Let this be a cautionary tale to other institutions of higher learning across the West. There is a price to be paid for kowtowing to petulant children and shredding our First Amendment rights.
The University of Missouri ("Mizzou") is slated to lose some 1500 students comprising mainly incoming freshmen -- and suffer a staggering $32 million budget shortfall in the wake of its spineless capitulation to campus social justice warriors. To put that in perspective, the school is seeing a 20% decrease in its freshman enrollment in just one year alone.
"I am writing to you today to confirm that we project a very significant budget shortfall due to an unexpected sharp decline in first-year enrollments and student retention this coming fall. I wish I had better news," said Mizzou chancellor Hank Foley in a letter sent to school staff on Wednesday.
In his letter, Foley speaks about the budget shortfall and how it will impact the school -- namely calling for a hiring freeze and no faculty raises. While Foley did not openly state lay-offs might ensue, untenured professors beware.
Foley’s letter, which was obtained by Fox, follows in part below:
"Dear university community,
I am writing to you today to confirm that we project a very significant budget shortfall due to an unexpected sharp decline in first-year enrollments and student retention this coming fall. I wish I had better news.
The anticipated declines, which total about 1,500 fewer students than current enrollment at MU's in addition to a small number of necessary investments are expected to leave us with an approximate $32 million budget gap for next year. A smaller entering freshman class will have continuing impact on finances as they progress toward their degrees at MU...
Given that these declines are the result of drops in first-time student enrollments and retention of enrolled students, there are a number of initiatives and projects currently underway to stem the tide in both the short- and long-term. We are reaching out to admitted students who have not yet enrolled and to their parents with phone calls, Skype calls, videos and a text campaign, all of which involve current students, faculty and administrators throughout the university. We also are in the process of adding more out-of-state recruiters and we are redesigning all our Admissions materials to ensure they meet the expectations and needs of prospective students. I have also asked Admissions to develop a new web-based admissions platform that is streamlined and that will involve live feedback to prospective students. The goal is to make it easy to apply and to know very quickly what their prospects are for admission to MU. The key is to be faster, more personal and much more interactive.
To this end, we are implementing the following guidelines for FY17 budget planning. We will:
Impose a cut of 5 percent to all annual recurring general revenue budgets (rate dollars) without exception. Should the current assumptions that led to a $32 million gap be absolutely accurate, we will be $10 million short of balancing our recurring budget. A gap of that nature will be addressed in FY17 with reserves (cost dollars), and then any additional cuts necessary to balance the recurring budget will be carried into the following year.
We are implementing an across-the-board hiring freeze for all units on campus. We urge all campus administrators to carefully review their staffing levels and to not refill any positions unless they are absolutely necessary to the mission. Decisions to add faculty or staff must be exceptional, but will be left to the discretion of the deans, vice chancellors, vice provosts and the director of athletics.
We will not have an annual merit increase program this year. Effectively that means merit increases are at zero for the entire campus. Promotional increases for faculty will still be provided.
So outraged were they by this year's campus protests and the gross misconduct of faculty members like Melissa Click (the disgraced communications professor who called for "muscle" against a journalist covering the campus protests), Missouri Republican leadership refused to increase the school's budget and even threatened budget cuts on top of that.
Perhaps there is a little justice in this world.