Vice President of Finance and Administration Darrell Morrison shares that Missouri Western has one of the lowest amounts of state funding for universities in Missouri.
This fiscal year, a year dedicated to financial reporting, Missouri Western finalized a 3.9 million dollar deficit, which is higher than years prior.
Morrison shares the reasoning behind this is “because of declining enrollment of 12.5%, and 20% reduction in state funding for the year.”
However, by the end of September 2020, Missouri Western managed to cut that deficit by almost half at 2.6 million. This occurred because enrollment was only decreased by 10%, about 2.5% more than what the enrollment was previously.
Hiring freezes also played a big role in the deficit drop as well as receiving a small piece of state funding, due to COVID-19.
With ending the fall semester at Thanksgiving break, it’s expected that the university will see a drop in usage of utilities on campus because of its low occupancy in dorms, which could play a small part in dropping the deficit as well.
By the end of this semester, the university plans on sending out a new budget request to certain departments at Missouri Western to determine if any are needed. To do so, the departments will provide data to back up those requests which will help improve the distribution of money between departments.
As far as students contributing finances to the university, there are minimal charges to students. The majority of all students' fees that were paid for this fall semester will cross over into the spring semester as an effort in relief due to COVID-19.
“We have received seven million dollars from various federal state and county sources for COVID-19 relief,” Morrison said.
Morrison reminds students that the use of these funds is through reimbursements that occurred last semester and is used on protection equipment to continue making the campus a safe environment.
Morrison is hopeful that this coming spring semester would also help diminish a part of that deficit along with hopes for potential funding from the “special legislative session” called by the governor scheduled for the end of November.
In addition, Morrison wanted to make sure that students were reminded that their efforts of upholding social distancing, mask mandates and other safety measures have been greatly appreciated.
“I have a heartfelt thank you to our students for all they’ve been through and done to keep our campus a safe environment."