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ULM completes reorganization

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Budget cuts are bringing changes at all schools, including the University of Louisiana at Monroe.  After a two year process, the school's reorganization has slashed administrative costs.

Through a strategic plan of weighing degrees by student demand, job demand and the return on investment, the university now only has three colleges and 10 schools. Before reorganizing, ULM had five colleges and 26 schools. In the last five years, the university has also eliminated 300 staff positions.

ULM President Nick Bruno said the changes will save money.

"We have less administrative costs. We have less administrators operating the university than we've had in its recent history," Bruno said.  

University officials say student success is still their primary goal and most students won't even feel the change.

"We eliminated three degree programs. Those are programs that had a small number of students enrolled in them. The juniors and seniors in those programs are going to have the same classes. They are going to finish their degrees. The freshman and sophomores, we are looking to help them find a different major here or somewhere else," Vice President of Academic Affairs Eric Pani said.  

Bruno says they may raise tuition, but only to the point that it is not counter-productive. And they don't foresee cutting any more staff positions, but that is not a guarantee.

He also says the university will spend a good bit of its time trying to retain current students instead of recruiting new ones. And the university will continue to capitalize on its strong suits, like the health science majors.

Even with all the cuts, there are opportunities for new programs. Pani says they're offering post baccalaureate certificates in accounting and computer information systems, and a potential program could focus on un-manned aircraft, better known as drones.

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