Missouri State University President Clif Smart outlined the effects the ongoing COVID-19 situation has on the university’s revenue in his April 14 “Clif’s Notes” published on MSU’s website.
According to this note, the university is expected to have over a $3.5 million revenue decrease in housing credits.
This is accompanied by over $1 million revenue decreases on meal plan credits, contract revisions and other credits. Smart gave examples of study away programs, band and choir trips and event tickets. Finances will also be used to help students and faculty transition to online learning, disinfect campus and provide services and supplies to Magers Health and Wellness Center.
Smart said the university has frozen hiring and canceled events and travel until June. As of April 14, 2020, the university has cut 65 full-time staff to two-thirds of their pay with “more likely to follow.”
In response to the cancellation of the Missouri Valley Conference and NCAA, Smart said the athletics department would be responsible for any “unbudgeted athletics shortfall,” not the university.
These losses include over $600,000 in reduced payments.
The university will also lose $900,000 in tuition and fees from not charging students for online summer classes. Though it will generate $700,000 in savings as faculty will not receive incentive pay for online courses.
In July the university will meet to discuss incentive payments.
All vice-presidential level administrators, deans, associate and deputy provosts, as well as the Chancellor of the West Plains campus will be taking a 10% salary reduction, with Smart taking a 20% reduction through May into June.
The Missouri State Legislature authorized Gov. Mike Parson to distribute federal stimulus funds, with an expected $31 million authorized for MSU. Smart said if MSU receives these funds they “will likely have many strings attached” and the university cannot plan a budget using them at this time due to not knowing when or if they will arrive.
Finally, the U.S. Department of Education developed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. The CARES Act promises $13,855,674 for Springfield and $960,166 for West Plains. Smart said unlike previous funding, this money will come directly from the federal government to the university.
Smart said this funding also has “restrictions,” like the fact 50% of it must be used to provide emergency aid to students.
Smart finished his note by thanking Missouri lawmakers and assuring readers the university is doing all it can to support students during this critical time.