UM System Finance Committee approves $3.5 billion budget

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The UM System Board of Curators Finance Committee approved a $3.5 billion 2020 operating budget Tuesday as well as a five-year strategic plan and a preliminary 2021 state appropriations request.

The committee met ahead of the Board of Curators meeting June 20-21 in Columbia, where each of these items will be on the agenda.

According to the five-year plan, all four UM System campuses are expected to have an annual revenue growth rate between 2% and 5%. This revenue growth would contribute to a greater margin between operation expenses and income.

MU spokesperson Christian Basi said the improved margin will contribute to healthy economic growth.

UM System Chief Financial Officer Ryan Rapp said these growth rates will be reached by creating “a culture of accountability” at each campus, including a system of incentives and consequences.

The committee began its preliminary discussions for the fiscal year 2021 budget. The current proposal, which lays the groundwork for future budget planning, requests $491.64 million from the state for core operations, including $10 million for the Translational Precision Medical Complex and $65.12 million for new requests such as equity funding and a MoExcels proposal for workforce-driven education and training programs.

For fiscal year 2020, set to start July 1, MU will have a “small buffer” of about $10 million because of an increase in both state funding and enrollment numbers.

Nearly a year after MU eliminated 185 positions, which included 30 layoffs, to close a $49 million gap between revenue and income, the Finance Committee projected that salaries and wages for the university would cost an additional1.8% increase in the coming year.

“We are heading into this coming year, in a very, very strong financial position,” Basi said. “We’re very happy that we’re going to be able to continue meeting and maintaining our missions and improving upon them.”

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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