UMass Boston Students, Faculty Protest Budget Cuts

BOSTON (CBS) — Recent budget cuts provoked students and faculty at UMass Boston to protest on Wednesday.

Construction projects are scattered across the university’s campus, making some question the focus of the Board of Trustees, students say.

Protesters fear cuts to the classes offered by the university could impact graduation tracks for current students and leave some faculty members without jobs. Programs could also see increased fees to upkeep funds.

The Board of Trustees faced these frustrations during the open portion of Wednesday’s meeting.

Chancellor Keith Motley was present, though he will be stepping down soon.

“Our administration needs to be held accountable,” said Juan Blanco, a senior at UMass Boston. “They made certain decisions that created part of this problem.”

He added, “We need to move, we need to mobilize. That’s the only way we will make this institution what it needs to be, and what it claims to be.”

Assistant professor Marlene Kim also believes courses and faculty will be cut.

“Many probably will not come back in the fall, and many don’t even know that yet,” she said.

John Hess, vice president of the Faulty Staff Union at UMass, commented, “What we want to happen is for UMass Boston to be able to continue to offer the high quality education it has been offering despite cuts in state assistance

Spokesperson DeWayne Lehman remained optimistic.

“Whatever we’re looking at we are putting our students first,” he said. “We’re making sure that they have the courses they need and that there are seats in those courses so they can continue their studies and graduate on time.”

UMass promised they weighing all the different budget cut options. They also stated classes with high enrollment would not be cut altogether, but students may see fewer sessions available.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker reports 

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