MISSOULA (AP) – The University of Montana has given about 40 non-tenured lecturers notice that their contracts won’t be renewed at the end of the fall semester.

Provost Beverly Edmond told the Missoulian the letters were sent to meet university policy that lecturers with more than three consecutive years of service be given one semester’s notice of the end of their contracts.

University Faculty Association President Paul Haber says UM President Sheila Stearns told him the notices were distributed in case the lecturers needed to be cut to reduce staff spending due to declining enrollment. Stearns would not say whether she indicated UM would re-hire many of the lecturers.

Kevin McRae, spokesman for the Commissioner of Higher Education, said UM will set its priorities in time to rehire any lecturers needed for spring semester.

The school says about 40 tenured or tenure-track faculty out of 552 aren’t returning this fall.

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