Minot State faces additional budget cuts
Six months ago, Minot State University conquered what everyone thought was a complete set back. The university faced $8.6 million in cuts. Facing a crucial budget cut meant having to cut several positions. The university cut 30 non-faculty positions and 20 faculty positions, including the college deans.
The programs may not be allowed to do as much as before or provide as many classes as before, but are still able to rotate the classes every two years so the students have the same options as the previous years. According to Laurie Geller, vice president for academic affairs, rotating the classes every two years provides more options and opportunities for the students.
Because the number of students attending Minot State has declined, the university is faced with another budget shortfall.
“We have to understand the state and where we are. We, as a university, are down 690 (students) since 2010,” Geller said.
According to Brent Winiger, vice president for finance, with a budget deficit of more than $300,000 needing to be made up, the Budget Reduction Committee is currently looking for ways to make cuts.
“Everything is operating but is just on a tighter budget,” Geller said. “We’ve asked them to be more efficient when it comes to course offerings and offering classes in a rotating basis, but also not to spread thriving programs too thin. We are trying to keep delivering, keep people, and positions.”
With the removal of the three college deans last summer, MSU created a new assistant vice president for academic affairs position. Erik Kana, from the teacher education department, will officially fill that position at the first of the year.
“Dr. Erik Kana will be under Laurie, giving Laurie more time to focus on a couple more specific situations instead trying to take care of them all at once,” President Steven Shirley said.
The combined budget cuts are drastic but necessary to keep Minot State on track.
“There won’t be near as many cuts as six months ago, just little tweaks and minor transitions,” Shirley said.
“The cuts create fear to maybe individuals who aren’t tenured which is understandable,” Geller said. “Trying to move forward with positivity is the best way for Minot State University.”