- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Southern State University has cut faculty and staff positions and campus programs ahead of expected cuts in state funding.

President Alan Marble said Monday that reductions could also come with double-digit tuition increases as the university expects to receive $2.2 million less than the $25.3 million it originally expected from Gov. Eric Greitens, the Joplin Globe reported (http://bit.ly/2pOCYO6 ).

Marble said on the university’s website last week that 13 full-time positions will be lost through terminations or not filling existing vacancies. The positions going unfilled will include the dean of students, associate athletic director, assistant dean of business and coordinator of the dental hygiene clinic.

“Our primary goal was to keep the cuts out of the classroom as much as humanly possible,” Marble said. “We hate to cut anywhere. Obviously, any program we had, we wanted to support, but with the cuts we had to go somewhere.”

The university anticipates adopting a budget for the next academic year with an $800,000 deficit.

The school has also considered an increase of $20 or more for tuition in order to remain competitive with other colleges and universities. Marble said it’s “a reality” that Missouri Southern must depend on enrollment and tuition for most of its revenue.

“If our enrollment goes up in the fall, that will help, and if we are able to increase tuition to a competitive spot, that will help us in the future,” he said.

Freshman Brad Cavener said that while he understands the need for cuts, he’s worried that it will make it more difficult for some students to get a college degree.

“Having an educated workforce will only drive our economy in the right direction in Missouri,” he said. “I feel that these cuts are going to make it that much more difficult to obtain an education for some people.”

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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com

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