MU personnel changes such as layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts have begun in earnest. MU Health Care laid off 32 people Friday, bringing the total number of MU and MU Health Care employees out of jobs to 49.

MU will provide weekly updates on the coming personnel changes, according to a campus email Friday afternoon. In these updates, numbers will not be broken down at departmental or divisional levels. Information about pay cuts will be included.

The layoffs and other changes come amid a pandemic-related budget crisis.

“Temporary measures will not address the budget situation or protect the mission of the university,” UM System President and MU Interim Chancellor Mun Choi said in the email. “We must respond in fundamental ways, re-evaluate our structure and invest in priorities that are important to our future. This will mean re-alignment, restructuring and loss of positions.”

Restructuring and other budgetary moves are coming “over the next weeks and months,” the email said.

The MU budget has taken a number of hits. There have been $36.5 million in state cuts to the UM System. Housing and dining refunds resulting from the closed campus total about $30 million.

As of Friday, no furloughs have occurred, about $800,000 in voluntary pay cuts have come from MU employees and about $1.5 million in pay cuts have come from UM System leaders, administrators and other employees, according to the email.

Choi mandated a 10% salary cut over three months for himself, the other three system chancellors, cabinet members and deans as well as a few others in leadership positions. The average salary cut taken by MU’s top leaders will be about $8,300, similar in scope to several other peer institutions examined by the Missourian.

The job cuts at MU Health Care were made across five hospitals and over 40 clinics to adjust for lost medical revenue and state funding, according to an MU Health Care news release Friday. Eligible employees will receive transition assistance, the release said.

At an April 9 UM System Board of Curators meeting, system Chief Financial Officer Ryan Rapp said MU Health Care’s deferral of elective procedures was projected to cause a $30 million to $35 million revenue loss.

Friday’s layoff news comes after the MU School of Medicine announced Thursday that faculty members will take a 10% pay cut for three months ending July 31 and staff will be asked to take either the same pay cut or a one-week furlough during the three-month period.

According to the news release, MU Health Care has taken other cost-saving measures, such as terminating over 300 MU Health Care open positions, about 100 open positions in the Medical School and about 70 agency-contracted nurses.

Additionally, it has ended travel, nonessential spending and merit pay increases, the release said.

“Hundreds of inpatient beds have been unoccupied, non-emergeny surgeries have been canceled, and clinic visits reduced significantly,” MU Health Care CEO Jonathan Curtright said in the release. “We are forced to act quickly and decisively to ensure our long-term financial stability and growth moving forward.”

For more COVID-19 related news, see our section dedicated to COVID-19 updates.
  • Education reporter, spring 2020. Studying news reporting. Reach me at lge7kn@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

  • Elizabeth Brixey is the Columbia Missourian's education editor and an associate professor in the Missouri School of Journalism. She can be reached at (573) 882-2632 and brixeye@missouri.edu.

Recommended for you