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Asheville Watchdog: Presentation Shows 14 UNCA Academic Programs Highlighted for Potential Reductions or Elimination

In a recent development, a presentation obtained by Asheville Watchdog has revealed that the University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) is considering potential reductions or eliminations in 14 of its academic programs. The presentation, prepared by Charlotte-based First Tryon Advisors, has recommended a review of these programs as part of UNCA’s efforts to address a $6 million deficit.

Programs Under Review

The 14 academic programs highlighted for potential reductions or eliminations include languages and literatures, physics, mathematics, chemistry, drama, economics, history, philosophy, religious studies, political science, ancient Mediterranean studies, interdisciplinary studies, education, and Africana studies. These departments represent a significant portion of UNCA’s academic offerings, constituting 40% of its total departments.

Chancellor’s Announcement

UNCA Chancellor Kimberly van Noort is expected to announce her decisions regarding the fate of these programs during the week of June 10. The university has engaged in discussions with faculty members to provide them with an opportunity to respond to the proposed changes before final decisions are made.

Criticism and Concerns

Faculty members have voiced their criticisms of the methodology used by First Tryon Advisors in the review process. Some faculty members argue that the analysis was biased against departments with higher-paid staff and did not consider important contextual factors. There are concerns about the impact of potential program eliminations on students currently enrolled in these programs.

Impact on Students and Faculty

Students who are majoring in the affected programs are worried about the implications of the proposed changes on their academic paths. Faculty members have raised concerns about the potential consequences of the reductions, including the impact on research, faculty service assignments, and tenure opportunities.

Future Academic Reviews

UNCA plans to conduct regular academic reviews in the future as part of its ongoing efforts to address budget constraints and align its programs with enrollment trends. The university’s focus on program margins and qualitative data in these reviews aims to ensure the sustainability of its academic offerings.

This decision by UNCA is part of a broader trend within the University of North Carolina system, where several institutions have had to make tough choices regarding academic programs in response to financial challenges. The outcome of UNCA’s academic review process will have far-reaching implications for the institution and its stakeholders.

HERE Asheville
Author: HERE Asheville