COLUMBIA — MU will seek to make cuts in parts of its budget to increase faculty salaries next year, officials said at the university's general faculty meeting Tuesday.
Assuming that the amount of state funding will be the same as last year, the budget will have a deficit of about $2 million before examining faculty raises or benefits, MU Budget Director Rhonda Gibler said.
Making salaries more competitive with other public members of the Association of American Universities is a priority, MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said.
Tough choices will have to be made to increase funding for faculty salaries, Gibler said.
"We're not going to solve this (problem) simply by making one big cut in one area," she said.
To gain additional general revenue, MU plans to launch a second major private fundraising campaign, Deaton said. A goal has not been set, but more than $250 million has already been raised, he said. The first campaign, which concluded in 2008, raised more than $1 billion.
Tuition will increase by 1.7 percent next year, which is the rate of inflation, Deaton said.
MU's enrollment is expected to increase by about 400 students, Deaton said. The number of out-of-state and international students is also expected to increase.
Deaton also discussed the MU Faculty Council committee appointed to examine how MU can improve its Association of American Universities standing in four areas evaluated annually. A new faculty hiring strategy will focus on hiring and retaining the best faculty in the country and making salaries more competitive. MU plans to hire 100 tenured and tenure-track faculty and 100 non-tenure-track research faculty in the next five years, with grants funding most of their salaries.
At the University of Missouri System Board of Curators meeting this week, he plans to highlight several trends in terms of strategic planning, including:
- Decreased state funding.
- Decreased availability for federal research funds as a result of sequestration.
- An emphasis on interdisciplinary research, which he said is part of the foundation of the strategic plan.
- A shifting student demographic. Deaton cited the decrease in the number of Missouri high school graduates.
- An increase in online and hybrid course enrollment.
Deaton also said he planned to emphasize Friday the importance of MU's international connections, such as the partnership with the University of the Western Cape in South Africa and, as of January, with Ghent University in Belgium. He also discussed the impact of international students. For example, they contribute an estimated $52.4 million to Columbia's economy, according to the Association of International Educators.
Faculty Council update
Faculty Council Chairman Harry Tyrer talked about the council's accomplishments, including:
- Creation of an advisory committee and compilation of a root cause analysis to examine events surrounding the University of Missouri Press.
- Creation of a committee to look at how to enhance scholarships not affected by Mizzou Advantage.
- Collaboration with Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Jim Spain to revise the course evaluation forms students use.
Organization and execution of a campus vote to change MU's definition of faculty and give non-tenure-track faculty voting rights, which is set to be approved Friday by the Board of Curators.
After the vote is approved, the council will look to redistribute council representation because non-tenure-track faculty members will become eligible to serve and vote, and create a subcommittee to deal with tenure issues.
The council is also discussing the issue of shared governance, or the balance between faculty and staff participation in decision-making and administrative accountability. Tyrer said he thinks there needs to be a cultural shift at MU to improve shared governance. As part of this, the council is discussing a resolution to create a pilot committee to advise the chancellor about the budget and resource allocation.
The council has also been working on a diversity initiative. MU's schools and colleges have been asked to write a statement about how their curriculums enhance diversity, said Clyde Bentley, an associate professor of journalism. Statements will be posted on the council's website about April 15. A national survey will also be given to freshmen and seniors to measure progress in terms of diversity.
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