KCUR News
12:37 pm
Thu November 19, 2009

University Of Missouri President Explains Budget Cuts

Kansas City, MO – The University of Missouri-Kansas City will have to make due with about $4 million less from the state next year. It reflects an agreement with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to cut higher education funding statewide by only 5 percent in exchange for holding tuition steady next school year.

UM System President Gary Forsee stopped in Kansas City for a town hall with some 200 students, faculty, and staff. Forsee says knowing about budget cuts now makes planning easier.

Forsee: "We have to be willing to be more flexible and more cost effective and that will require some long term planning, but the time to start that is now. We now have the budget set we can do that hopefully do that with a planning process that will allow to make some critical decisions."

Forsee says those long term plans include could more online classes and getting students to graduate more quickly.

But Forsee says the state faces another ongoing funding crunch one for academic buildings and other on campus capital projects.

Forsee: "So those are issues we have to come to grips with as a state because the infrastructure is aging and there are maintenance repairs that need to be made and there's not a capital funding mechanism for that."

Forsee says he's working with the systems four campuses to address those needs. As for the higher education budget, the cuts are not a done deal. They still must be approved by the state legislature before heading to the governor's desk.