UM Faculty Holds Forum To Protest Academic Cuts - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

UM Faculty Holds Forum To Protest Academic Cuts

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MISSOULA -

University of Montana faculty members are trying to find alternative ways for the University to make cuts after a multi-million dollar budget shortfall.

Since the University of Montana announced a $3 million budget short fall, the question on all of UM's staff and administration minds is if and where the cuts will be made?

A public forum was held on Wednesday to give faculty and students a say in where the reductions should be made.

"Quite frankly this is what we have to do. You might disagree with some of the means, but you can't disagree with the purpose, and the people who aren't here are the problem," said University of Montana professor, Doug Coffin.

Before opening the discussion to the public, a panel of faculty members spoke about alternative areas for reductions, instead of cutting academic courses.

"We should create a faculty group that decides where cuts could be made in administration, just like how administration has a group that decides where to makes cuts," said another professor.

Much of the faculty at the forum said administrators should restructure within their own department before making cuts from academics.

"I've never heard an undergraduate student or graduate student say, 'gee I wish we had more administrators in Main Hall. I wish we had a few more faces in the presidents office to help me graduate.' That's not what these students need," said another professor.

We first heard the frustrations from instructors last spring, when the university announced a $9 million budget shortfall. UM officials said right now, they've made no actual budget reductions for next spring or fall.

"There's no decision that's been made on cuts per say or reductions, but what we know is we have a budget," said UM's Vice President for Integrated Communications, Peggy Kuhr.

University officials said as they go into making cuts this year, keeping instructors will be a priority.

"We always make sure the message is keeping instruction, because we are a university," Kuhr said.

Again, UM officials have made no decisions on making cuts. They said right now, they are just trying to keep the budget balanced, so the shortfall has a minimal impact on students and staff.

 

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