NC State will lose 440 faculty and staff positions under the $53 million budget reduction plan submitted to the University of North Carolina system last week. The positions include 117 EPA faculty, 117 EPA professional and 206 SPA jobs. Forty percent of the jobs that will be eliminated – 176 – are currently filled.
Many of the jobs cut are vacant faculty, non-tenure-track faculty and instructional support positions, Chancellor Jim Woodward said in his memo to UNC President Erskine Bowles.
While the overall budget reflects a 10 percent reduction in state funding, colleges took smaller cuts, ranging from 3.36 percent for Humanities and Social Sciences to 8.55 percent for Textiles, Woodward said.
“We allocated smaller reductions to academic units, yet we are still losing enough non-tenure-track faculty and teaching assistants that our instructional capacity will drop by about 3 percent,” he wrote.
NC State will lose 300 class sections and 9,750 seats. While general education classes were protected to a large extent, students will see larger class sizes and possible graduation delays. Study abroad, leadership, service learning and research opportunities will be reduced because of cuts in staffing and academic support programs.
Woodward said long-term impacts of the cuts include slower enrollment growth and “erosion in core faculty expertise.” Grant and contract funding for research and extension programs that benefit North Carolinians also will suffer, he said. In addition, funding reductions for Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension Service programs will adversely impact research supporting the state’s $70 billion agricultural sector and science-based education programs delivered in partnership with the state’s 100 counties and the Cherokee Tribal Council.
The budget proposal, which was submitted July 22 after more than eight months of effort, will be reviewed at the UNC system level. Once the state budget is finalized, the UNC Board of Governors will consider NC State’s proposed budget for final approval.
The 10 percent reduction allows for an expected 6 to 7 percent cut in state funding, along with 3 percent to protect NC State in the event tax revenues remain low and the state takes back funding in a budget reversion, as it did last year.
If the budget reduction is less than expected, Woodward said his top priority is additional funding for undergraduate education, particularly general education courses.