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UNC Asheville Drama Department Struggles to Keep Up with University Updates

Overwhelmed drama students studying.

UNC Asheville Drama Department Struggles to Keep Up with University Updates

The University of North Carolina at Asheville’s drama department recently announced their spring show season amid budget cuts and staffing issues. As the department navigates challenges with funding and staffing, concerns have arisen about the impact on student experiences and learning opportunities.

Understaffing and Budget Cuts

Casey Watkins, a faculty member in the drama department, highlighted the challenges faced by the department due to understaffing and budget constraints. Watkins expressed frustration over the lack of support for faculty and students, emphasizing the strain caused by the reliance on adjunct professors and limited resources.

According to Watkins, the department has been operating with a reduced staff following the retirement of original faculty members. The university’s budget restrictions have further hindered efforts to hire new faculty, leaving existing staff to cover multiple roles and responsibilities.

Striving for Support

Madisyn Craig, a full-time staff member in the costume shop of the drama department, shared concerns about the uncertain future of her position. Craig explained the challenges of securing funding for her role each semester, with ongoing budget issues creating uncertainty about job stability.

Craig emphasized the impact of budget constraints on essential resources for students, such as materials for costume design. The inability to purchase necessary supplies has forced staff to find alternative solutions, impacting the quality of education and practical experiences for students.

Funding and Departmental Challenges

Lise Kloepel, chair of the university’s drama department, discussed the complexities of funding sources and financial challenges faced by the department. Kloepel mentioned the reliance on student fee money and funds from the department’s founder, as well as concerns about restricted funding and budget allocations.

Despite efforts to navigate budget constraints and maximize available resources, the drama department continues to face significant obstacles in maintaining quality education and programming for students. The impact of staffing shortages and financial limitations raises concerns about the long-term sustainability of the department’s operations.

Future Uncertainties

As the drama department grapples with ongoing challenges, concerns persist about the implications for student experiences and the overall functioning of the department. Staff and faculty remain dedicated to providing quality education and opportunities for students, but the obstacles posed by budget cuts and staffing issues present significant hurdles to overcome.

With a commitment to supporting students and fostering a dynamic learning environment, the drama department at UNC Asheville continues to navigate the complexities of funding and staffing challenges, striving to uphold its mission of excellence in theatrical education.

HERE Asheville
Author: HERE Asheville

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