MU laid off eight employees and furloughed 36 this week, but retained roughly 250 custodial positions for the 2020-2021 academic year.

The university has laid off 181 employees total and furloughed 3,634, according to an MU site that tracks budgetary actions. Salary reductions, both mandatory and voluntary, total 2,346, up 29 from last week.

Around 250 custodial jobs will not be outsourced to an external company for the upcoming academic year, MU announced Thursday. A review process of the bids determined that MU could save over $3 million if the positions were outsourced, but officials said they opted to not do so to protect current employees.

Negotiation with union representatives will take place in the coming months, MU officials said, and if they are unable to achieve those levels of savings, they will outsource the positions before the 2021-22 academic year. MU also rejected bids to outsource around 30 landscaping positions in June, citing unjustifiable savings in doing so.

The pandemic has cost MU about $35 million in state revenue, and over $85 million for the University of Missouri System as a whole since March.

Information used in the Friday update regarding MU layoffs, furloughs and salary cuts is current as of Wednesday, according to the site.

Because the numbers reflect only layoffs that have officially been recorded by MU’s human resources system, it is possible that additional layoffs have been made but not yet registered online.

Furloughs affect staff members and vary in length from one week to three months. Thirty-three employee contracts have not been renewed. Data on salary cuts, furloughs and layoffs is not broken down by college or department.

For more COVID-19 related news, see our section dedicated to COVID-19 updates.
  • Galen Bacharier is an assistant city editor at the Missourian. He has reported on higher education, state government and breaking news. Reach him at or on Twitter @galenbacharier.

  • Fred Anklam manages city and county government reporters. He can be reached at or in the newsroom at 573-882-5720.

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