McPhee addressed faculty and students at the first of two open forums Wednesday afternoon. Another forum will be held Thursday at 3 p.m. in Tucker Theater on MTSU campus.
Addressing MTSU community concerns, McPhee laid out his case for making $19.3 million in cuts to the school’s budget before the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
“If this state would have funded higher education as they should, then we wouldn’t have to face this situation,” McPhee said.
But MTSU remains the lowest paid institution per student in the state, he said.
“It’s time for the state to look seriously at providing sufficient funding to its largest undergraduate university,” McPhee said.
Assembled faculty expressed concern about restructuring the university in three colleges, impact of student population and tuition increases and the need for a new science building, as well as the possibility of layoffs and buyouts.
McPhee said the anticipated influx of federal stimulus funds will postpone any need for layoffs in the next few years. The university will rely on attrition to reduce faculty and possibly offer a voluntary buyout plan.
Most departments will continue to operate at the same funding level next year, except for athletics and other non-academic program, which will begin cuts immediately, he said.
McPhee has been criticized by faculty and the student body for proposed budget cuts, including some majors, concentrations and departments.
Michelle Willard can be contacted at 615-869-0816 or firstname.lastname@example.org.