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On Dec. 5, administrators are scheduled to lay out the proposed cuts in some detail, Szymanski said. The university also plans to offer its second round of voluntary buyouts in coming weeks. In the first round in October, 19 faculty and two staff members accepted. The president said they saved about $2.5 million.
If there aren’t enough volunteers this time — she’s hoping for about 20 — some in the faculty may get layoff notices, which won’t take effect until 2015.
Students, she said, “are voting with their feet in terms of what majors they’re taking. I believe universities have to be responsive to the students. That, to me, is my guiding principle.”
Gracyk, however, fears that as students migrate away from the liberal arts, they’ll miss the programs that can teach many skills they’ll need in the workplace, such as writing, collaboration and critical thinking.
“We’re like the green vegetables on the plate,” Gracyk said. “Yeah, we may not be the most attractive thing, but down the road you may be sorry you didn’t have it in your diet.”
Maura Lerner • 612-673-7384
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