocations to help minimize the impact to MU’s academic areas.

“We worked to reallocate funds in a way that would have the least impact on our missions of teaching, research, service and economic development,” Basi said. “Recovering funds from auxiliary units helped us with this goal.”

Loftin said in an email to the MU community that the amounts reallocated from each area were calculated based on a division’s current budget balance, amount of general operating funds — money raised from tuition and state funds — received and auxiliary revenue raised by the division, if any.

For a detailed look at how much money will be reallocated from each area, please view this spreadsheet made available to The Maneater by Basi.

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