University of Montana Provost John Harbor met directly with the press on Wednesday to outline the next steps in bringing the school’s budget in line with reduced enrollment.

“The University of Montana has a smaller student body than it had a few years ago, so we’ve been going through a process to align our instructional staffing to our students’ needs and interests,” said Harbor. “In September, I gave our departments, schools and colleges instructional staffing budget targets to be achieved by June of 2021. These targets combine to bring $5 million in savings.”

Harbor said because of privacy issues, he would not be announcing specific personnel changes.

“I can announce that we will not be going through retrenchment, the technical term for laying off tenured professors, although closure of the Global Humanities and Religions Department has been recommended, their remaining faculty will move to other departments to enrich and support student needs there,” he said. “The plans presented included plans to wind down 16 majors, minors and options. All students currently in these programs can finish them.”

Plans are to end Major and Minors in Global Humanities and religions, convert Masters in Musical Theater to an option in Theater BFA, consolidate language degrees and create language options, suspend Organ Concentration in Music, end the film studies option offered by English, make changes within Geography, move the Community and Environmental Planning option from the B.A. to the B.S and suspend the Mountain Studies for three years and revisit, suspend the PhD program in Materials Science and hire new tenure-track faculty in English, Psychology, Media Arts and Counselor Education.

Reductions in tenured faculty will come from planned voluntary separation, including retirements, as well as some faculty members voluntarily moving to part-time and other sources of support. There will also be reductions to non-tenured faculty, including adjuncts and lecturers.

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