Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tough Times Ahead for Higher Ed

Bad news for the University of Maryland. The beginning of the story is a bit misleading, since 151 of the 175 jobs "cut" are simply elimination of unfilled positions. However, this should not minimize the impact of these cuts. A program that is growing and trying to add new faculty or replace faculty that have retired will be severely limited by losing a faculty line or have a line deferred.

U-Md.'s Budget Cuts Include Faculty Positions
The University System of Maryland will cut 175 jobs and freeze hiring as part of its overall plan to cut $37.8 million from the 2010 budget, a move that will probably lead to fuller classrooms and the elimination of some underenrolled courses, Chancellor William E. Kirwan said.

Kirwan submitted his planned cuts to the state Department of Budget and Management on Friday. They are part of the $281 million in statewide cuts Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) had previously announced to make up for shortfalls in this year's budget.

The job cuts, which will save the system $12 million, include 24 layoffs and the elimination of 151 open positions, Kirwan said. The system will also cut $2 million in maintenance expenses and $3 million in travel expenses, library budgets and computer support, as well as less than $1 million in financial aid. The rest comes from eliminating the university system's cash reserves that help support the system's bond rating.

'The cuts include a fair number of adjunct and part-time faculty, and I think that's where the students will see a real impact,' Kirwan said. 'There won't be as many sections of courses, courses will be harder to get and some will be larger. So it might take some students longer to graduate.'

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