Presidents and fiscal officers from Missouri's two- and four-year colleges are warning lawmakers that any more higher education cuts in the state budget could result in more layoffs, program eliminations, deferred maintenance and tuition hikes.

The Columbia Missourian reports that University of Missouri System President Mun Choi spoke before a House education appropriations committee Wednesday. Choi says the system will continue focusing on improving student success and research but budget cuts will hinder those goals.

The university system released a report last week recommending dozens of academic programs be eliminated, reviewed or combined.

Wednesday's hearing was a continuation from Tuesday, when officials from several universities testified how budget cuts have strapped them in recent years. The schools' leaders say they'd need to increase tuition and fees to offset further cuts.

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