Proposed University of Minnesota – Duluth cuts laid out

Seymour (UMD)

The University of Minnesota-Duluth will cut up to $1.1 million in programs and services this spring in an initial round of budget reductions to help close a deficit of about $9.4 million over five years.

The proposed reductions (see full list below), which campus leaders discussed Monday, include cuts to the IT department, library staffing and a master of political leadership program.

Vice chancellor for finance Mike Seymour called the cuts “significant.” But he said the campus is working to make sure they don’t disrupt students’ lives.

“We’re committed to making sure that students have the opportunities to get the courses they want, to get the services they need, to get their financial aid and other things processed in a timely way,” he said.

Faculty leader Michael Pfau said the cuts appear to be spread throughout the campus. Also encouraging, he said, is that no departments have been eliminated.

“I’m relatively relieved that academics don’t seem to be disproportionately harmed in the proposal as it stands,” he said.

About 50 staff and a dozen faculty members have already accepted voluntary layoffs to save the school $1.5 million.

Seymour said some of the savings from the cuts might not be seen immediately, but in the next year or so.

UMD leaders are scheduled to meet with University of Minnesota system leaders to discuss ways to reduce the deficit. They may propose asking the system to increase the financial allocation it gives to the campus, Seymour said.

Final decisions on what to cut aren’t expected until May.