UNC loses 3,000 workers after budget

Posted September 8, 2011

— The University of North Carolina system cut more than 3,000 filled jobs because of spending reductions required by the General Assembly in this year's budget, according to a report presented Thursday to the UNC Board of Governors.

The university system, which collected data from all 17 campuses and other programs, reported 488 filled full-time positions were eliminated and 2,544 part-time or temporary workers were no longer employed.

The Republican-penned budget required the university system to find $414 million in spending reductions – equivalent to an across-the-board reduction of 15.6 percent. It was part of a legislative plan to close a $2.6 billion shortfall while allowing a pair of temporary tax increases to expire.

The report said 1,979 of the part-time workers who are no longer employed were labeled as faculty positions, such as lecturers and adjunct faculty. Another 356 people who were let go were categorized primarily as graduate assistants who performed some teaching and research duties.

In addition, the report said another 1,487 vacant jobs were eliminated and another 508 previously funded with state money are now funded through other methods, such as university receipts.

The figure of 3,032 employees who are no longer working appears to jibe largely with warnings by UNC system leaders and Gov. Beverly Perdue about the GOP's budget effects on a university system that had about 35,000 workers paid for with state budgeted funds before the cuts took effect starting July 1.

"These cuts are going to hurt our state in the long-run," Perdue said in a statement. "I hear from business leaders every day about the importance of a well-trained workforce. The damaging cuts Republican legislators rammed through will likely impact our ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

Republicans acknowledged the cuts could hurt but noted campuses had other ways to generate revenue, such as tuition and fundraising.

The Board of Governors report said state funding to the UNC system has been cut by almost $1.2 billion over the last four years.

NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms NCCU tries to turn cuts into opportunity

The report said the job cuts and other spending reductions has led to increased class sizes, shorter hours for libraries and computer labs, and reduced or eliminated tutoring or counseling programs.

Other cuts noted in the Board of Governors report include fewer maintenance workers at East Carolina University, North Carolina Central University reducing the number of periodicals and journals in its library and Appalachian State University using a conference center for student housing.

N.C. Central Chancellor Charlie Nelms said about 350 students couldn't get into needed classes at the Durham school and others had to drop out because of limited financial aid.

Still, Nelms said he has tried to turn the $13 million budget cut into an opportunity to focus on the school's goal of increasing academic standards. Admission standards have recently been raised, and more resources are in place to help students graduate, he said.

"I think, (with) the kinds of restructuring, the type of restructuring we are doing, we'll be able to generate some additional revenue through online offerings, private philanthropy, research overhead and some of those things," he said. "We have to be willing to embrace all of these approaches to increasing the revenue base."

UNC President Tom Ross asked Jim Woodward, the retired chancellor of UNC-Charlotte, to look for duplications across the university system that could be trimmed to save money. Woodward told the Board of Governors that there isn't much there to cut, but he suggested the system look for ways to be more efficient in approving new programs and make it easier for students to take courses online.


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  • davidbh61255 Sep 12, 2011

    Where is Forskin Bowles when you need him?? Rolling around in the new money @ facebook!!

  • Sherlock Sep 9, 2011

    If they have all that money for sports then why not cut those programs and put into teacher pay. To many leaders gettign the big money to cut the lower ones.

  • storchheim Sep 9, 2011

    OK, Commie Guy, I'll take the bait. You do know that when you accept UE benes you must look for work, correct?

    Keep running your mouth and someone whose benes expired or who wasn't eligible in the first place just might find a way to turn you in because they're not going on a tour of Europe. Let me guess, you also date tall, willowy blondes.

  • brotherskeeper Sep 9, 2011

    Maybe these people will find a job working for all those millionaires who are still paying the Bush-era tax rates. That's why the GOP claims we need to keep them in place, so that they'll produce US jobs. How's that status quo working out for ya?

  • corey3rd Sep 9, 2011

    "I hope many of the cuts come from the Liberal Arts department. An English, Poli Sci, Fine Arts, and Psychology degree is a young person's ticket to class envy bitterness as they face a life of ringing up people at the local chain bookstore."

    Or they kill the Czar and his family in the public square?

  • corey3rd Sep 9, 2011

    don't think of them as unemployed as much as new customers to Art Pope's Bottom of the Barrel Discount Stores.

  • Raleigh Boys Sep 9, 2011

    While I sit on unemployment for 6 months, should I join a gym membership, or perhaps tour Europe?

  • Elvisisdead Sep 9, 2011

    "Stop paying big money for football and basketball coaches, cut from the top."

    Most of the salaries for those coaches are not paid by tax payers. They come from the athlectic department's budget which is largely made up of the reveune the big name sports(football and basketball) bring in. That revenue also supports the sports that don't make money. Part of the revenue also goes into the general scholarship funds. Successfull big name sport programs/coaches make money for a university. That's why they are paid the big bucks.

  • jason19 Sep 9, 2011

    "So....2300 of the 2500 part-timers were faculty who taught maybe 1 class a semester but enjoyed the privileges of full-time faculty"--vegasjoe57

    No. Part-time (also called "adjunct") faculty don't receive any benefits, like retirement or health insurance, and they are often also not paid for their preparation time or office hours. They are usually paid only for in-class time. They get an extremely raw deal compared to full-time faculty.

  • sadie1278 Sep 9, 2011

    "way to go, republicans - yowling about jobs on the one hand and costing us THOUSANDS of jobs, on the other. yay. not."

    What bizarre logic. If a position is uneccessary or impossible to pay for, the job shouldn't really exist to begin with. Private business owners don't wake up one day and say hey--my bank has money I can borrow, I think I'll create some pointless job responsibilities, take some others away from people I already employ and go out and hire someone else! (Well, not if they expect to stay in business...) The government does that all the time and calls it "job creation". When the repercussions of all of that foolish spending hit home and those jobs have to go away again, its the eeeevil REPUBLICANS. The last several decades of ridiculous government expansion and out of control spending is what made many of these jobs and why they are going away. If the actual fat were trimmed when it should be, things wouldn't get so desperate.