PORTLAND (AP) — A University of Maine System committee is backing a plan to cut some programs at the University of Southern Maine.

The Portland Press Herald reported (http://bit.ly/ZHj75q) that the committee voted 6-1 on Wednesday in favor of eliminating the undergraduate French major and master’s program in applied sciences.

The full University of Maine System Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on the proposal on Friday.

The school’s president, David Flanagan, says the school must eliminate the programs and 50 faculty positions to save $6 million. The school is trying to close a $16 million budget gap for the next fiscal year.

School officials say 36 faculty members have accepted an enhanced retirement package, including 24 people involved in programs that could be cut.

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