Forsee sets campus meeting to address budget changes

Friday, February 13, 2009 | 5:53 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — University of Missouri System President Gary Forsee scheduled a campus town hall meeting Feb. 20 to explain changes to the university's retirement program that require employee contributions to pension plans. He said he intended to address other measures affecting faculty and staff, including wage and hiring freezes and potential furloughs.

The meeting will be at 9 a.m. in Jesse Hall Auditorium.  A series of sessions has been scheduled at each of the four campuses and the University of Missouri System to answer questions, Forsee said.

Last week, the Board of Curators approved the contributions beginning at 1 percent on salaries up to $50,000 and 2 percent on amounts over $50,000. The policy takes effect in July.

In a memo to faculty and staff Friday, Forsee said action was taken to shore up the UM budget in the event of a state funding shortfall.

"I know many of you are concerned about these changes, particularly the employee contribution to the pension plan," Forsee said in the memo.

"I appreciate your concern, but I believe you will understand the economic situation pressing upon us. We simply cannot afford for the university to take on the long-term liability required to keep the plan fully funded without your contribution," he said.

Forsee said he had received more than 2,000 expense-reduction ideas from faculty, staff and friends of the university.

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