University Of Wyoming Proposes $42M In Budget Cuts

Oct 27, 2020

Credit University of Wyoming

Due to Wyoming's economic downturn, Gov. Mark Gordon asked state agencies and departments to make 10 percent budget cuts.

The University of Wyoming is no exception, and on Tuesday, it announced its proposal to make $42.3 million in budget cuts across academic and non-academic programs.

The proposed cuts to academic programs include:

  • In the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Master of Science and Ph.D. programs in agronomy would be eliminated, and the community development concentration in agricultural economics would be refocused to more closely align with the strategic plan.
  • In the College of Arts and Sciences, the bachelor's and master's degree programs and minor in American studies; the Master of Arts in psychology; the Bachelor of Science in journalism; the Master of Science in Teaching in chemistry; the Master of Arts in Teaching in history; and the Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing would be eliminated.
  • In the College of Business, minors in accounting, decision science, finance, human resource management and marketing would be eliminated; and the Master of Business Administration energy concentration would be suspended. Additionally, the business administration online bachelor's program would be replaced with a human resources management online program.
  • In the College of Education, the bachelor's program in secondary French, German and Spanish education would be eliminated.
  • In the College of Engineering and Applied Science, consolidation of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Computer Science would be considered.
  • In the College of Health Sciences, several curricula would be overhauled.
  • In the College of Law, the military justice/Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps track and the Summer Trial Institute would be eliminated.

While the bachelor of science in journalism program would be cut under this plan, the bachelor of arts in journalism would remain.

Under university regulations any changes to the university called "low-enrollment" academic programs would take place next spring and summer.

According to a news release, at least 78 positions, most of which the university says are unfilled, would be eliminated. The athletics department would reduce salaries and travel expenses. It's likely about 35 teaching assistant positions would be cut as well.

"Any cut of this magnitude is difficult, but we believe we have a specific plan to achieve this reduction by finding new efficiencies and eliminating some programs that don't align with our strategic priorities," said UW President Ed Seidel in a press release.

"We aim to minimize the impact to our students; optimize the research we conduct to boost our state's economy; and strengthen the service we perform for the citizens of Wyoming. This positions the university to develop plans that will, over the long term, enable us to become a best-in-class 21st century land-grant university true to its Wyoming roots."

The proposed budget cuts will be presented to the Board of Trustees at its next meeting in November.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler, at cwheel11@uwyo.edu.