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Montana News

Cuts To UM Staff, Faculty Expected Following Enrollment Declines, President Says

University of Montana's Main Hall.
Josh Burnham
/
Montana Public Radio

Enrollment at the University of Montana has dropped slightly, but university officials say they are hopeful that trend will reverse.

The Missoulian reports that enrollment of full-time students fell nearly six percent from this time last year. Current enrollment stands at 11,615 students.

UM President Sheila Stearns says she expects enrollment to remain at about 11,000 for the next two years or so, and if that's the case, the university will need fewer staff and faculty.

“Somewhere between 50 and 100 range, maybe, positions that we would have to take a careful look at, in the sense of that it would depend on vacancies,” Sterns said.

Stearns says the University will roll out early retirement incentives early next month, and that normal attrition will also play a role in the number of vacancies.

She said it’s also difficult to accurately model staffing levels until after the state budget is finalized in the legislature.

UM has experienced falling enrollment since 2010, with an overall 24 percent decrease Stearns says she anticipates enrollment leveling out in the next two years thanks to new recruitment strategies.

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