University of Montana Dean: Feared cuts to arts programs were “unfounded”

Posted at 3:57 PM, Sep 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-25 18:02:10-04

MISSOULA – Over the weekend officials with the University of Montana School of Music and College of Visual and Performing Arts feared for their department’s future after they were informed of what they thought would be massive budget cuts that threatened accreditation and a loss of degree programs.

But they’re breathing a little easier Monday after a meeting between arts department heads and Provost Jon Harbor.

In a letter posted on Facebook by Dean Stephen Kalm, he says that his fear was unfounded.

MTN confirmed that the Facebook post published on Monday was written by Dean Stephen Kalm.

Kalm goes on to say that the confusion was because the cuts were stated by Harbor in general terms.

After meeting with Harbor on Monday morning, Kalm says the budget cuts resemble the ones that were presented to him last spring.

Later in the letter he states that challenges are still ahead of the department but he hopes to continue “impressive growth in majors.”

Kalm also emphasized that Habor and UM President Seth Bodnar are “clearly aware” of the importance of the arts in Missoula and Montana.

There will also be a celebration of the arts culture at UM at noon Friday. According to the Facebook event “Celebrate the Arts”, people will be organizing outside of University Hall to show support for the arts. Community members are encouraged to attend.

Reporting by Connor McCauley for MTN News