UM faculty wrestles with response to budget cuts

Posted at 8:39 PM, Apr 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-28 22:39:28-04

MISSOULA – University of Montana faculty are continuing to wrestle with their response to a plan to cut millions of dollars in spending over the next three years and their main concerns appear to be focused more on the loss of programs than jobs.

University of Montana President Seth Bodnar unveiled details of the proposed plan developed with the University Planning Committee to trim up to $10 million in spending last week as the school tries to align costs to meet the recent slump in enrollment.

Bodnar says the current spending isn’t "sustainable". But he’s also challenging the school to re-align its courses and offerings to be more attractive to future students. 

This week the Senate Faculty continued to meet in listening sessions as it works to craft a response to the cutbacks with faculty members saying while they’re concerned the plan could cut as many as 50 full-time equivalent positions, they’re more worried about the loss of programs and courses they feel are central to school’s mission as a Liberal Arts university. And they feel references to programs like humanities, science and research should continue to be a part of UM’s Mission Statement. 

The Senate Faculty will meet again this coming Thursday and could have its response to Bodnar’s recommendations at that time.  The proposals are set to go to the Montana University System Board of Regents in late May.