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The University of Minnesota at Duluth’s Faculty Senate says it was left out of a plan to merge the School of Fine Arts with the College of Liberal Arts, according to the StarTribune. The move “makes a mockery of our entire system,” the Senate wrote in a letter to administrators criticizing how they’ve handled shared governance during ongoing budget cuts. “Faculty Senate and shared governance must be consulted from this point forward. Failing to do so sends a clear message that campus input and [perspectives] are not valued.” Moreover, the senators wrote, the merger “seems like an extreme plan to save less than half a million dollars annually.”
Duluth announced a plan last week to cut $5 million per year from its budget to address a long-standing deficit, the StarTribune reported. Fernando Delgado, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, said that over the past few years, as the campus “has done continuous work on the budget reductions, Faculty Senate has been consulted several times including previous consultation on the merger of the colleges.” He added, “Campus leadership values the principles of shared governance and will continue to work with governance groups across campus.”