Another summer semester at Montana State University-Northern brings another list of summer classes being cancelled, and some of the faculty are not happy.
However, there appears to be some miscommunication between the faculty and the administration as to the extent of the cancellations.
Northern faculty union President John Snider is upset this week about the cancellations he has seen, claiming that 43 classes being cancelled will adversely affect more than 170 students, including some in the Upward Bound program and others who are transferring out of Northern to graduate because they can’t get the classes they need.
Snider sees these cuts as being at odds with Chancellor James Limbaugh’s stated goal of increasing enrollment.
Limbaugh sees a very different scenario.
In an interview this morning, Limbaugh said only 25 classes were cancelled for this summer. Thirteen of those classes had either one or two students enrolled when cancelled.
Limbaugh also said that other classes were not cancelled, but combined with identical courses, to pool students in one place.
As opposed to Snider’s 176 students affected, Limbaugh said this morning that only 68 students have been affected by the course changes.
Limbaugh also points to 70 percent of the summer’s classes being taught online, and a 43 percent increase in enrollment over last year’s summer semester as evidence of his plan remaining in line with his goal to increase enrollment.
“The reality is I have a fiduciary responsibility to this institution, ” Limbaugh said. “If I had kept those classes going this summer, we would have run in the red for $88,000. That’s $88,000 I can use for students next fall.
“There will always be stories about individual students being disappointed, and I understand that, but I have a responsibility to this university.
“We are thinking about students at every turn, but we have to think about the financial future of the institution as well. ”