University of Minnesota – Duluth eyes $4 million in first-round of cuts

Could have been worse (UMD/Mull0329 via Wikipedia)

University of Minnesota - Duluth officials say they're preparing an initial round of budget cuts for the campus.

They haven't identified exactly where the $4 million in reductions will occur. But Chief Academic Officer Andrea Schokker said they could include the elimination of up to two low-enrollment degrees, the layoff of part-time faculty and the consolidation of some academic departments.

"The $4 million in cuts that we can do fairly quickly here are ones that aren't going to be quite as deep as we originally thought. So while they're painful, I think that the overall look at things is very positive," Schokker said.

This fall the school said it would review every program and service -- both academic and nonacademic -- to see whether it should be scaled back.

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Faculty union official Scott Laderman -- whose colleagues have been fearing large cuts to to the academic side -- agreed that things might have been worse.

"I think we're feeling cautiously optimistic that the cuts may not be as onerous as they were presented as potentially being a month or two ago," Laderman said.

The administration intends to cut a total of $12 million over the next five years.

Schokker said campus officials expect to identify most of the first-round cuts Feb. 1