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Budget shortfall forces big changes at UNCA

Empty UNCA conference room.

Budget shortfall forces big changes at UNCA

Budget shortfall forces big changes at UNC Asheville (UNCA)

Layoffs shake faculty; chancellor drops “liberal” from school description

The University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) is facing a $6 million budget shortfall, leading to a series of drastic measures to address the financial crisis. The decline in enrollment, the steepest of any UNC system school, has been cited as the primary reason for the deficit.

Faculty Layoffs and Program Cuts

To address the budget deficit, UNCA is planning faculty layoffs, early retirements, and cuts to academic programs. This includes laying off a number of adjunct professors and possibly lecturers as well. The school is also reconfiguring its curriculum, shifting towards more sciences and away from humanities in hopes of attracting more students.

No More “Liberal” Arts

Chancellor Kimberly van Noort, in an effort to align the school’s description with its evolving curriculum, has decided to drop the word “liberal” from UNCA’s title, now calling it a “public arts and sciences university”.

Financial Incentives and Program Reviews

UNCA is offering financial incentives for eligible tenured faculty to retire. Additionally, a comprehensive review of academic offerings, with a focus on potential program cuts, is underway. The humanities program, a core part of UNCA’s curriculum, is likely to endure significant changes.

Enrollment Push and Strategic Visioning

Chancellor van Noort has been taking steps to increase enrollment, including offering free tuition to lower-income students and ramping up marketing efforts. A new strategic visioning process called “2030” has also been initiated to address the school’s long-term goals.

Asheville Watchdog is closely monitoring the situation at UNCA and will continue to provide updates on the school’s efforts to overcome its budget challenges.

HERE Asheville
Author: HERE Asheville

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