MSSU making major budget cuts

Joplin Area Coronavirus

JOPLIN, Mo. — A local university will be making deep cuts the budget, hoping to make up shortfalls with retirement incentives and furloughs, but draws the line at layoffs.

How much money are we talking about?

MSSU campus leaders approved a $70 million budget.

That’s millions of dollars less than last year.

So they’ve got several ways to try to save money.

Rob Yust, MSSU VP, said, “If they’re eligible to retire by January 2021 – we will offer them a cash incentive to go ahead and retire.”

Up to 57 employees would qualify – positions that currently account for five million dollars a year.

“If they do retire, do we one replace them or if we do replace them, at what compensation level most likey a lower compensation level.”

MSSU will also leave any current vacancies open – a move expected to save more than a million dollars.

And there will be furloughs, saving about $1.3 million.

Employees making $30,000 a year or less will be spared.

But anything above that will have take unpaid time off.

Five days as a start, but the time required scales up to 25 days for the president.

The Board of Governors is also reviewing potential campus changes for fall classes.

In addition to requiring masks and social distancing, they’re considering class size limitations.

Dr. Paula Carson, MSSU Provost, said, “A high flex model. and that is where the faculty does report to the classroom every class period but only a percentage, half or a third of the students do the same.”

State funding cuts play a big role in reductions – that’s $6 million less this year.

The total could drop further if Medicaid expansion passes and higher ed fudning is moved to cover the state share of the additional healthcare.

They’re also expecting a 10% drop in enrollment – which would cut tuition funding to the campus.

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