COLUMBIA — MU made another round of budget cuts and layoffs on Thursday, this time to the Division of Student Affairs. One part of the division is merging with the Division of Operations, a move that is expected to save $1.5 million, according to MU spokesman Christian Basi.
A total of 165 facilities management positions will be moved from Student Affairs to the Division of Operations, according to an FAQ page on the Student Affairs website. University officials expect a reduction in 10 to 15 positions during the restructuring due to a combination of voluntary departures and layoffs, according to Basi. This alone was expected to save the university approximately $750,000.
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Previously, the Department of Student Life was directly supervised by the vice chancellor of student affairs, and the assistant vice chancellor oversaw departments such as Residential Life, Campus Dining Services and University Bookstores.
The merger will streamline the administration that provides many of these services and programs under a newly expanded position of dean of students, and the assistant vice chancellor position will be eliminated. The dean of students will oversee the Department of Residential Life, Greek Life, Student Conduct, Student Life, Student Recreation and Student Unions.
Some administrative positions were eliminated: One assistant vice chancellor position, three director positions, one senior associate director position and two administrative support positions. These moves will save an additional estimated $745,000, according to the Student Affairs website. Basi would not confirm which employees' positions were being eliminated.
“Our goal is for all of these changes to benefit our students,” Basi said. He added that these budget moves were aimed at providing a “stronger and vibrant student experience, while simultaneously being the best stewards of the fiscal resources given to the university."
He also said the university plans for the cuts and restructuring to address immediate budget challenges and provide money that can be invested in students.
Following these cuts, Basi estimated that a total of $2.3 million have been saved within student affairs since June, when the first round of budget cuts occurred.
MU eliminated 343 positions from the general operating budget in June, according to previous Missourian reporting. Operations and Student Affairs, the target of Thursday's cuts, lost 108 jobs for the 2018 fiscal year in those earlier cuts. The departments previously lost 115 full-time positions for fiscal year 2017.
Many other schools and academic departments have been impacted by the budget cuts, including the Trulaske College of Business, the College of Education, College of Human Environmental Sciences and the School of Journalism. Those cuts had a variety of effects and included fewer scholarships, fewer graduate assistants and eliminated positions.
Supervising editor is Claire Mitzel.