Dear ASUM and GSPA leaders,

Today, I announced the 2021 instructional staffing budget targets for academic units. This is part of the university’s long-term planning process. We heard loud and clear from students that they want their programs to continue, and that is a top priority in the planning going forward.

As a next step, chairs and deans (the people who know their departments best) will develop plans to meet these budget targets over the next three years.

In the meantime, I recognize that students have questions about what’s going on. Please share the FAQs below with your constituents as you see fit.

    • Have any programs been canceled already?
      • No, we are in a planning process.  If there are recommendations to cancel a program then it goes through a lengthy process of review before it is approved.  
    • Will any programs be canceled before students graduate?
      • We will teach out any programs that we decide are no longer needed. Students will be able to graduate from their chosen degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
    • Why is the administration doing this?
      • There are fewer students at UM than there used to be. Fewer students means we require fewer instructional resources to deliver our same programs. We can do this and still deliver an outstanding student experience.
    • What does” instructional staffing planning” mean?
      • Deans and chairs need to start planning now, so they are able to meet their budget targets for 2021. Chairs and deans will consider a number of factors (courses offered, instructors who teach them, etc.) while designing plans to meet their targets over 3 years.
    •  Will there be faculty layoffs?
      • Depending on the plans individual departments develop, some faculty reductions may take place in the next few years. If they do, we will follow the procedures detailed in the faculty collective bargaining agreement.
    • Will there be new faculty hired?
      • Depending on the plans individual departments develop, some new faculty will be required in the next few years.  Every university has faculty who leave and new faculty who are hired each year. 
    • Will my department offer the same number and type of courses they currently do in the future?
      • Depending on the plans individual departments develop, some changes to core offerings as well as electives may take place by 2021. Changes will go through the usual Faculty Senate processes and we will update the course catalog accordingly.  The total set of courses change pretty regularly at a university – we regularly add and delete courses as needs change.
    • How can I give input about this process?
      • Contact your ASUM and GPSA representatives. The administration engages with them regularly and is interested in hearing from students through student representatives.
    • How do I find out more about what’s going on?

I look forward to future opportunities to discuss how to engage with students and respond to their needs. Placing student success at the center of all we do, and is my top priority. I will rely on your perspective and ideas on how best to achieve this goal.

Thank you,

Jon Harbor, Provost