MTSU president addresses recommended cuts

MTSU president addresses recommended cuts (Image 1)
MTSU president addresses recommended cuts (Image 1)

The president of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro Friday issued his formal response to recommendations for cost saving measures made by a committee of faculty and staff.

The recommendations to reduce costs range from simple things such as taking light bulbs out of vending machines to reforming how classes are offered on campus.

Suggestions include moving to a six day-per-week class schedule, offering some classes in six week mini-sessions and establishing more online classes.

Dr. McPhee said he doesn't support all of the committee's recommendations.

For instance, he does not want to reduce library hours, add another student fee or eliminate a couple of levels of physical education classes.

There are other areas he says he will strongly consider including cutting student services, merging departments and eliminating 23 areas of concentrations.

“Most of those concentrations didn't have very many students in them.  Most of them are areas that we, even without the crisis, we should have been looking at a long time ago,” he said, adding the tough economy gives the school an opportunity to “really take a look at how we're doing business, how we sharpen our focus [and] how we can be more innovative.”

For MTSU, one saving grace is the stimulus money coming from Washington.

School officials hope it means no big tuition increases and no immediate slashing of faculty and staff.

“That's something that I'm very pleased that we don't have to do immediately and we'll have some time to work this thing through,” said Dr. McPhee.

The stimulus money just buys the university some time.

MTSU is still under instructions to cut nearly $20 million from its budget but with the stimulus, it now has two years to make decisions instead of just a few months.

While the university will continue to review the options to reduce spending, cancelling summer classes that have low enrollment may take effect sooner rather than later.

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