Carolina Public Press continues series on how WNC universities deal with budget cuts

Excerpt from Carolina Public Press:

After five years of state budget cuts capped by the latest drop in funding, educators throughout North Carolina’s 16-member state university system are prioritizing, consolidating and trimming academic programs. This is the second of three articles in a series on the ramifications for WNC’s universities. The first in the series, on UNC Asheville, can be found here.

Jack Sholder, professor and director of the film and television production program at Western Carolina University, helps a student in an editing class. The program was recently “saved” from possible elimination in a round of budget-related curriculum changes at the university. Photo courtesy of Western Carolina University.

Faced with a continued decline in state support, Western Carolina University Chancellor David Belcher has recommended that 10 academic programs be phased out.

“A decision to discontinue a program does not imply a lack of value for the discipline,” Belcher stated in a July 19 announcement of his decisions. “It is, rather, a statement about current program reality.”

That “reality” includes the loss of $32 million in state funding since 2008, when serious cuts began, as well as the likelihood of decreased funding through the 2014-2015 academic year, Belcher stated in a WCU press release. His decisions regarding the effected programs must be approved by University of North Carolina system.

WCU and the 15 other UNC system universities are reviewing their academic programs to find any that can be eliminated, consolidated or otherwise modified. …


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