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UMD Announces Impact of $5.2 Million Budget Cuts

Updated: December 04, 2019 10:38 PM

The University of Minnesota-Duluth said in an email, the school will be reducing their budget by $5.2 million to address a recurring structural imbalance and anticipated required systemwide reallocation.

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Chancellor Lendley Black said over the last few months, he and the vice chancellors have worked with deans and directors across campus to identify $5.2 million in recurring funding reductions. 

The fiscal year begins on July 1, 2020 and that is when the budget reductions will take place, covering a $4 million annual imbalance and a required $1.2 million systemwide reduction. 

"It's hard to feel good about anything when you're making these kinds of reductions," Black said. "However, I am pleased that this does not require a wholesale cancelling of large academic major programs." 

To reduce the budget, the College of Liberal Arts and the School of Fine Arts will merge, but all academic programs will remain intact.  

"When we looked at the administrative costs that could be saved by doing it and knowing that by saving those administrative costs, we will not have to cut as many faculty and staff positions, it seemed like the right thing to do," the chancellor said.

A few programs will undergo some shifts. 

  • Jazz Studies, which is currently a separate major, will become a concentration instead. 
  • Early childhood studies will be temporarily suspended. Fernando Delgado, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, said he is confident it will be back within a year or so. Delgado said faculty will use the time to figure out how to better attract and retain students interested in the area.
  • No new students will be accepted into the Master's of English program for the next two years. 

The school said budget reductions are occurring across campus, in every collegiate unit, and throughout non-academic operations.  

According to UMD, 29 faculty and stafff will be affected directly either through full lay-off or reduction in contracts, as well as 13 graduate teaching positions. 

Enrollment at UMD is at its lowest point since at least 2010. But Delgado says a higher four-year graduation rate is something they can use to attract students. 

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