UNCP cuts 30 positions, trims 4 departments

Abbi Overfelt Editor

October 16, 2013

PEMBROKE — The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will eliminate 30 positions, restructure four departments and consider the removal of two academic programs, Chancellor Kyle Carter announced Tuesday in an email to staff.

Eight filled positions — five faculty and three staff — and 22 vacant positions are being eliminated to offset the loss of more than $3.1 million in state funding. The cuts total just over that number — about $972,000 in operating and instructional expenses and $2.2 million in personnel expenses.

Staff members can work up until Nov. 15, or may take any remaining leave they have available. The contracts of those faculty members being eliminated were not renewed before the beginning of the new semester.

To save costs, the university also plans to consolidate and reorganize four academic departments previously considered for cuts — Theatre, Art Education, Music Education and the graduate program in Art Education. In the email, provosts and deans of those departments are tasked to increase program enrollments and meet the goals of the UNC system.

Two programs, the graduate degree in Music Education and the undergraduate degree in Applied Physics, may be eliminated. There are currently 20 students enrolled in both programs.

Elimination of any programs would have to be approved by the UNC Board of Governors.

“The faculties of both programs will be given an opportunity to respond to this recommendation and to provide additional information before the decision is finalized,” Carter said. “Should the programs be discontinued, there will be a teach-out schedule to accommodate any currently enrolled students who are working toward these degrees.”

The decision to eliminate the positions and restructure departments was included in a plan established earlier in consultation with deans, academic department chairs and departmental financial managers. The original plan, among other things, called for eliminating as many as 36 positions, consolidating departments and the possibility of eliminating programs.

According to university officials, the budget-reduction planning process involved each department or division submitting recommendations to its respective vice chancellor on how to best meet UNC Pembroke’s mandated target. The plan was reviewed by the University Budget Advisory Committee, made up of administrators, faculty and staff, and was presented to the board of trustees for comments.

“I want to acknowledge the department heads and vice chancellors who sought every possible solution to minimize the impact on employees and on student academic offerings and services,” Carter said. “While there are still unavoidable losses, the plan enables us to continue to provide an engaged learning experience for our students.”