By Amanda Adams
Budget cuts continue to loom over the UNC system. Governor Bev Perdue has released her budget proposal for the next two years. It provides some of what system leaders requested in enrollment growth funding and need-based financial aid. But if it’s approved, nearly fifteen-hundred employees across the 17-campus system will be looking for new jobs.
UNC system President Tom Ross released a statement saying he’s deeply concerned about the damage those layoffs would do to higher education in the state. Ross says the system has taken all the cuts it can handle the last four years…so losing an additional six percent from its budget means reducing faculty, staff and course sections. He says that would be a blow to the system’s academic quality, and would mean fewer students graduating on time.
The UNC system has already started eliminating academic programs. There will be sixty fewer degrees offered state-wide next year, almost half of which are bachelor degrees. Twenty-two are Masters, and two are doctoral. Officials say the cuts should make universities more efficient.
At UNC Chapel Hill, the push for a more efficient university means cuts in such areas as the Linguistics department and the Nursing program.