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UMaine system trustees see worst case financial scenario at meeting interrupted by students

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PORTLAND, Maine — The University of Maine System faces a deficit of up to $90 million by 2020 under a worst-case scenario presented to trustees.

The scenario was presented at a meeting Monday temporarily disrupted by about 100 students chanting and protesting cuts at the University of Southern Maine. The university has eliminated several majors and dozens of faculty positions in an attempt to balance the books.

Rebecca Wyke, the seven-campus system's vice chancellor for administration and finance, says the worst-case scenario can be headed off by increasing tuition, boosting enrollment, getting more money from the state or laying off hundreds of workers.

Tuition and state funding have been level for several years.

Wyke says increasing enrollment is difficult because the number of teens and young adults in Maine is falling fast.

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