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USM reacts to new major cutbacks

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    Nancy Erickson is briefly overcome with emotion while teaching a French class Monday at the University of Southern Maine, after learning that 50 faculty positions will be cut. Erickson, the only full-time French professor at USM, has taught at the university for 18 years and doesn’t yet know if she will lose her job.

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    Music history professor Paul Christiansen speaks at a press conference after Monday's announcement of faculty layoffs at the University of Southern Maine. The music department, which supports two faculty members, Christiansen and a composer, is one of the departments that will be affected by the cuts.

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    Students and faculty members show their displeasure at a press conference after Monday's announcement of faculty layoffs at the University of Southern Maine.

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    Neal Young, a USM senior with a major in political science and a minor in economics, speaks at a press conference Monday after the announcement of faculty layoffs.

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    Maggie Welch, a senior majoring in environmental science at USM, makes her way toward the Abromson Community Education Center after a class Monday.

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    Adrianne Hess of Portland holds a sign aimed at USM President David Flanagan during a press conference after Monday's announcement of faculty layoffs.

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    Alexander Knight, a junior with a double major in mathematics and physics at the University of Southern Maine, speaks at a press conference Monday after the announcement of faculty layoffs.

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    Jane Kuenz, chairwoman of the University of Southern Maine's English department, speaks Monday about the latest layoffs. She said, “I think people in Maine have to decide if they want a university. If you want a university, you have to put money into it.”

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    Students make their way to classes Monday on the Portland campus of the University of Southern Maine, which will cut 50 faculty positions.

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