As part of the sweeping spending cuts in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Missouri Athletics Department will save $5 million in layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts, Athletics Director Jim Sterk told his staff in an email sent Friday and received a post-dispatch.
Layoffs, furloughs and a three-tiered salary reduction plan will account for almost a third of $16.5 million in the Department’s planned budget cuts, Sterk wrote. Sterk and members around the Southeastern Conference said they expect the college football season to start on schedule this fall, but MU ‘s department is predicting a 20-per cent revenue deficit for the year.
Mizzou ‘s operating athletics budget totalled $108,398,447 for the fiscal year 2019.
Mizzou would also limit all performance and academic achievement incentives until further notice, Sterk wrote.
Only workers with wages greater than $60,000 would be impacted by the proposed pay cuts. Employees earning between $60,000 and $100,000 will see their wages cut by 7.5 per cent from July 1 to September 30, according to the report. Employees earning more than $100,000 would see a 10% cut over the same three-month span.
Sterk and Mizzou’s highest-paid head coaches agreed to voluntary salary cuts earlier this year, in line with similar temporary cuts for other university leaders. Football player Eliah Drinkwitz, men’s basketball player Cuonzo Martin, women’s basketball player Robin Pingeton, baseball player Steve Bieser and wrestling player Brian Smith volunteered for 10 per cent salary cuts from May 1 to July 31.
The Athletics Department did not report any layoffs, but multiple sources reported that Jay Luksis, Executive Associate AD for Communications, and Stan Silvey, Assistant AD for Broadcasting Operations, were both laid off this week.
On Friday, the University of Missouri reported its most recent layoff totals of $88 million for savings of $3.09 million. MU has increased 1,683 workers to $2.5 million in savings and lowered 1,572 employees ‘ wages to $4.5 million in savings. MU has also imposed travel bans and spending limits.
On May 14, Sterk said that Mizzou was also grappling with decisions on budget cuts.
“We think maybe there’ll be a 20 % downturn in tickets (sales) and donations,” he said. “So what does that mean to our budget? We need to make adjustments to our budget, but we’re still a ways away from that. But I would say all those (human resource) tools we’ll need to utilize.”
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