Budget reductions at Minot State University are beginning to be felt campus-wide.
In December, a number of faculty and staff members were notified that their contracts would not be renewed in the fall.
That means a valued member of the music department will soon be saying goodbye.
Tim Olson reports.
(Tim Olson, KX News) It’s not the song the students and faculty in the Minot State University Division of Music wanted to hear.
(Dr. Mark McQuade, MSU Music Faculty) “I found out December 12th – during finals week – that my contract would not be renewed.”
(Olson) Mark McQuade and his wife Jennifer left tenured positions in Oklahoma to teach voice students at MSU. But as a result of state-mandated budget cuts, the McQuades won’t have jobs in Minot come next semester.
(McQuade) “Obviously this was not what we anticipated, and it’s kind of changed our future outlook on things, so we’re just looking toward the future.”
(Dr. Erik Anderson, Chair – MSU Division of Music) “They are wonderful people. They have been incredibly valuable contributors to this community on both a professional and personal level.”
(Olson) Erik Anderson, the chair of MSU’s music division, says losing two faculty members forces the department to think a little smaller.
(Anderson) “The most immediate impact will be in the number of vocal students we can actually service.”
(Royce Brown, MSU Music Performance Major) “My first thought was just, ‘where are we going next?'”
(Olson) Royce Brown is a music performance major with professional aspirations – thanks to McQuade’s tutelage.
(Brown) “His style specifically of teaching reaches me as a student. I came up here with him to follow him as his student. My senior year will be who knows where.”
(Olson) As McQuade figures out what comes next, he says he hopes the powers that be will someday change their tune when it comes to higher ed funding.
(McQuade) “The population of North Dakota isn’t huge – and so if you start having your students leave the state to go to university, they more than likely won’t come back.”
(Olson) In Minot, Tim Olson, KX News.
Mark McQuade also serves as the general director of the Western Plains Opera Company in Minot.