Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
Enrollment plunge forces UNC Greensboro to slash 20 academic programs

Twenty academic programs are slated for elimination at the University of North Carolina Greensboro amid an enrollment plunge, campus leaders recently announced.

Five majors are being completely eliminated, according to a recent announcement from Chancellor Franklin Gilliam: anthropology, geography, physics, physical education and religious studies. Three language minors — Chinese, Russian, and Korean — are also on the chopping block.

The university is also ending 12 graduate programs and is pausing admissions in its masters drama program.

“My decision is rooted in the University’s strategic direction; patterns in enrollment and demand; a need to prioritize faculty time and expertise; and where we see the greatest opportunities to grow, lead, and bolster our excellence,” Gilliam stated.

The cuts are needed, argued Ashlynn Warta with the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

“UNCG’s cuts, though disliked by those directly impacted, are a prudent move,” she wrote. “Perhaps there is room for culling of administrative or other roles, as well.”

“As Chancellor Gilliam urged from the beginning, universities should not be blind to the changing landscape of higher education and the influence those changes may have on enrollment and budgets. At the end of the day, it is impossible and fiscally irresponsible for every university to attempt to supply every possible academic offering at all times.”

But others have argued the cuts missed the mark, that they don’t actually save money.

“Our administration has claimed that this is all necessary for financial planning for the future and for a more efficient university, though they’ve never demonstrated this successfully,” Mark Elliott, president of UNC-Greensboro’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors, told the Chronicle of Higher Education. “They’ve shown us no projections that these cuts are going to save money.”

Stephen Tate, interim head of the department of mathematics and statistics, told the Chronicle “a lot of the cuts they’re making simply have no budgetary impact.”

Some students and faculty held a small protest on Thursday to “mourn” the cuts, NBC 12 reported.

“I think it’s really important that we recognize this is a really painful and tragic process going on that we are actually mourning,” Emilee Robbins, a graduate student, told the news station.

University of North Carolina Greensboro is not the only state university facing massive cuts.

As The College Fix recently reported, the University of New Hampshire is facing $14 million in budget cuts and is laying off 75 faculty members, shuttered its art museum, and made other cuts to balance the books.

At the University of West Virginia, several academic programs were eliminated and administrators agreed to a 10 percent pay cut to address a $45 million shortfall.

“A growing number of public regionals are struggling amid the so-called demographic cliff, a steep, nationwide drop in the number of high-school graduates,” the Chronicle reported.

At UNCG, Gilliam said the next steps are for academic deans and others to “work with affected programs to craft detailed discontinuation plans, including timelines.”

“We will develop a plan of study for students in discontinued programs to enable them to complete their degree in a timely manner. We will follow institutional policies regarding any future employment changes and anticipate that no significant changes to faculty or staffing assignments will take effect in any of the discontinued programs in the immediate future.”

MORE: Amid massive budget cuts, WVU pays DEI chief $235,000 — 298% higher than average co-worker

IMAGE: YouTube screenshot

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.