In the wake of recent higher-education budget cuts, Truman State University is looking to decrease spending in all departments across campus, including Truman Athletics.
In January, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens proposed a state budget that included a significant decrease in funding for higher education. His plan included budget cuts totaling more than $146 million, with $82 million cut from higher-education institutions. As a result, universities and colleges across the state are brainstorming ways to further decrease budgeting.
Truman Athletics Director Jerry Wollmering said the athletic department has been asked to cut about $193,000. Wollmering said coaches are given an operating budget for the year, but they’ve already taken hits the past several years. He said it will be difficult to determine where they can afford to cut more.
“Most of our operating budgets aren’t enough to get through the year,” Wollmering said.
Wollmering said University teams host camps and engage in fundraising efforts to get through their seasons. Additionally, he said many sports do not have scholarships in their budgets and instead rely on foundation scholarships as their only means of offering athletic funding for students.
“The issue is that the main source of revenue for publicly funded universities are state money and student tuition,” Wollmering said. “The amount of money we receive from the state is the same it was about 20 years ago.”
Taking inflation and raising costs into account, Wollmering said this poses a problem for an institution of Truman’s caliber. He said the biggest challenge facing Truman Athletics is how the University sponsors more men’s sports than any other public school in the state. Additionally, Truman matches the 10 University-sponsored men’s sports with 10 women’s sports, meaning Truman offers more sports teams than almost all public schools in Missouri.
Wollmering said sharing a small budget between that many sports is what makes the situation so difficult. He said he has no specific answers yet about what will be cut from the budget. The government is still debating cuts to higher education, meaning the permanent budget plan for 2018-2019 is still not set in stone.
For more information about Truman Athletics’ budget cuts, pick up a copy of The Index on April 26.