Thirty-five positions were eliminated from Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at Missouri Western, but out of the 35 positions, only 14 people were let go.
Over the last five years during former President Robert Vartabedian’s term, the university had managed to lose a little bit more than $11 million. When President Matthew Wilson and Chief Financial Officer Darrell Morrison came in, the two examined the budget and tried to find ways to change it. Wilson said that at the most recent Board of Governer’s meeting, the two proposed “a budget that reflects a loss this year of $3.718 million.” Wilson said that the university is planning to not lose the $3.718 million this year, and with the elimination of the 35 positions, he believes that the university will start to save some money.
“I anticipate that through the elimination of the 14 positions and you know, not filling the other positions that were out there, even with some of the shifts, that will probably save about 600,000 dollars this year on that,” Wilson said. “So you can take that 600,000 and deduct that from the $3.178 million. As we've continued to hold positions this year and you know even going on in, I anticipate that we’ll have some savings there as well. And hopefully between those two things, we'll be able to get the deficit down under $2 million.”
According to Morrison, the numbers are still being looked at, but he believes the amount of money saved is actually closer to $800,000.
Morrison said that the University has several different ideas on how to save money but in the end, they plan to try to do what’s best for the students.
“We are going to stay focused, okay, on our student centered mission,” Morrison said. “So, you as a student, you probably won't see any issues with it. It may mean that someone like me, my not go to a professional development conference, right intended on going on, things like that.”
Along with the positions being cut, Wilson and Morrison have many different plans to save money. One of the cuts that was made was in campus printing. Morrison said that design and materials in campus printing are staying, but physical printing has been shut down.
Another change that will be coming next semester is the raise in minimum wage reaching state level. Wilson said that he wants to raise the minimum wage on campus because it’s another way to invest in the students. Although the minimum wage will be going up, as of now the University will not be receiving extra money to fund this change. Wilson said that he believes the recent cuts in positions and in campus printing will help cover the minimum wage.
Wilson said that when he started his administration, he had meetings with the faculty and staff at the beginning of the year, letting everyone know that changes were going to be made. When it came down to the positions being cut, the people who filled those positions were made aware the day of. Wilson said that the employees will still be getting pay until the end of the year and they still have access to certain benefits through the university. Wilson said that for each person who was let go, when deciding the pay and the benefits they will receive, were “all private conversations that were handled.”