Engstrom: University Needs To Be 'Right Sized'

Nov 17, 2015

The University of Montana needs to cut 201 full-time jobs to make its expenses align with revenue.

UM President Royce Engstrom made that announcement this afternoon, saying the University needs to be “right-sized” to meet a declining number of students.

"Those targets will require reductions from our current staffing levels of 52 faculty lines, and 149 non-faculty lines."

Engstrom said enrollment is down more than 4,000 students, from a peak of more than 15,000 in 2011. He cited four reasons: Increasing competition for students, a decline in the number of Montana high school students going on to college, quote, “our ongoing visibility around the topic of sexual assault,” and, finally  the economic recession that sent a surge of students to campuses when jobs were scarce, with those students now leaving as jobs become more available.

"So we are currently at approximately the same enrollment levels now as we were pre-recession."

UM President Royce Engstrom said the University needs to be “right-sized” to meet a declining number of students.
Credit Saxon Holbrook

Engstrom says several academic departments are targeted for staffing adjustments. They include Journalism, Anthropology, English, Geography, Liberal Studies, Art, Political Science, Forestry Management and 3 programs at Missoula College.

Engstrom invited faculty and staff to send him comments on his plan to reduce staff by November 25. He said any changes to the plans he released today will be announced by early January.

You can find a copy of University of Montana President Royce Engstrom’s budget remarks here.