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MU Extension employees face payroll cuts, furloughsMU Extension employees face payroll cuts, furloughs

University of Missouri officials make decisions to reduce a budget shortfall of $17 million.

Mindy Ward

June 4, 2020

2 Min Read
Two University of Missouri Extension employees assessing a field of crops
MORE WITH LESS: University of Missouri Extension employees face 10% salary cuts and possible furloughs during a time when many farmers and ranchers call on them for help during the growing season. Mindy Ward

University of Missouri Extension salaried employees are taking pay reductions while other hourly staff face furloughs as part of a plan to offset budget shortfalls because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

MU’s Office of Extension and Engagement announced May 29 that exempt employees will take a temporary pay reduction of 10% for three months starting in August, while nonexempt staff are required to take a one-week furlough. The information was provided on MU’s website that monitors budgetary actions of the university.

These cuts were the latest in a series of financial actions to cover a $17 million budget gap for fiscal 2020 as a result of cuts to the state budget along with student refunds. According to the website, across Mizzou there have been 83 layoffs; 1,683 furloughs; 1,572 salary reductions and 33 employee contracts not renewed.

Related: Complete coronavirus coverage

Many of the vacant positions either on or off campus will remain unfilled for the time being.

This latest round of cuts addresses the need for MU Extension to reduce more than $2.7 million, or 12.5%, of its budget. The university also had cost-saving measures in place since the beginning of April, including travel bans and spending restrictions, but now it also is looking at reducing building space. This may not be the last of the cuts.

Fiscal 2020 ends June 30. MU is preparing for a 12.5% budget cut for 2021 as the state continues to deal with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Missouri is one of 44 states in which the governor is required to submit a balanced budget.

Gov. Mike Parson has been slashing state expenses throughout the coronavirus pandemic and not just to universities. He has made cuts to local schools, as well as the departments of revenue, natural resources, health and senior services, and corrections, to name a few.

Since the beginning of April, Parson has reduced fiscal 2020 expenditures by $432 million.

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About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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