Amherst Wire

Chancellor Holub’s Changing Campus

During his first year at UMass Amherst, Chancellor Robert Holub has faced unexpected difficulties. Decreased state funding because of the economic downturn resulted in a multi-million dollar budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. The largest money-saving change that Holub has proposed so far is a reorganization of the university’s system of colleges. The plan has been met with criticism by many, and although money from the federal stimulus bill will offset much of the deficit, Holub has maintained his view that the reorganization is a necessary and positive change.


Stimulus money could soothe budget crisis

     by Alyssa King

Over the past few weeks, Chancellor Robert C. Holub has continued to email the campus community with updates on the budget crisis. His latest news is Governor Deval Patrick’s proposed allocation of $81.6 million in federal stimulus money to the UMass system in fiscal year 2010. If the plan is approved, approximately half of that amount would come to the Amherst campus, easing the impact of the current $46 million budget deficit. The final budget for the stimulus money will not be determined until later this summer, but Holub has outlined in his emails the effect that the stimulus money would have on the campus if the budget proposal is approved.

Holub hopes that the stimulus money will mitigate “the elimination of 80 full-time positions, 160 part-time teaching assistant positions, more than 100 staff positions and a variety of reductions to operations and campus life” that the current budget deficit would necessitate. He has also stated his intent to “lessen the impact” of the $1500 student fee increase recently passed by the Board of Trustees. The hefty increase has outraged many students, but possible rebates could lower the increase by as much as $1100.

Chancellor announces first budget cuts

     by Jackie Hai

In an e-mail sent out to the UMass Amherst campus community yesterday, Chancellor Holub announced the first results of the Budget Planning Task Force’s meetings. Over $500,000 will be cut from the central administration’s executive area, and a spending freeze of $5 million has been placed on capital construction, effective immediately.

Chancellor Holub’s changing campus

     by Alyssa King

In an email to the campus community March 12, Chancellor Robert Holub disclosed his plans for reorganizing the system of colleges on campus. A move that was initially intended to help compensate for the significant budget deficit UMass faces in Fiscal Year 2010, it is also described by Holub as an opportunity to make UMass more competitive as a top public research institution. Holub said that the reorganization, which focuses on bringing related fields under the same administration, will increase cooperation between faculty in previously divided subjects and promote the creation of new programs and courses.

Umass faculty critiques reorganization plan

     by Alyssa King

“Do more with less” is Chancellor Robert Holub’s message to UMass faculty as he presents and outlines a campus reorganization plan to address the $46 million budget deficit that the campus will face in fiscal year 2010.

That’s what happens when you’re in an economic crisis that hasn’t been seen by anybody in this room,” the Chancellor said, during a formal presentation Thursday. “I think that this is the best alternative among a bunch of alternatives that I don’t like.”

The proposal would merge several colleges and eliminate three deans’ positions along with associated support staff, saving the university $1-2 million while preserving tenured and tenure track positions. But numerous members of faculty felt that the reorganization will mean disorder and confusion during an already trying time, and offered some critiques during a lengthy question and answer period.

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Chancellor Holub’s Changing Campus