With $2 million in proposed budget cuts looming over UMD, many students are left to wonder what is going to happen next.
The cuts hit the College of Liberal Arts (CLA), School of Fine Arts (SFA) and College of Education and Human Services Professions (CEHSP) particularly hard. CLA’s reductions must equal $1 million. CEHSP must cut $500,000. SFA will cut $400,000.
These cuts are largely due to declining enrollment, contributing to the $4.3 million deficit in the university’s budget.
This is an issue that has left many students with questions.
“As a student in the College of Liberal Arts, I am concerned. I pay a lot of money to be here. I want to get my money's worth. I think that we all do," CLA senior Joe Herder said.
Even students in Swenson College of Science and Engineering (SCSE), which along with Labovitz School of Business (LSBE) is spared from budget cuts due to growth, are expressing concern.
"I don't know the reasoning behind the budget cut, but I don't agree with it," Maddy Kielsa, a sophomore in SCSE, said. "In order to become a well-rounded person, a few liberal arts classes are necessary. They give students the chance to broaden their horizons from classes outside of their major."
Student Association President Nathan Ernst expressed concern over the reactions. When asked if students will feel the brunt of these cuts, Ernst said no.
“In meetings they look to us (SA) for perspective from the student body,” Ernst said. “We have a strong voice.”
Ernst said that students should not feel the effects of the budget cuts directly, with most of the restructuring happening behind the scenes, largely affecting staff and faculty.
Ernst said that programs should not be cut, but rather combined to reduce overhead costs.
Ernst also points out that should a program be cut, the cut will not take into effect until the students in that program graduate.
“Your degree will not disappear,” Ernst said.
For questions and concerns, Ernst encourages students to approach SA and the administration.
“The three deans of CLA, SFA and CEHSP are very student-friendly,” Ernst said. He added that they are more than willing to field questions from concerned students.