PORTLAND (AP) — An arbitrator has determined that the University of Southern Maine didn’t violate its union contract with faculty after 26 people were laid off during budget cuts in 2014.

The Portland Press Herald reports arbitrator Mark Irvings ruled Saturday that the firings were in compliance with the contract except in the case of one professor.

USM was ordered to pay lost wages and benefits to the unidentified processor.

The Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine challenged the layoffs that ultimately eliminated 51 faculty positions and five academic programs.

University officials said the cuts were an attempt to close a $16 million budget gap.

A statement issued by Susan Feiner, president of USM’s AFUM chapter, didn’t disclose whether the union would challenge Irvings’ ruling in Superior Court.

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