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UNC Greensboro announces program cut recommendations

Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom stands outside the Elliott University Center in the center of UNC Greensboro's campus
Lynn Hey
Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom stands outside the Elliott University Center in the center of UNC Greensboro's campus on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023, Greensboro, N.C. A uniquely UNCG tradition, students leave gifts, especially apples for good luck, around the start of the semester and exam time.

UNC Greensboro has announced which programs and majors its department deans are recommending for elimination.

The recommendations are part of the university’s ongoing academic program review, a process that was sparked by years of declining enrollment and revenue.

Chancellor Franklin Gilliam said the goal of the process was for deans to look for programs that have become “cost-prohibitive.”

“Meaning that they produce far less revenue than they cost,” he said. “Usually that is correlated with student demand … over time, there have been fewer students enrolling in those programs.”

Gilliam said that cutting these programs, and the associated faculty and teaching positions, will save the university revenue, an amount that is “definitely in the seven figures.”

There are 25 faculty and three staff that currently teach in the programs recommended for elimination, Gilliam said.

The two largest programs on the chopping block are anthropology and physics, with 68 and 44 undergraduate students respectively. The list includes 19 programs, majors and minors total — affecting about 227 students:

Undergraduate Majors (affecting 124 current students)

  • Anthropology (62 students)
  • Secondary Education in Geography (0 students)
  • Religious Studies (24 students)
  • Physics (both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) (30 students)
  • Physical Education, Teacher Education (K-12) (8 students)

Graduate Programs (affecting 61 current students)

  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Nursing (5 students)
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Advanced Practice Foundations (Nursing) (2 students)
  • MA, Applied Geography (9 students)
  • MFA, Drama Concentration in Directing (0 students)
  • MFA, Interior Architecture (3 students)
  • MA, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (7 students)
  • MAT, Languages, Literatures and Cultures in Teaching (1 student)
  • MA, Mathematics (all concentrations) (5 students)
  • MEd, Special Education (7 students)
  • Dual Masters in Nursing Science and Business Administration (10 students)
  • PhD, Communication Sciences and Disorders (12 students)

Undergraduate Minors, Certificates, and Course Offerings (affecting 42 current students)

  • Chinese (36 students)
  • Russian (6 students)
  • Korean language courses 

Gilliam will make the final decision on which programs and majors to cut. He plans to announce his choices to the public on Feb. 1.
Any programs that are selected in that final elimination will not accept new students in the fall. According to the university, currently enrolled students will be able to finish their degree, as long as they “make satisfactory progress in their major.”

The university will be continuing to staff these programs through a “teach-out policy,” Gilliam said.

“Nobody is going to lose their job February 2nd,” he said. “There will be time for them to make decisions about their own careers. As the students remain in their programs and want to get degrees in those areas, there will still be a role for the faculty.”

Before Gilliam decides which programs are discontinued, he and Provost Debbie Storrs are holding several listening sessions. This includes faculty senate, graduate council and undergraduate curriculum committee meetings, as well as forums with faculty, students, alumni and the campus community.

A schedule of the open forum and faculty senate meetings. The first open forum is for students on Jan. 19.
UNC Greensboro
A schedule of the open forum and faculty senate meetings regarding the programs that could be cut from UNC Greensboro. The first open forum is for students on Jan. 19.

The next upcoming forum will be for students, held in the Elliott University Center Auditorium on Friday, Jan. 19. The meeting starts at 3 p.m. and lasts until 5 p.m.

Livestreams of the student, faculty (already held on Jan. 10) and campus-wide forums will be available here.

Editors Note: After the publication of this story, UNCG administrators updated the number of students enrolled in various majors, minors and programs. For an updated number, visit here. The data correction does not change the programs being recommended for elimination.

Brianna Atkinson is WUNC’s 2024 Fletcher Fellow and covers higher education in partnership with Open Campus.
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