Gov. Nixon limits additional budget cuts for UM System to one year

Thursday, September 8, 2011 | 7:12 p.m. CDT; updated 9:09 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 8, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon decided Tuesday that additional budget restrictions for the University of Missouri System and Missouri Western State University will only last one year.

Effective July 1, most Missouri public colleges and universities had their budgets cut by 7 percent because of tightened state spending. But the UM System's budget was cut 8.1 percent, and Missouri Western's budget was cut by 8.2 percent.

Nixon proposed the penalties after both institutions chose to raise tuition for the 2011-12 school year "well beyond the increase in cost of living allowed by the statute," The Associated Press reported. The UM System decided in April to increase tuition by an average of 5.5 percent, while Missouri Western approved a 9.5 percent increase.

Nixon informed the Coordinating Board for Higher Education earlier this week of his decision to limit the penalties to one year, though the issue was slated to be discussed at the board's meeting Thursday, said Paul Wagner, Missouri Department of Higher Education deputy commissioner.

The cuts are part of Nixon’s attempt to balance the state’s budget, as well as to continue to provide more disaster relief funding.

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