Funding cuts cost MOREnet 10 employees

Monday, October 18, 2010 | 6:32 p.m. CDT; updated 11:22 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 19, 2010

COLUMBIA — The Missouri Research and Education Network notified 10 employees, 11 percent of its work force, they were laid off Monday because of funding cuts.

MOREnet is a provider of technology services and Internet for K-12 schools, higher education and libraries in Missouri.

Seven full-time and three part-time positions were cut, and MOREnet will not fill three open positions. The eliminated positions are those in which software now does the work of employees and areas where service demand declined, such as Mobius, a library association that moved out of the MOREnet building. Positions were also cut in areas where new strategies are being explored, such as off-the-shelf software, said John Gillispie, MOREnet executive director.

“MOREnet will offer any help we can relative to helping people get their resumes out,” Gillispie said.

Departing employees will have access to the MU Career Center, the Employee Assistance Program and the University Transition Assistance program. University Transition Assistance is based on the employee’s length of service, with at least four weeks of pay provided.

Although the MU Career Center isn’t a placement service, it offers job and internship searches, interview preparation and other services for job-seeking community members, said Megan Anderson, a career specialist supervisor at the center.

Laid off MOREnet workers can also receive one-on-one career counseling. Counselors meet with prospective employees weekly for $20 a semester, or $15 for MU alumni.

MOREnet’s funding from the state has been reduced from about $14 million to nothing over the past two years. The first round of cuts, $6 million, came in the last fiscal year. MOREnet still receives funds from the fees it charges members for technology and Internet usage. 

MOREnet, a separate business unit within MU, provided state funding to centralize purchasing and reduce costs for 725 organizations in Missouri. This number will decline in the coming months, Gillispie said. 

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cat1 minder October 19, 2010 | 11:45 a.m.
This comment has been removed.
Ellis Smith October 19, 2010 | 12:20 p.m.

@ cat1 minder:

Unfortunately, that's not how bureaucracies operate, whether they are located in Jefferson City or Columbia or elsewhere.

Nor are "bureaucracies" confined to public institutions.

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