UM

Students, faculty rally over cuts to UM budget

2013-05-01T17:35:00Z 2014-10-19T08:07:28Z Students, faculty rally over cuts to UM budget missoulian.com

Students and faculty at the University of Montana left their classrooms on Wednesday to converge on Main Hall, where they rallied outside the offices of administrators to voice concerns surrounding cuts in the 2014 budget.

In a rally that saw colorful rhetoric, picket signs and Revolutionary War-style drummers, faculty members accused administrators of planning cuts from the bottom up as they attempt to cover a budget gap once feared to be as deep as $16 million.

“It’s time to stop cutting at the bottom of the ladder,” said Michel Valentin, a tenured professor of French who wore a red, white and blue bow tie. “It’s time to start cutting at the top. It’s a question of justice, fairness and survival.”

The $16 million figure has been widely used across campus as a benchmark for what administrators and deans have described as a worst-case scenario for the 2014 budget.

Last year’s enrollment fell by roughly 700 students, and administrators feared they might lose 700 more at the start of the 2013-14 academic year.

But officials on Wednesday offered new figures based on new enrollment projections. Interim Provost Perry Brown said school officials now believe fall enrollment may only drop by 450 students.

As a result, he said, a budget gap once estimated at $16 million has been reduced to just $8 million.

“We’re all concerned about the enrollment issues, about financial issues at the universities,” Brown said. “We’re working through the processes established at the university to come to a final adopted budget, which we haven’t done yet.”

Until the budget is adopted in final form, Brown said, not a single class has been canceled and not a single professor has been let go.

But some say it’s a matter of semantics, as some classes have been zeroed out, meaning students can’t sign up for them, and some adjunct faculty members have been told they may not be needed next year.

G.G. Weix, a professor of anthropology, said 67 sessions have been temporarily zeroed out across 15 fields of study. That, she said, amounts to roughly 1,300 seats not open to students.

Such figures have led many to believe that cuts are taking place in academics, not within administration. Others say the proposed cuts disproportionately target the humanities and foreign languages.

***

Students joined Wednesday’s picketing with signs reading “Trim pork, cut sport” and “If cuts go through, hello MSU.” Many worried about their own academic pursuits and how course cancellations would affect them.

“I struggle to understand that if UM’s motto is a ‘university for the global century,’ then why foreign languages and the humanities seem to be bearing an indiscriminate proportion of the cuts,” said Eamon Ormseth, a history major and member of the student Senate.

Ormseth’s concerns were echoed by others at the rally, including Evelina Badery, who believes her job teaching Italian – and her classes – could be lost in the 2014 budget.

Badery stood surrounded by students holding signs that read “Keep Italian” and “I want to learn.” While two years of foreign language is required for many majors, continued studies in Italian and Arabic, along with other languages, could be eliminated under some budget proposals.

“I don’t know when or how I’m going to graduate if they cut this class,” said student Erika Tibbetts, who’s studying Italian to fulfill her foreign language requirements. “If they’re not offering the continuing class in Italian, I can’t fill my 200-level requirement as an English student.”

“If we’re supposed to be a global university, why are we cutting so many languages?” added Italian student Colleen Farrell. “There are some students who don’t want to take Spanish or German.”

Before the rally kicked off, Valentin handed out copies of positions listed under the Office of the Provost. He suggested cuts could be made to a number of administrative positions, including the Office of Academic Enrichment and the Office of Student Success, among others.

Like many of his peers, Valentin believes the proposed cuts are being made from the bottom up. Top administrators, he believes, aren’t feeling the pinch.

“The cuts are necessary, but some of the cuts could be done higher up, where there’s questionable spending,” Valentin said. “Cuts should be made around the round table and with the involvement of students, faculty, staff and the administration.”

***

Brown, who listened in on the rally, said he understands the concerns voiced by many at the event. But he disagreed with some facts presented by speakers.

Among them, he said, nearly 70 percent of planned cuts will take place in non-academic areas, including administration, finance and student affairs. But even so, he said, academic instruction will be included in the cuts. He said it’s unavoidable when $8 million needs to be trimmed.

