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UM Cuts Faculty – Condenses Programs And Budget To Match Falling Enrollment [WATCH]

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University of Montana President Royce Engstrom faced nearly 300 university employees, professors and students on Tuesday afternoon with a hard message, ‘we must learn to live within our means’.

Engstrom began by simply providing numbers, including enrollment over the last seven to eight years, and how he and his leadership team plan to match up reduced numbers of students with too much faculty and staff.

“With the subsequent decline in enrollment, we’re now in a personnel-heavy state, with more employees than our revenue sources can support and too much of our available money spent on people, leaving an insufficient amount for operating expenses,” Engstrom said. “Going forward, we will therefore set a faculty number based on a student-faculty ratio of 18 to one. That also correlates to spending at least 50 percent of our budget on instruction. We’ll set our non-faculty workforce setting a non-faculty to faculty ratio of 1,4 to one.”

Engstrom said the university must adjust the number of faculty to 606 and non-faculty to 849. This will require reductions equivalent to 52 full-time faculty and 149 full-time non-faculty.

UM Budget Summary

Engstrom named some specific programs that will be consolidated to save money.

“Journalism, anthropology, English, geography, liberal studies, art, political science, forestry management and the Missoula College programs of carpentry, building maintenance and recreational power equipment,” he said. “The deans of these programs will  work together to identify where these specific numbers will come from.”

Engstrom also announced a new vice president position that would specifically work to increase enrollment utilizing all the tools possible, including social media.

Following his address, Engstrom took questions from professors, students and staff. He said the staffing cuts would be done in cooperation with collective bargaining agreements already in place, and that some positions had already been eliminated.

He closed by reminding everyone in the room that they are all recruiters, and all must pitch in to help grow enrollment.

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