COLUMBIA — MU Extension will reduce positions, transfer programs to other administrative offices and end its role in a distance learning partnership to save up to $2.7 million during the coming year.
The move anticipates a reduction in state funding for higher education and reflects a loss of grants from state agencies.
The strategy includes:
- Ending MU Extension's 15-year association with the statewide TeleCenter Network partnership, which provides interactive distance learning centers in nine locations.
- Eliminating 19 TeleCenter positions funded by MU Extension.
- Transferring KBIA, KKTR and KAUD public radio stations and the University Concert Series to the MU Office of Administrative Services.
- Moving the Missouri Film Office to the Office of the Vice Provost for Economic Development.
According to a release from the MU News Bureau, MU Extension also enlisted the interim help of Tom Henderson in moving two online, for-credit programs, the Center for Distance and Independent Study and MU Direct, to new oversight. Henderson is a former director of MU Extension and a former assistant to the provost for economic development.
The moves will be effective Dec. 1.
Together, the efforts will result in reducing the MU Extension budget by nearly 20 percent, according to the release.
The changes allow it to "focus on core missions, including job growth and economic development for Missourians," the release said.
After dropping its partnership with the TeleCenter Network, plans are to "invest in other technologies to make Extension learning more accessible and responsive to the needs of citizens throughout Missouri.”