“Instruction is one of the biggest parts of the budget, and if you have to trim money, you have to get it from where the money is,” Brown said. “We’re looking at trying to minimize the direct effects upon instruction.”

Administrators have said cuts to academic offerings will be carefully considered. They’re looking to trim in areas where student demand is the lowest, Brown said.

“We’re projecting to be down some more students this fall,” he said. “If you take 700 last fall, and maybe 450 this fall, that’s nearly 1,150 students. They’re not here to sit in classes, so yes, there will probably be fewer sections offered.”

Reporter Martin Kidston can be reached at 523-5260, or at martin.kidston@missoulian.com.

Copyright 2015 missoulian.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(35) Comments

  1. Barak Nobama
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    Barak Nobama - May 07, 2013 8:58 am
    Walter is speaking the truth. That university contains lots of wasted embryos in the teaching ranks. The students who graduate from this poor excuse of a university are ill prepared to deal with real life having been brainwashed with a self destructive hyper liberal theology.
  2. Cato
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    Cato - May 06, 2013 2:53 pm
    Forty years ago, when it was all the rage, UM spent a ton of money to set up a "Black Studies" program. Not that there was any particular reason to, and it certainly didn't fill a "need," but there it was ... some of us on campus at the time lobbied for an Indian Studies Program instead, because it made historical and cultural sense, but nooooo ....

    It finally did come later.
  3. rogier van der weyden
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    rogier van der weyden - May 03, 2013 7:56 pm
    The only people at UM making $100K+ per year are very senior faculty close to retirement and senior administrators (deans and vice presidents). Now that is a lot of money by the standards of the vast trailer park that is the state of Montana, but there are twenty-somethings in Silicon Valley who make more than that designing computer games.
  4. Drummer
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    Drummer - May 03, 2013 2:48 pm
    To Michel Valentin: It's time that the University starts thinking of the taxpayers. Some of us out here are losing our homes because of excessive taxes and the poor economy. It's difficult to feed our families, insurance costs are up, and there are no fringe benefits for us. Vacations are out. This is a time when everybody needs to sacrifice. Let's cut out so much money being poured into the various sports programs. How about phasing out the program with Loranger and the Muslims at the Mansfield Center. Let "cut" the pork at the U.
  5. Nikki's Niece
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    Nikki's Niece - May 03, 2013 2:17 pm
    Over the years I've noticed that many things aren't what they appear to be at our very first glance. Sometimes it pays to take a moment and ask ourselves, "Is this really what I think it is?" I possess a copy of this "list," which I picked up at the rally and it is nothing like what you describe. Rather than a list, it is a graphic of an organizational chart drawn from one small part of the university's administration. It contains no statements whatsoever calling for anyone to be fired or questioning the validity of anyone's job. I might add that no speaker at the rally called for anyone to be fired or questioned the validity of anyone else's job. In short, I saw no "disgusting displays of arrogance," but rather a proactive attempt to increase levels of communication and mutual respect among administration, students, and faculty. When I looked at the graphic in question, I saw circles and question marks meant to draw attention to the top-heavy nature of UM's bureaucracy in general. This is a legitimate concern at a time when the university is facing serious budgetary restraints. Even though I am a Missoula community member, rather than a campus employee, I am familiar with the work of the TRIO program and its emphasis on helping first-generation and other disadvantaged students. Please realize that TRIO's goals do not deviate at all from those of the rally participants and attendees. They, too, are interested in retaining students and ensuring a quality education for as many as possible. Let's try to work together on what one speaker called our "mutual agenda," and not allow ourselves to be distracted and misaligned. When presented with a handout such as the one you refer to, let's first describe it accurately, and then ask ourselves, is this what I think it is? Could it be something else? Otherwise, we risk falling prey to what an apparently weakened and defensive administration would welcome most: the phenomenon known as "divide and conquer." Please save your condemnations for the "truly classless " acts. For example, the elimination of a 76-year-old pianist's job as accompanist for dance classes. This gentleman had wanted to work at this $14,000 a year job until he was eighty. A humane institution, one where people truly "thrive, " would have waited until his retirement in four years to eliminate his job. Or you might choose to express outrage at the over one hundred thousand dollars, at least, spent to remove "The" from the name of "University of Montana," and to impose a surprisingly generic new logo and brand, neither of which reflect the unique qualities that make UM a "destination university." The students who gathered on the Oval on Wednesday are among the brightest and most engaged at UM. They have their choice of institutions, yet they chose to make UM their home. Let's work together, faculty, staff, community, and administration, to address their very valid concerns.
  6. Luce
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    Luce - May 03, 2013 8:53 am
    Do you offer your employees living wages? Benefits? A dignified work environment? Typically, employers who have employees with the "work ethic of a corpse" don't.

