Target amounts set for non-salary expense reductions at MU

Thursday, February 5, 2009 | 8:23 p.m. CST; updated 6:09 p.m. CST, Friday, February 6, 2009

The MU Veterinary Hospital was given a targeted cut for FY2009, not the VA Hospital as reported in the chart below.

COLUMBIA — Heads of MU schools, colleges and other divisions Thursday were given specific, targeted amounts for cuts to non-salary expenses such as travel, printing, computing and supplies.

Schools, colleges and some divisions are losing approximately 5.6 percent of their non-salary expenses for the current fiscal year. Other auxiliaries such as parking, athletics and the bookstore are losing about 2.5 percent.

The reductions total $5.3 million and will be transferred to a central campus fund this month. About $4.5 million will be recovered from general operating units, and about $800,000 is expected to be recovered from auxiliaries.

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton made the announcement in a memo Thursday morning.

In the memo, Deaton wrote, “Our current estimate of a reasonable target is still substantial, but it will be difficult (i.e., damaging to many key functions) to reach $6 million in the categories specified by the President.”

The areas listed for the non-personnel cuts were originally outlined in a Jan. 14 memo from Deaton. They are separate from hiring-freeze funds, which will be set aside to cover any possible reductions in state appropriations for fiscal year 2010, Deaton wrote.

MU spokeswoman Mary Jo Banken said all divisions across campus have already begun looking at different cost-saving measures.

“The head of my division has asked us to look at each expenditure in our budget to see if there is any way to eliminate a cost or reduce it,” Banken said.

MU Extension, which is facing a 50 percent cut from anticipated state appropriations, will lose 1.3 percent, or $50,ooo.

“Given the dramatic cut in the Governor’s proposed Extension budget, we have removed Extension expenditures from the base on which the cuts are calculated, thus reducing the potential savings,” Deaton said in the memo.

He wrote that the pool for achieving the savings is smaller than originally anticipated because cuts in certain areas would be counterproductive. He cited cutting travel and printing where it would negatively affect enrollment, for example, and measures such as eliminating teaching technology in classrooms.

Other categories eliminated from the calculations included the cost of goods sold, such as bookstore items, team travel for athletics and travel for large study-abroad programs, which derive income from student fees.

Deaton said in the memo that the savings would be tracked monthly and compared with last year’s expenditures.

“It is expected that we will see reductions that align with the savings goals we have articulated,” he wrote.

All areas facing a reduction in funding must submit a summary of projected savings by category by Feb. 21.

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Tracy Greever-Rice February 6, 2009 | 8:24 a.m.

hhhmmm,seems like we're well on our way to working up to the the rationalization that the only choice left will be to cut personnel.

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