UND Programs on the Chopping Block: Students Deciding to Stay or Leave
The university is chopping 21 point 5 million dollars from its budget, in part due to state revenues falling short of predictions.
It’s a very tense time at UND – although the cuts are still yet to be set in stone, administration officials are telling them, some students are already looking to transfer to other universities in other states.
The sounds coming out of this Music Therapy classroom are lively and engaged, as the students vocalize what their clients may be asked to do in a later session.
“Whoosh! Whoosh” they repeat, sending giggles and gusts of air around the room.
They’re enjoying class while it lasts.
Because it looks like their chosen field, like other programs here at UND, may be gone with the wind, as of next week.
“Yeah. It’s all very up in the air, you don’t know what’s going to happen, said Kalli Sonenberg.
“Music therapy was helping people and getting to do music at the same time. A really good fit,” said Parry Larson.
Technically, the program may be “suspended,” not dismantled when the final decision comes.
However, faculty found out incoming freshmen were told they can no longer declare music therapy as a major.
They say ending new enrollments could blow the program apart.
“We found out from these students, from parents making these anguished phone calls. That’s not the way that should have been done,” said Professor Natasha Thomas.
We reached out to the TV program director here at Studio One, one of the programs on the chopping block.
But he put us off, saying he’s going to be meeting within the next 24 hours with President Schafer in a last–ditch attempt to save Studio One.
“It’s hard because I don’t want to leave here. I have good relationships with the teachers, other students as well,” said Sonenberg.
Faculty said they also have good relationships with local health care providers who hire music therapy graduates on a regular basis.
But with more than $21 million on the line, it’s anyone’s guess which way the wind will blow.
NDSU is also looking to make four percent in budget cuts, like all state agencies, thanks to lower than expected revenues.
The UND president’s expected to make a decision next week.
For a closer look at the proposed budget changes, click here.