    Most jobs people have are stupid. They're not even worth showing up for. Pile on top of that slave wages, lack of benefits, lack of full-time hours, performance expectations that exceed what is being paid, nasty work environment, mind-numbing work, etc., etc.

    My advice: Next time, hire a corpse. They'll work for nothing which is what employers want anyway.
  7. Run - A- Mook
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    Run - A- Mook - May 02, 2013 9:12 pm
    Luce
    Let's try that again
    The last time it went over your head and I don't think you saw it.
    He's wearing the stars and stripes? No he's not. He has a clown's
    tie on and is a buffoon. He is in no way waving our flag. I believe he is
    trying to poke fun of the flag. In my 70 plus years I have seen many
    left-wing nuts, pull this stunt. He is showing his disrespect for our
    flag and country. If you can't see it, take off your lib binders.
    I took an oath to the Constitution and the flag 55+ years ago and it
    is as strong today as it was back then. I would never act the buffoon
    in the way this clown is.
  8. Luce
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    Luce - May 02, 2013 4:29 pm
    What’s sort of stunning about some of these comments is there is such outrage at, say, a professor making $100,000 a year. Yet, with just a roll of the dice, the banksters at the casino on Wall Street stole trillions from us and in the process destroyed lives, livelihoods, cost people their homes and their futures. Yet, where is the outrage about that?! And the people who did this will never serve a day in jail. Not to mention, their salaries have been increasing! But, gosh, there’s a professor in the Podunk town of Missoula making $100,000 a year. OUTRAGE! Get a grip, people. In the grand scheme of things, we’re arguing over scraps. In the grand scheme of things, we’re the dupes. And I can tell you this, there isn’t a business owner in this town who would be upset about someone making $100,000 a year! Anyone who sells products or services is more than happy there are people in this town who can afford to buy what they sell. My god, imagine a realtor having a problem with someone making $100,000 a year when it takes an annual income of $67,000 just to afford the average-priced home in this town. I wouldn’t even want to know the economic impact the salaries of UM employees have on this town. This town would probably dry up and blow away if it weren’t for those salaries.

