University closing in on final budget

UND has come one step closer to resolving its current budget shortfall.

This past Wednesday, Interim President Ed Schafer announced in an email that he has accepted $21.5 million in recommendations of cuts and adjustments to address the shortfall.

The email gave a brief overview of some of the policies that will be implemented with the budget restructuring.

There will be a 2 percent tuition increase for UND students, along with a  2.5 percent tuition increase for UND’s School of Law and School of Medicine and Health Sciences next school year.

In the email, Schafer noted that faculty and staff would be eligible for a maximum of 3 percent raise, dependent on documented performance and other factors.

Some of the budget is still in flux, as the university is still deliberating the amount of faculty and staff who will be accepted in the voluntary buyout programs. In the email, Schafer indicated the budget process will continue to unfold as the changes are implemented.

The music therapy program will be not accept any new majors as part of the budget restructuring process, and the Television Center’s academic mission — the Studio One program — has also been suspended for next school year.

Men’s golf and baseball have been cut at UND, but there have been discussions among supporters of the baseball team to fundraise to support the team financially next season. This process is still in its infancy, and the baseball team’s future has yet to be determined after this season.

Additionally, several other programs have been slated for suspension, including a minor in American sign language and graduate programs in the communication department.

The ongoing and often contentious budget process has resulted from the 4.05 percent allotment from state appropriations and an earlier budget gap of $5.3 million caused by a cap in tuition increase. In the email, Schafer noted that several of the changes have been made to give the university flexibility to fund future priorities as well.