UMKC Theatre holding town hall to discuss budget cuts - KCTV5 News

UMKC Theatre holding town hall to discuss budget cuts

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File photo. (KCTV5) File photo. (KCTV5)

Now that the university is looking to cut funding from the program, UMKC Theatre will be holding a town hall inside the Spencer Theatre on Sunday.

They say that the focus is going to be positive. They want to look at the impact the program has had and hopefully be able to encourage the administration to change how they're thinking about the budget.

“We don't understand why we're on the deepest of the deep cut list when we are UMKC's highest nationally ranked program,” said Tom Mardikes with UMKC Theatre.

Officials with UMKC say it's not that simple.

The university released a statement noting they have to achieve $20-$30 million in savings due to cuts at the state level.

"While support for an excellent program at this university requires a significant investment, as a public university we must be mindful of costs and the need to support a wide range of programs,” it said.

However, Mardikes says their cut of 16 percent -- which also means dropping their 17 full-time staff down to 13 -- would be detrimental.

“It ends up taking our budget down to point where we either have graduate students, but no one to teach them or we have faculty and no graduate students for them to teach,” he explained.

Mardikes also said the university may want to look other places, like administration, to fix the budget.

“The academic mission across this campus is getting shortchanged and their top nationally ranked program is taking the biggest blow,” he said.

The town hall is set to begin at 6 p.m. All are welcome to attend. 

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