    I just can’t help but think there is really something wrong with people these days. Teachers and professors hold our future in their hands and are criticized if they make $100,000. Yet, a CEO can design a widget, exploit the planet and people in order to make billions and no one says anything. Our for-profit healthcare system is killing people and no one says anything. Of course not because there’s the pressing issue of that professor making $100,000 . . .
  9. rogier van der weyden
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    rogier van der weyden - May 02, 2013 4:10 pm
    Don't forget, hellgatenights, no more UM, no more Grisly Football in Grisly Stadium, no more morbidly obese Grisly fans waddling around in XXXL maroon tracksuits on Grisly Game Day. And so on.
  10. yummyascanbe
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    yummyascanbe - May 02, 2013 3:42 pm
    PhilT hit it right on the head. This university... school... wait! Let me think of a better term... Hmmm...is an indoctrination institution and a meat grinder of thoughtless underachievers. As an employer I know this to be true. Most can not do simple math and have the work ethic of corpse. Sports aren't the problem, its the students and professors that are the problem. The students believe that because the professor has this degree that what they say MUST be true. Not a lot of critical thinking there I would say. Just sheep.
  11. dave ajou
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    dave ajou - May 02, 2013 2:46 pm
    Or you could just assume another poster's identity by changing the spelling from the original Hammond to Hamond, with one 'm'.
  12. Luce
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    Luce - May 02, 2013 1:44 pm
    He's wearing the stars and stripes!!! Have a modicum of respect, okay? As I've already said, an educated citizenry is a national value, one our Forefathers knew was the ticket to prosperity. I'm guessing that was his point in wearing that tie. I can't say for sure. But what I would NEVER do is criticize anyone--whether I agree with them or not--for waving our flag in whatever expression of that they so choose. He's hardly "worst dressed" unless, of course, you have no respect for our flag or this country.
  13. Luce
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    Luce - May 02, 2013 1:35 pm
    Great job to everyone involved with this rally! And whether you agree with what was said or not . . . watching a group of faculty and students stand up and exercise their First Amendment right--and on May Day, nonetheless--the true Labor Day--is undeniably a beautiful thing. It's why we live in this great country. And it's especially nice to see given so many people are politically inert these days . . . lots of nasty moaners and complainers . . . lots of jealousy from people who think someone else has it better--especially better economically now that the Big Squeeze has its grip on workers . . . but so few people ever driven to actual action to try to change their circumstances. So KUDOS to this group for trying to do just that!
  14. Luce
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    Luce - May 02, 2013 1:18 pm
    Actually, the government doesn't "keep pouring money into the system." Where did you get that idea? Sure, eons ago that was the case and it didn't cost a lot to go to school because there was so much support. But the government support of higher education has been declining steadily for a very long time now. Students are picking up the tab by rising tuition. Rising tuition means those part-time campus jobs we all had when we went to school just don't cut it anymore. So, students often work more than one job, work full-time (which was unheard of when I was a student), and accrue student loan debt--also unheard of when I was a student. Many students graduate with $20, $25,000 in student loan debt. So, what you say, "If you want to go to college then pay for it" is already happening.

    Many UM professors do not make "over $100,000 annually." It all depends on the date of hire; the department or school the professor works for; how long the professor has worked on campus; if he/she earned merit-based salary increases; and on and on and on.

    A college education indeed has value . . . and judging by some of the sentence structure and grammar throughout the comments posted here, I'm more convinced of that! One of the things that makes our country so great is we are, for the most part, an educated society. Even our Forefathers were aware that an educated citizenry is the ticket to prosperity. It's why we invest in educating our children for 12 years . . . instead of, say, eight years and then sending them to work.

    As for safety on campus . . . well, you're a parent. I hope with all I've got that you have taught your children how to behave as mature, young adults and how to manage themselves as such. Like how about: Don't invite a man into your bedroom (or bed!) unless you are planning to have sex. How difficult of a life-lesson is that? You're in college for crying out loud! Not at a grade-school sleep over!

    UM is a very safe place to attend school. Everyone just needs to remove themselves from the mass hysteria.
  15. Luce
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    Luce - May 02, 2013 12:54 pm
    Most people who attack tenure are jealous because they don't have job security themselves. Well, then why don't you fight for job security instead of attacking something you know little about, the origins of tenure, etc., etc. Job security, good benefits, living wages, a pension, adequate paid time off . . . these are things EVERY worker in this great country we live in should have--and used to have! And, yes, there is a problem of aging professors not retiring which blocks freshly-minted Ph.D.s from entering academia. But the problem is many professors would like to retire and can't. Granted, they may have a pension and they may actually be able to live off that pension . . . but not when monthly health insurance premiums are deducted. So, some professors wait until 65 to retire--when Medicare kicks in. And anyone on Medicare knows the problems and limitations associated with that. We have failed miserably to fix our broken healthcare system in this country. So, what we will see, what we're already seeing--and not just in academia--is people sitting on jobs because they have no alternative. They need the health insurance. Or, they lost money in the crash they planned to use to retire. Age discrimination is against the law. And thank goodness! Because you, me and everyone else is facing incredible old age insecurity or outright poverty--unless we can keep working.
  16. Luce
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    Luce - May 02, 2013 12:41 pm
    I agree.

