UCM stands for students at board meeting

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the dollar amount for the budget cuts.
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — President Chuck Ambrose shared his concerns Wednesday with the UCM Board of Governors about the incoming administration in Jefferson City in terms of the future of funding for higher education.
Gov. Eric Greitens was sworn into office Monday. Jeff Murphy, assistant director of university relations, said lawmakers will withhold $146 million in state funding this fiscal year. This includes $55 million in core funding from public, 4-year institutions as well as $12 million from 2-year colleges in the state. Murphy said UCM will receive $4.1 million less in state funding, an 8 percent reduction.
“There is without question significant changes ahead for both state government and higher education,” Ambrose said. “You would pretty much anticipate such right, because people are basically elected on the basis of a change agenda, if change didn’t happen there’s going to be a certain amount of angst by those that elected them.”
Ambrose said student success remains a top priority on campus.
“To do the right things for the students – that’s what our responsibility is for us,” Ambrose said.
He said it’s been difficult to predict possible outcomes.
“A lot of new people, a lot of priorities, and not a whole lot of open doors yet to really have that kind of dialogue,” Ambrose said.
Ambrose said the board is preparing for the cuts. However, he said students will not be able to make up for potential budget cuts by simply being charged more.
“I think we’ve had way too many gains and way too much progress to consider stepping 10 steps forward and two dozen steps back,” Ambrose said.
Murphy said the university is being proactive in addressing the effect of the state’s withholding, and administration should release its plans in the upcoming week.