COLUMBIA — UM System and campus leaders will spend the coming weeks reviewing the future of two planned partnerships and developing a long-term budget strategy that will address $11 million in cuts to core funding. The review is a response to withholdings ordered by Gov. Eric Greitens last week.
Greitens announced on Friday that $251 million was being withheld from the state budget, $11 million of which would be cut from the UM System budget and $12 million from Department of Higher Education cooperative programs. Greitens blamed a lack of tax revenue and rising health care costs for the cuts.
In a statement released Wednesday, UM System President Mun Choi announced that a MU Medical School expansion in Springfield and a University of Missouri Kansas City pharmacy program partnership with Missouri State University will be reviewed to assess the long-term sustainability of these programs. The two initiatives are Department of Higher Education cooperative programs.
"Whatever decision is made, we remain committed to ensuring that current and admitted students to these programs will have opportunities to complete their degree," Choi said.
Choi's statement said UM System administrators will continue long-term budget plans including searching for new revenue growth opportunities, improving allocation of resources and collaborations.
Greitens blamed rising costs of health care for the cuts and lagging tax revenue, although the state budget director released data Wednesday showed that revenues appear to have grown enough in recent years to trigger gradual income tax cuts.
In the budget Greitens unveiled in February, he proposed a 9 percent cut to higher education, according to previous Missourian reporting. The Senate, which has feuded with Greitens, restored some funding during the regular legislative session so the cut was only 6.5 percent.
With Friday's announcement, the cuts to higher education are now back to 9 percent, according to the governor's office.
Supervising editor is Mike Jenner.