    Following some of the logic in these comments, I would add, "Let's get rid of K-12 education while we're at it." Or educate our kids until the 8th grade and then send them to work. You really only need an 8th grade education to perform most of the mind-numbing, meaningless, low-wage jobs we have in this country anyway. Why should taxpayers fund high school? A lot of high school kids are walking around aimlessly, too, not sure of what they want to do, partying, cutting classes, not graduating . . . a lot of the same problems at the high schools exist at the University. So, let's cut it all.
  17. Luce
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    Luce - May 02, 2013 12:36 pm
    Not true. Most professors are politically inert. They don't say anything or stand up for anything. They show up like they're high school teachers, teach their classes and go home. I believe you're referring to the "radical" 60s which are long since over, Walt. Get with the times. And if the job of a university professor is so "mighty cushy," why didn't you become one? Sounds like you're jealous about something you know little about. And, yes, students may major in gender studies or sociology. But where do get this idea they are "never really employed again?" Sure, they may not become employed in their field of study, but so what? Universities aren't job training factories, anyway.
  18. hellgatenights
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    hellgatenights - May 02, 2013 11:52 am
    I think Phil summed it up pretty darn well. Higher education is NOT an entitlement, it is a opportunity for those that work for it an perform. It would not shock anyone here to suggest there are thousands attending the UofM and similar schools without any direction, without any idea how or where they would apply their education and wander the halls never knowing where they are going. I do not entirely blame these kids and adults......many of them would gladly work for a good wage in industry, had not the EPA shuttered them all. Now consider this ......employee's at Smurfit included many highly educated college graduates. They didn't need the degree at all to work there, they simply went where the MONEY was. Yes......back to the money...and that is what this article is about, a $16mm budget shortfall forcing a reduction in resources, This is not a bad thing at all......we are fortunate that the doors can stay open and the party goes on. We will NOT get more classes unless there are concessions by the overpaid, TENURED professors. Just ask one of them to step asisde........take a haircut........take one for the team. You will be very disappointed to learn they will not budge, and they do not care.
  19. AARGH
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    AARGH - May 02, 2013 9:40 am
    Lets not forget that they raised tuition again... expecting the students to foot the bill for a lot of the financial woes. However, the TRUE problem is what hellgate said...TENURE. The biggest piece of B.S. in the system. I had a forestry professor, in my second year at the U, he showed up for the first class, of the semester, and the last class of the year to admin the final. In between we had a T.A. there about 50% of the time, and all they would do is write the chapter we needed to read on the board, and then we could leave. That professor had Tenure!!!!
    yes MM, the Potter Party? really... please stop!
  20. PhilT
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    PhilT - May 02, 2013 9:35 am


    This costs for higher education increases at a far higher rate than increased costs in gasoline, medical insurance, medical treatment, food and housing. Why is that happening when the government keeps pouring money into that system? Where is the outrage over those costs which outpace every other sector of our economy?

    U of M professors are paid over $100,000 annually, just look at any open professor position when they advertise one. Perhaps if a college education either (1) really had value and (2) actually meant something enrollment wouldn't be declining. Then again if women were safe on campus and the perception the university turned a blind eye to increased sexual assaults on campus wasn't palpable enrollment might not be going down. If I had a daughter, I wouldn't want her to go there for free.

