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New MSMU budget plan reduces faculty layoffs

MOORHEAD, Minn. -- Minnesota State University Moorhead will see fewer faculty layoffs than originally planned, administrators announced Wednesday.

To resolve a projected $4.9 million budget deficit that could swell to $8 million by 2016 without intervention, administrators previously proposed laying off six tenured or tenure-track faculty, cutting 16 temporary faculty, eliminating five low enrollment majors and merging several departments.

Two additional faculty members have accepted early retirement offers since then and another will transfer to the psychology department, which reduced the need for permanent faculty layoffs in the English, theater and teaching and learning departments, said Provost Anne Blackhurst. MSUM is now planning to cut three tenured faculty members.

Another temporary faculty position will be cut in the psychology department due to the transfer, bringing the new total to 17.

Temporary faculty members were notified that they will not be renewed for next fall, Blackhurst said. Layoffs of three tenure-track faculty members will not be effective until May 2015.

The administration is also reconsidering its proposal to merge the theater and cinema arts and digital technologies departments. Instead, it proposed merging theater and music.

Faculty will have 10 days respond to the administration's updated plan.