GORHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The start of a new school year marks a fresh start at USM, after a year of budget cuts, student protests, and leadership changes.

More than 500 freshmen moved in to their dorms at USM Gorham Sunday morning.

"We hope it's a fresh start," said Provost Dr. Joseph McDonnell. "We know we still have serious budget problems that we will have to address this year for next year."

Interim USM President David Flanagan has appointed McDonnell to his council, where he will work to restructure the university.

Their main goals include cutting costs, and moving toward a more "metropolitan university" model.

"We in administration deal with a lot of problems and issues but at the end of the day, what we're really here for are the students," said McDonnell. "This is a vivid reminder of that today."

Including undergraduate, graduate, and law students, this year's enrollment is more than 8,500 students, down about 6.3 percent from last year.

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