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UM System leadership responds to state audit follow-up report

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Christian Basi

May 10, 2018

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Following the release of the State Audit Follow-Up Report from State Auditor Nicole Galloway, University of Missouri System President Mun Choi said that the university was pleased with the progress illustrated in the report and that university leaders will continue to be more accountable with state resources.

“I’m very grateful for the hard work by Auditor Galloway on this important audit of the University of Missouri System,” Choi said. “She and her staff have done a great job in holding us accountable, ensuring we are following transparent and sound business practices in our operation of the state’s largest public university. The citizens of the state of Missouri have our promise that we will continue to practice effective stewardship, reducing costs and reinvesting those savings for student scholarships, faculty research and community engagement.”

The auditor’s follow-up report found improvement since March 2017, and Galloway said she was “pleased the university system has taken these steps toward more effective fiscal management.”

Since the first audit report was delivered in spring 2017, Choi and his leadership team have eliminated $2.76 million dollars in spending at the UM System administrative level that did not directly support the university’s mission. Examples include eliminating six top administrator positions, including three vice president positions; discontinuing administrative performance incentives for top administrators; stopping auto allowances for most administrators; closing the UM System’s governmental relations office and replacing staff with one full-time lobbyist and two consultants; and reducing the university’s mileage rate for travel reimbursement from 50.5 cents per mile to 37 cents per mile. Additionally, the special position for a former chancellor was eliminated, and he is complying with the full workload expected of all faculty that includes teaching, research and service.

“We take the responsibility to be good stewards of the state’s resources seriously,” said Ryan Rapp, vice president for finance. “These actions, including the audit and our administrative review project, are part of an ongoing process to transform the way we deliver administrative services. These changes will directly impact our students and faculty researchers by keeping the cost of education affordable and supporting research in the lab at the highest level so our scientists can continue making discoveries that impact the state’s citizens.”

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