    If you want to go to college then pay for it. I did by working and getting performance scholarships which I worked hard to receive. My oldest is a junior in high school and there is another one behind that one. I've told them the same thing.
  21. Andy B Hamond
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    Andy B Hamond - May 02, 2013 9:28 am
    Well Hategate,
    I used to be in your corner until the best of the best the Republicans could find in for the last election was a truly embarrassing bunch that I could no longer associate with.
    To try to defend them to the last breath is to only show stupidity in the face of overwhelming facts. They really about the money and nothing else, but try to claim otherwise. The flip-flop position are infuriating, and the public hypocrisy make Bill Clinton look like a saint.
    Try switching sides for a while. Try just a few issues at first. After a while you will see that almost the entire platform is a poorly written comic book.
  22. raptor53
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    raptor53 - May 02, 2013 9:14 am
    another big myth in America. You go to college to get a job. No ! You go to college to get an education. It might help you get a job. You learn " critical thought". You learn to read dribble like these comments and understand the logic or lack of it. Colleges and universities are not job factories. These young adults are the future of this nation. Doesn't that deserve as much investment as new fighter jets ? 10 years from now they could be your laywer or heart surgeon, or cancer researcher.
  23. BigMac
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    BigMac - May 02, 2013 9:13 am
    The last sentence is most offensive! What about it Webmaster?
  24. Cato
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    Cato - May 02, 2013 8:27 am
    It's all about leadership. Engstrom came into the public eye as the man who protected diversity in the form of a violent rapist by practically buying him a plane ticket out of the country, and then turning around and firing two very well known, liked, and respected people in the athletic department as though it were THEIR fault, the public noting that no violent rapes had been charged against anyone in that department.

    After blowing this up into a very big deal, with the appointment of a "outside" investigator who had never done anything like this, and who produced a report that said mostly nothing, Royce Engstrom single-handedly told the state of Montana that UM was not a safe place to go: ether for their children or for people expecting fairness and honesty from their administration.

    At a key time, he did not step forward to defend his institution but rather appeared complicit in condemning it.

    In a bungled effort to show a "politically correct leadership" to impress the faculty with his decisive skills in "standing up" to a popular program, instead he shot himself in the foot, and the institution as a whole in the gut.

    He is solely responsible for every single nickel of lost money and lost enrollment.
  25. lmmontana
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    lmmontana - May 02, 2013 7:29 am
    While not wrong about the gross mishandeling of the university budget and the truely horrific miss management of assault on campus this group of protesters pulled the lowest most dispicable act to date: Throughout this demonstration protesters handed out lists of UM employees who the protesters thought did not need their jobs, or that the jobs were not vital and who should be FIRED. Among that list was the director of the TRIO program that served underpriveledged and disadvantaged students from across Montana. What a disgusting display of arrogance, to stand in public and claim "My job is more important than yours" or "My program has less money so you should be unemployed." Truely classless.
  26. walter12
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    walter12 - May 02, 2013 7:06 am
    First thing is, most professors at universities are hard core leftists, they grow up that way. Secondly, most have never had a real job or had to work for a living. A university professor is a mighty cushy job. Thirdly, the kids graduate from UM with a degree in something, maybe, human gender studies, or they obtain a BA in Sociology, and then they are never really employed again.
  27. hg fisher
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    hg fisher - May 02, 2013 7:01 am
    Understanding muralist's position is pretty easy: He's a typical Obama apologist who thinks his savior can do no wrong and Republicans can do no right. He never offers any specifics of WHY that is, just the usual nasty name-calling and vague references of evil right-wingers. Liberals like him are the problem, not the solution in this country. Irrational defense of EVERYTHING their leader does, while only trying to blame and tear down the other side instead of working together. But, this is what Obama wants -- division. Muralist is simply obeying his leader. As for the University, is the Climatology program still around? There's a quick cut that can be made.
  28. Run - A- Mook
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    Run - A- Mook - May 02, 2013 6:37 am
    to the clown with the tie
    Ha Ha Ha Ha
    he wins the worst dressed award.
  29. hellgatenights
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    hellgatenights - May 02, 2013 1:02 am
    I agree......and the facts you mention are strong evidence. So I ask......WHY should tax payers subsidize this institution? The liberal arts curriculum is useless in the work force, and there are NO JOBS anywhere in western montana anyway. So close it down and lease out the halls to some big mega-employer. We would have jobs that people could live on.......and all the progressive weirdo professors would have to move back to washington and oregon. win-win!
  30. hellgatenights
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    hellgatenights - May 02, 2013 12:51 am
    hen the economic highlight of the year is a subsidized parking garage, you know Garden city has gone to weeds. Say.......where is the fat guy and his barrel of promises .......none of which he kept?

