UPDATE--- Monday, September 24, 1:00 p.m.

The University of Montana College of Visual and Performing Arts received good news on Monday afternoon from the UM Provost's office.

Dean Stephen Kalm said his meeting with UM Provost Jon Harbor went extremely well regarding the future of the school.

"I was able to get more clarification from the Provost this morning, and I’m happy to say that the leadership of this university, as I’ve always suspected is totally in support of the arts and totally in support of the school of music and the other arts,” said. Dr. Kalm. “Although we will have some budget cuts, we will be able to maintain our accreditation and we’ll be able to do great things for students and faculty and members of the Missoula community.”

Dr. Kalm said he agrees with President Seth Bodnar’s philosophy of shared sacrifice between all departments of the university as the effort to balance the school’s budget continues.

“I think that’s an important component of this,” he said. “I realize there’s a structural deficit on campus, but we also look at this as an opportunity to move forward and do great things. I’m very excited to move forward because we have a great team of faculty and wonderful students, and our enrollment is up in all areas of the arts over the last two years and so we’re really pretty excited to move forward.”

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The following is a letter received by KGVO News regarding planned cuts in the University of Montana Department of Music from Maxine Ramey, Director of the UM School of Music. KGVO has reached out to the UM President’s office but has not yet received a call back.

September 22, 2018

Dear UM School of Music Supporter, Donor, Lover of Music and the Arts in Missoula, in Montana, the US and Globally:

Today, I am coming to you with a urgent plea for your assistance.  We have an emergency situation in our School of Music and College of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Montana. I never thought it would come to this, or that I would ever need to write a letter like this to you.  That, in the 21st century, we still must defend the Arts on the university campus. I am shocked and sickened by this turn of events in my lifetime!

On Friday, September 21, 2018, our Dean, Stephen Kalm, was told in meeting with Provost Jon Harbor, that our College of Visual and Performing Arts would be facing a dramatic budget cut.  This cut, in no uncertain terms, would mean a reduction in our faculty to the levels where we would not be able to offer accredited degree programs in Music Education, Performance, Composition, or a host of our other Bachelor of Arts in Music degrees.  The potential losses to then entire CVPA would be that the arts on UM’s campus would be terminated or minimized to the point of being just service departments.  The BME, BM and BA degrees would be gone as would all degrees in Music, Theatre & Dance and Art.

I have written a strong letter defending our School of Music and the impact of cuts to our ability to offer programs and serve UM, Missoula and Montanans.

This is serious, folks.  My request from you is to write a letter, call or e-mail to Provost Harbor and to President Seth Bodnar:

  • supporting the School of Music at UM, the importance of music programs on a university campus.
  • its mission-producing music teachers, performers, composers, educating a culturally aware individual
  • the impact on Missoula, Montana, the region (economic, cultural, etc.)
  • and even the impact on culture and society in the U.S. to have music/arts in a university

Your letter/communication can focus on your own backyard (high school music students in Montana, concert productions on campus and in Missoula, value to the State of Montana, or the greater good of offering arts programs on a university campus in the US and world-wide). Also, please feel free to forward this request to anyone passionate about UMArts, our School of Music or music in general on a university campus: politicians, leaders in your community, donors to UM, parents of UM students, anyone and everyone. Please let your passions flow!  We are in danger now of losing all arts programs at UM if we don’t turn this ship around within the next week or so.

Thank you for your support and any letter, call, e-mail you can send to Provost Jon Harbor or President Seth Bodnar.

Provost Jon Harbor/​​​​President Seth Bodnar

125 University Hall ​​​Office of the President

University of Montana  ​​​University Hall 109

Missoula, MT 59812  ​​​Missoula, MT 59812