The effort to reduce personnel costs on the University of Montana continues by extending the voluntary severance offer to eligible employees.

UM Communications Director Paula Short said the offer is being made now to eligible non-faculty employees.

Interim President Sheila Stearns said the offers are similar to those made to tenured faculty members this year. In addition, Short said the university has slowed the hiring process and is requiring presidential approval for all new hires.

With close to 90 percent of the institution’s budget being spent on personnel and benefits, the university is also prioritizing programs and President Stearns is overhauling both academic programs and administrative services.

President Stearns said there will still be more work to do once these steps are taken.

The voluntary severance offers will be presented at the University Center Theater with presentations at 11 a.m. and again at noon on Wednesday. Both sessions will be streamed live by Missoula Community Access Television (MCAT).