    Hello Professor. We all wish we could save jobs and fill the classrooms......but we have to accommodate this anitquated, socialist program called TENURE. No step aside and let the younger teachers keep their jobs.It's not like anyone would miss a French teacher.......totally useless - lol.
  31. hellgatenights
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    hellgatenights - May 02, 2013 12:47 am
    Ummm....yeah, the Potter Party joke is getting old.......you write it like every day. On the flip side.......I do read your material to try to understand your position better. BTW......the dichotomy here in Montana is fact it is a center right state, yet elects democrat senators. Oh........right, did you get the memo on Senator "Can't read the bill" Baucus? Right.....he is getting out of dodge now the fruit of his labors is about to ripen. He knows what he did to our healthcare system, and he bailed. He didn't want to do a Billy Clinton and stay in office no matter how much shame he brings on himself. One last note.......when the economic highlight of the year is a subsidized parking garage, you know Garden city has gone to weeds. Say.......where is the fat guy and his barrel of promises .......none of which he kept?
  32. BobbyLee
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    BobbyLee - May 01, 2013 11:01 pm
    All too true, well said. If it were not for the students about to lose classes and possibly risk their degrees, the faculty about to lose their jobs, and lower paid employees being ousted due to nothing but financial shortsightedness (or negligence), this whole thing would be pathetic. But it's not, it's borderline criminal that high-paid incompetence is allowed to thrive in a publicly funded institution. When people come to the defense of the university's poor leadership they assume that it's only disgruntled people hating the university, it's not, it's ordinary people detesting how a once good institution is being run into the ground and yet not one thing is being done about it. Not one regent is standing up. Not one senior academic is standing up. And not one single politician is standing up to support the institution. By their silence they are supporting and perpetuating the rank incompetence within it. And education is suffering because of it.

    In government it's considered a conflict of interest to give or receive a gift to or from another employee. A person can actually get fired for doing either. The university gets around this rather annoying rule by using public money to buy gifts 'from the department' when people like Lucy France or Peggy Kuhr get promoted. 'From the department', of course, means from the head of department, because the head of department might want something in the future. Look into it. Happens all the time at the U. They've been there so long, entrenched so long, that they no longer even understand the difference between right and wrong. They are a publicly funded university. In that, everything should be public. But the public would be staggered beyond belief if they truly understood the rampant incompetence within that place. Although it rather looks like it's finally seeping out through the cracks. And about time.
  33. Lamplighter
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    Lamplighter - May 01, 2013 10:04 pm
    Really, folks...why is anybody surprised? There is a leadership void that runs all the way from Helena to Main Hall. MSU under the leadership of President Waded Cruzado, who came from New Mexico State, is eating UM's lunch. For evidence look no further than enrollment trends and numbers of the two schools over the past two semesters... Even US News & World report had UM on their 2012 list of the most egregious underperformering universities. My school has become second rate before my very eyes...Truly pathetic! UM desperately needs a fresh approach from a competent outsider who's not part of the good ol'boy network that perpetuates the obvious ineptitude. In the meantime, tell your sons and daughters to look to Bozeman and elsewhere...UM is on life support.
  34. Pistol
    Report Abuse
    Pistol - May 01, 2013 9:18 pm
    The dumming down of our students is not a political party issue it's caused by the lack of accountability in our public schools. Money isn't the answer! If it was private schools especially k thru 12 would have zero students. Instead the students able to attend these poorly funded schools,in most cases far out perform public schools. What about the next time the president's office becomes vacant we hire an experienced business person? Some one who knows how to raise money, and manage a budget. He or she can hire administrators to oversee the various issues unique to education.
  35. montanamuralist
    Report Abuse
    montanamuralist - May 01, 2013 7:31 pm
    Republican Potter Party members in the Legislature don't want our kids to have an education. They need you to be just smart enough to do the paperwork and operate the machines but too dumb to realize how they keep cutting pensions, your hours, pay you junk wages with no benefits and basically keep all the profits for themselves. As long as Montana fools keep voting these illusionists in to office you can forget anything that resembles fair. You can plan on continuing to get the right white and blue dido run up your lower anatomical chambers.
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