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UM Intercampus Faculty Council seeks input on potential cuts

Saturday, December 6, 2008 | 7:19 p.m. CST; updated 9:03 p.m. CST, Tuesday, December 9, 2008

COLUMBIA — Members of the UM System Intercampus Faculty Council are making a last-minute appeal to faculty members for suggestions of ways to cope with potential budget cuts of up to 25 percent.

UM System President Gary Forsee will attend Tuesday’s IFC meeting to hear those ideas, according to an e-mail from Steve Graham, UM System interim vice president for academic affairs.

Presidents and chancellors of Missouri’s public colleges and universities received a memo Tuesday from the state Department of Higher Education, warning them of potential budget cuts of 15 to 25 percent in fiscal year 2010.

“To develop viable plans to meet these scenarios, we must rethink the way we do our work,” Graham wrote in his e-mail to IFC members. “As such, your time with President Forsee at next week’s meeting will be that much more important.”

In his e-mail, Graham asks IFC members to contact their colleagues and “come prepared to provide ideas that are focused and specific to your role as faculty members."

“For example, any ideas you have on how to address new approaches for offering courses via distance education, adjusting teaching loads, centers of excellence, reducing hours or time to graduation, program consolidation, etc., are encouraged.

“Given the urgency of the matter, it will be important for us to stay focused on issues and solutions in areas where you can bring your special insights and perspectives to bear to our mutual benefit,” Graham wrote.

Tom Phillips, MU Faculty Council chair and professor of biological sciences, forwarded Graham’s e-mail to other Faculty Council members on Saturday and asked for their input.

“…The fiscal crisis may well end up reshaping the university,” Phillips wrote in his e-mail to the Faculty Council. “If we want to have a role in how it is reshaped, we will need to provide realistic alternatives.”


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