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Statement from UM System President Mun Choi

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Christian Basi

June 28, 2018

COLUMBIA, Mo. — The University of Missouri System and our four universities are extremely grateful to the state legislature and the governor for their hard work this year to support public higher education. We will serve as committed stewards of the public trust and use the resources to invest in innovative curriculum, reduce the cost of attendance, increase support for breakthrough research and promote effective engagement with all Missourians.  

We have worked hard to increase affordability and accessibility for students over the past year. Our four universities have excellent track records of low debt at graduation, high graduation rates and job placements, and research discoveries that impact the state. The signing of the budget bill by Governor Parson allows us to continue focusing on these priorities. 

This budget also speaks volumes about the level of confidence that the legislators and Governor Parson have in the UM System and our universities. During the past year, we’ve demonstrated that we’ve become a new university that is transparent and more accountable to the citizens of the state.  We did this by cutting spending, reducing administrative overhead and eliminating programs that do not lead to excellence in student success, research and engagement. We will continue to move forward with the expectation and responsibility to do even better.

This budget also allows us to maintain our phenomenal economic impact on the state. A recent study indicated that the UM System and the four universities have a combined $5.4 billion economic impact on the state of Missouri. This is possible through the awarding degrees to more than 18,000 students per year who contribute to the workforce and the multiplier effects of our research in medicine, engineering, animal and plant sciences, and the physical sciences to create new products and processes that fuel Missouri’s economy.

We thank Governor Parson and the legislative leaders of both the Senate and the House. We’re fortunate to have such dedicated public servants who contribute to the well-being of all Missourians. 

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