Major Academic Cuts At UMaine 

Music, theater and some other academic departments could be eliminated at the University of Maine if certain recommendations to cut costs are followed through.It’s part of a plan to cut more than $12-million dollars from UMaine’s budget. “Like all public institutions, UMaine is facing a new kind of budget reality,” says University spokesman Joe Carr, “and that is the cause for this review. It’s all based on finances and the budget challenges that are clearly in front of us for the next several years.”Under the proposed plan, the university would offer fewer undergraduate majors and masters degree programs. The arts programs would be some of the hardest hit. Faculty members and students we spoke with are upset. “My initial reaction was frustration and a little bit of anger,” says Alan Sevigny a junior at UMaine, “it always seems that whenever it comes down to budget cuts, the arts are always attacked first.” “Being someone in the arts, it’s easy to turn into the underdog status and say ‘oh why us? it’s always us.'” says senior Chistopher Keene, “but the arts are often seen in this country as an icing on the cake and they aren’t. It’s something that keeps people going through their lives.”Tom Mikotowicz is a professor of theatre at UMaine. “I think when you start reducing your support for the arts here, it impacts not just the university but this entire part of the state,” he says. The proposed plan is set to be reviewed by UMaine President Robert Kennedy on April 8th. If these programs are cut, students already enrolled in the affected majors will be allowed to finish their degrees. Tom Zabierek, UMaine sophomore “I plan on staying here and finishing out definitely, but I feel bad that others might not have the opportunity in the future.”Students and faculty will have a chance to sound off before the committee that recommended the cuts during a public meeting here Monday.