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UMSL Budget Planning 2017

 A Message to the UMSL Community, April 2017

The issue of budget concerns is one that is shared system-wide and affects each campus to varying degrees. For an extensive period of time, UMSL has been involved in budget realignment and planning brought about by a commitment to create and maintain a balanced budget and to grow the institution in a sustainable manner. This process is enabling us to effectively manage the new challenges presented by reductions in state funding. UMSL has already undertaken both revenue enhancement and campus productivity measures which will materially contribute to a balanced budget. 

While funding cuts do present real difficulties, activities such as the expansion of in-state tuition to the entirety of Illinois, the opening of the Science Learning Center, Optometry Clinic and the upcoming new College of Business Administration Building each send strong messages regarding UMSL’s durability and plans for growth. 

The UM System has challenged the campuses to take an objective look at academic and nonacademic programs to determine those that best meet the mission of the university and provide the maximum benefit to our communities. We are specifically challenged to identify those programs of excellence which we can support and grow, as well as create new programs of excellence.  With that objectivity comes the requirement to identify those activities which don’t or no longer meet those standards, or no longer have sufficient demand – those which we can no longer support. 

The entirety of the UMSL campus can be assured that our budgetary realignment activities undertaken over the last two years have bettered our position to face the challenges facing the UM System and its campuses.

Please know that we are establishing a rich communications process to keep you informed of the progress toward both a sustainable balanced budget and a campus where excellence is recognized as universal to all we do.

Thank you,

Tom George, Chancellor
Kristin Sobolik, Provost
Rick Baniak, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance

Introduction to Budget Planning

The University of Missouri–St. Louis and the University of Missouri System as a whole are facing a period of significant budget constraints that will require us to take bold actions to become a stronger academic institution in both the short- and long-term. To provide some context, the University of Missouri System’s share of the state’s current FY17 budget withholds is $37 million, with the potential for $57 million in permanent cuts in the Governor’s proposed FY18 budget and the possibility of future reductions. Complicating these financial challenges, we continue to address declines in enrollment, a continuing trend facing universities around the country.

The UM System president has directed chancellors, provosts, chief financial officers and UM System leadership at the central office to develop and execute both short-term and long-term plans for budget reductions based on a set of guiding principles included below. The UM System's budget planning website shares the process to implement a long-term plan to address the budget impacts in FY18 and beyond.

Addressing our budget challenges will require an overall budget cut between 8% to 12% throughout the UM System. It is important to emphasize that we cannot rely on reserve funds to solve structural problems created by permanent budget reductions. We also affirm that the financial challenges that we face will not be addressed with across-the-board cuts. Therefore, final budget cuts (which can range from 0% to 12%) for units will vary depending on the programs of excellence that need to be supported. As part of this process, we also will need to make new investments to grow the programs of excellence that are not sufficiently funded.



Budget Planning Process

UM System leadership, including each campus' leadership, will develop plans to address the budget cuts. Cuts will not be across the board and may include:

Leadership will develop budget plans in close collaboration with their respective deans and department heads and in consultation with faculty, staff and students. The president and chancellors will make final decisions after careful review. This process will be directed by the guiding principles and timeline. 

As part of the cuts, all campuses need to:

As part of the cuts, the central office's general officers need to:



Guiding Principles

In April 2017, the UM System president directed chancellors, provosts, chief financial officers and leadership at the central office to develop and execute both short-term and long-term plans for budget reductions based on the following guiding principles. The principles served as our compass as we sought to protect activities and programs that best support the mission of our university and provide maximum benefit to our communities, our state and the nation.



Planning Timeline and Communications

April 3, 2017

May 8, 2017

May 10, 2017

May 19, 2017

May 26, 2017

May 30, 2017

June 2, 2017

June 7, 2017

July 21, 2017

August 24, 2017

August 30, 2017




A series of open meetings and forums were held throughout the budget planning process allowing the campus community to participate and take a critical look at our organization to meet the goals of this budget process. The final budget planning forum was held June 7, 2017 as an UMSL Town Hall with remarks from Chancellor Tom George, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Rick Baniak, and Provost Kristin Sobolik. In addition, an anonymous feedback form was available throughout the planning process to gather suggestions on how the university could save on expenses and grow revenues to further strengthen our budgetary position.