After two straight semesters of reduced enrollment, University of Montana officials are preparing for budget cuts in the coming fiscal year, although not as drastic as were once thought.

Vice President for Integrated Communications for The University of Montana Peggy Kuhr had encouraging words regarding the budget cuts for the coming year.

"Where we are today, is seeing data that shows the picture is getting better," said Kuhr on Monday. "Although we don't have specific numbers yet, the picture is dramatically better than what we had expected."

Questions remain though, as to where the cuts will be applied.

"We want these cuts to affect people the least, so we can protect the academic core mission of the university," Kuhr said. "One thing that we do know - is that any kind of budget shortfall with percentage cuts - the greatest percentage of those cuts will be elsewhere than academics."

Funding for the Missoula College has passed the legislature and is still awaiting Governor Steve Bullock's signature. There are also other building projects planned for The University of Montana.

"Those are not allocations of money, but rather to give legislative and gubernatorial authority to move forward with those projects," Kuhr said. "That would include a facility for student athletes for academics and training that will be paid for through donations. Similarly, the Gilkey Center, which is connected with the business school, the private funding for that building is almost completed."

Spring enrollment, according to a news release by the university, has decreased 3.4 percent from 2012 to 2013.

Vice President for Integrated Communications Peggy Kuhr


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