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Bemidji State to cut theater and art history programs

Theater and art history are among the programs set for elimination at Bemidji State University, as officials looks for savings in a time of budget cuts.
Theater programs will not be offered to freshmen next year, and the theater program will be eli

Theater and art history are among the programs set for elimination at Bemidji State University, as officials looks for savings in a time of budget cuts.

Theater programs will not be offered to freshmen next year, and the theater program will be eliminated in spring 2012, under the cost-savings plan announced by President Richard Hanson, said the Bemidji Pioneer.

Art history, too, is a victim in the university’s plan to cut 10 percent of its costs, or about $5 million, because of the state budget shortfall. A total of more than 30 full-time faculty jobs will be cut.

A summary shows these cuts:

  • Eliminating four academic programs (Art History, Theater, Environmental Landscaping, Massage Therapy and one yet‐to‐be determined program (about 6 positions)
  • Reducing 18 programs (Visual Arts, English and Speech, History, Philosophy, Modern Languages, Music, Physics, Environmental Studies, Economics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Psychology, Sociology, Accounting, Technological Studies, Physical Education, Health and Sport, Professional Education, and Automotive) (about 33 positions)
  • Eliminating at least 10 to 11 administrative positions (Library Tech, Comm/Marketing, Trades, Physical Plant Supervisor, Telecom, Clerical, Counseling, and Optivation)
  • Dropping two sports — Men’s indoor and men’s outdoor track and field

A theater professor isn’t happy:

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“Everyone is in some type of a budget crisis. Administration made the decision they felt the school needed and theater isn’t something they wanted,” said Patrick Carriere, assistant professor of theater. “I think Bemidji is a strong arts community. It’s unfortunate our university is moving in another direction.”