Unwise cut at UNCA

The Environmental Quality Institute at UNCA is being eliminated because it "does not directly relate to the university's core mission." [according to Chancellor Anne Ponder, quoted in a recent press release] UNCA's core mission is to "Serve as the Standard of Excellence in Public Liberal Arts Undergraduate Education." Does eliminating an on-campus undergraduate research facility that provides valuable faculty-mentored training improve the Standard of Excellence? It does not. Perhaps the $600,000 approved for the off-campus chancellor residency and nonacademic Pisgah House could have been spent more wisely.

— Jason Nolan, UNCA class of 2005

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6 thoughts on “Unwise cut at UNCA

  1. Rob Close

    i fail to see your logic at all, travelah.

    i’m not sure how much that institute was costing UNCA a year, but enviro-science is big at UNCA, and that institute certainly seemed like a great addition to their education – the certain sort of thing that makes it excellent, rather than mundane.

    i see it hurting their mission. and $600,000 for the chancellors residence does not seem to be helping it at all. Author has some very good points here.

  2. travelah

    Their mission is focused on undergraduate liberal arts. Environmental science research does not fall with the scope of such a mission. It would be better served by a University that has a science and technology focus, NC State coming to mind among others. It is a matter of serving the interests of the stated mission of the University and if a curriculum was allowed to drift off course into sciences and technology rather than a focus on liberal arts, then the correction is proper. As for the residence, I agree that was probably not a wise investment but the expenditure on that or not doesn’t lend support for keeping a science research facility at UNCA.

  3. Bill Milestone

    Travelah is right here. Jason, I know it is hard to see a favorite program scraped because of budgetry restraints, but that is the reality. Those that make financial decisions at UNCA had to cut somewhere.

    Now, if we had politicans in Raleigh who didn’t over-spend,and mis-spend, our tax money, perhaps UNCA may have not had to make these cuts. Why isn’t ALL of the “education” lottery money used for education? Why does some of it end up in pork barrel spending projects like the “Teapot Museum” and that music theater run by Dolly Parton’s brother? If our “representatives” had used,and SAVED, our tax money more prudently, perhaps none of these education cuts would have been necessary. The solution? Turn out every politician now in office and elect a whole new batch next election. In both parties.

  4. hello

    UNCA is a liberal arts university. They don’t want any dept to get too focused. The money they get is to be “equally distributed” among the depts. The idea is a good general education. If your looking for more than that at UNCA, your looking in the wrong place. It’s too bad and many situations like this have happened there over the years.

  5. shadmarsh

    Ponder is one of the worst things to happen to UNCA in quite some time. Here’s hoping she finds a promotion somewhere before she runs this school into the ground.

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