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Montana Tech eyeing possible faculty, staff cuts

Posted at 7:40 AM, Nov 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-28 09:41:51-05

BUTTE – Montana Tech employees are awaiting a report at the end of this week that will recommend possible faculty and staff cuts.

“It’s been difficult times on the Tech campus,” said Montana Tech Provost Doug Abbott.

The report is aimed at finding ways to cut between $500,000 to $1 million from the university’s budget, which has seen a decrease in enrollment this fall by about 100 students.

The Butte college has a 14-to-1 student to faculty ratio and cutting staff and faculty may be necessary to reduce the budget.

“We will get close to that 16-to-1 student to faculty ratio mainly through attrition, through retirements, but there could be recommended cuts again to current faculty levels,” said Abbott.

The Butte university has 182 full-time and 67 part-time faculty members and 284 staff members. The report could cut up to 15 employees and it’s a cause for anxiety on the campus.

“There’s that unknown element, nobody knows what these recommendations are and the campus will see the draft recommendations Friday,” said Abbott.

And despite the current drop in enrollment here at Montana Tech, Doug Abbott says he’s confident enrollment will spike back up in the future.

“One of the indicators this year is first-time freshman enrollment is up and one of the reasons our enrollment has dropped is because we’ve graduated such large classes over the course of the last four years; we’ve graduated 500 students every year,” he said.

For now, cuts are expected. The report will be released to the campus Friday and a committee will decide on whether or not to accept the recommendations on Dec. 14.

-John Emeigh reporting for MTN News