Dear Staff and Faculty,
As the university continues to experience significant financial pressures related to the COVID-19 public health crisis, some of the necessary actions – pay reductions, furloughs and layoffs – that we have been discussing in email messages, town halls and numerous meetings are beginning to occur.
We know this is a stressful time for our community as we work through one of the most significant challenges the university has faced in generations. We will do everything in our power to ensure our employees are treated with respect and kindness as we make the decisions necessary to support Mizzou’s priority mission to serve our students and our state.
Departments across the university face varied financial situations, so budget decisions will be customized to each department, school and division to best serve the needs and core missions of the university. Input and recommendations from department chairs and supervisors are collected by deans and division leaders, who provide plans that are considered through a budget process that ultimately require approval by the UM System president and MU interim chancellor. This week, draft plans for Fiscal Year 2020 were submitted by deans and division leaders to fill a $17 million budget gap created by a state funding cut caused by the pandemic. Those plans are now in review. Leaders are also working on plans for FY 2021 that are due in May.
Because the cuts impact departments differently, actions such as restricting spending; trimming payroll costs through layoffs, furloughs, and pay reductions; and restructuring will take place at different times over the next weeks and months. As much as we would like to provide an end date to these actions, the uncertainty of the university’s primary revenue sources makes that impossible until we know more as the public health crisis unfolds and the full financial impact is known.
We will strive to be transparent through this process. Beginning today, the university will provide updates each Friday on the total number of personnel actions that have occurred, as well as any large actions or restructuring. To respect the privacy of the affected individuals, the university will not provide granular breakdowns or identify specific positions eliminated. Beginning on Friday, May 8, this information will be updated each week on a webpage that also will provide HR resources to help our community work through this challenging time, including details of transition assistance and other programs.
As we work through these very difficult decisions, we will be guided by our unwavering commitment to a high-quality education for our students, impactful research and service to our state, particularly related to helping Missourians address the pandemic.
As of Friday, May 1, the university, including MU Health Care, reports the following:
- 49 layoffs, which include 32 layoffs in MU Health Care across management, administration, hospitals and clinics.
- No furloughs have been taken to date.
- School of Medicine faculty will have pay reduced by 10% for one-to-three months based on their salary structure. School of Medicine staff will take a 10% pay reduction for three months or a one-week unpaid furlough based on department needs.
We extend our greatest respect and gratitude to these employees. We also have learned that hundreds of employees have joined cabinet members, deans, and athletic and other leaders across the university in taking pay reductions in the coming months. To date, a total of 195 MU leaders and employees have volunteered for pay reductions at an estimated savings of $800,000. In all, 390 leaders, senior administrators and other employees across the UM System volunteered for salary reductions, saving the universities nearly $1.5 million.
Our community has demonstrated its deep commitment to this university throughout our history. This dedication is built into Mizzou and continues to serve us as we transition into a changed, but vitally important future.
Thank you for providing yet another example of Mizzou’s resilient spirit.
Mun Y. Choi
President, UM System and Interim Chancellor, University of Missouri
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Vice Chancellor for Finance and Chief Financial Officer