School of Medicine growth boosts University of Missouri payroll

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Robust growth at the University of Missouri School of Medicine has led to a $15 million increase in university payroll and 435 more employees, even though salaries have been frozen for the rest of the campus as administrators brace for another budget crunch.

Salaries for physicians and medical staff are funded through patient care, grants and external contracts, which means taxpayers and students aren’t paying for the increases, said Tim Rooney, the university’s budget director.

General operating revenues that fund salaries have remained flat, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported.

But the University of Missouri Health System has been busy over the past couple of years. It opened the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute this summer, revamped Columbia Regional Hospital into a women’s and children’s hospital and absorbed Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center, and has seen patient counts climb at existing facilities.

With that growth has come the need to hire more surgeons, radiologists and anesthesiologists, who are some of the highest-paid university employees.

The university’s total payroll is $570 million for 10,428 employees, not including Extension employees and hospital workers not affiliated with the School of Medicine.

Of that total, $214 million goes to 980 workers who earn more than $100,000 each, meaning that fewer than 10 percent of university employees account for nearly 40 percent of salaries.

Rooney said many of those higher salaries are paid with funds from auxiliary services such as health care, bookstore sales and housing fees. The Athletics Department generates its own revenues, so none of the athletic staff salaries are being paid with tuition or tax dollars.

The hiring of two new deans this year at salaries higher than those of their predecessors also added to the payroll increase.

The university got a boost of roughly $8 million to $10 million from a record enrollment and some increases in out-of-state and graduate tuition, Rooney said.

The addition of so many new employees without increases in in-state undergraduate tuition or state funding shows the university is working efficiently in tough times, he said.

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Information contributed by: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com

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