UMKC’s theatre department received good news this week: Two faculty members whose positions were cut due to budget restraints will be returning this semester.
Shortly after design professor John Ezell announced his retirement, the department readjusted their budget. With these changes, they brought back lighting designer Ricardo Kahn and theatre technician Shane Rowse.
Interim Chancellor and Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer released a statement saying she was “delighted that we found a way to restore these positions amid the profound financial challenges that will continue to need our attention moving forward.”
This news comes at a critical time for the theatre department. An initial round of $400,000 in cuts hit the department earlier this summer, spurring a “Save UMKC Theatre” movement that gained support from theatregoers around the city.
Whether the department will receive more cuts in the future remains to be seen, but the university is continuing to review all programs and budgets. For now, however, faculty and staff look forward to Rose and Kahn’s return.