NCSU chancellor plots 'thoughtful' cuts to programs, people

Posted March 15, 2011

— North Carolina State University is considering cutting about 600 courses and some "less effective" programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. Those who study at State could also see larger class sizes in the future.

The move is part of Chancellor Randy Woodson's strategic alignment plan, designed to make the university more effective and efficient in anticipation of a reduction in state funding.

Woodson said Tuesday he has not set a target for how much to cut from the university budget. That will be determined when the state legislature approves its budget, he said. "We don’t know the severity of the budget constraints we are under, so we can’t give you a final number at this point," he said.

There will positions cut, he said, but he hopes to limit the number of people who lose their jobs by cutting through attrition, turnover and early retirement offers.  

North Carolina State University; N.C. State; NC State; NCSU NCSU chancellor plots cuts to programs

"This is more about aligning and realigning the university to maximum efficiency and effectiveness in light of fiscal restraints we know we’re going to see," he said.

Woodson said his goal it to keep N.C State competitive and implement any plan in a deliberate and thoughtful way. 

School leaders used criteria such as enrollment, number of applications, degrees awarded and SAT or GRE scores of applicants to determine the programs that will get a closer look. (See a full list of the programs, pages 6 and 7.)

He described any adjustments to N.C. State's offerings as "growth and redistribution." 

"We certainly are going to get smaller," he said, noting that applications are at an all-time high.

"There’s a reason why UNC and N.C. State are always on the 'best buy' list for higher education. We are an incredible buy," he said.

"We provide a great return for investment for the students that come here, and I’d hate to lose that."

Robert Clark, a graduate student who also got his undergraduate degree at State, said crowding in popular programs is a concern. Clark said he and others struggle to get the classes they need in time to graduate. 

"Less classes offered means larger class sizes and, depending on the size of the room or class cap size that registration puts on, it will be difficult to get your classes scheduled," he said.

Any changes would go into effect July 1, with the beginning of the new fiscal year.


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  • nospringchick Mar 15, 2011

    Will Oblinger get the pink slip like Easley? Please?

  • SaveEnergyMan Mar 15, 2011

    Only a moderate percent of a professor's duties involve teaching classes - and most teach at least 3 courses per year. They are also involved in research and mentoring graduate students, writing proposals for money to fund these graduate students, and writing papers.

    Of the money they raise, about 50% goes back to the university in overhead. Some also goes to "release time", which frees the professor from the 4-5 courses they should teach to 3 per year. Universities use the release time to fund instructors and professors to do the same thing so all courses are covered (very few lectures in my dept are taught by grad students, they cover labs). Also, research money gets used to pay summer salary as professors are only paid for 9 months of the year.

    I know very few professors making $200k, most make $70-120k, not unreasonable considering the 20+ years of experience and the PhD degree.

  • pat7 Mar 15, 2011

    Pay a lot of money for college and get a 10.00 dollar a hour job Nice

  • pat7 Mar 15, 2011

    Take back the raise you gave the professors and fire the worthless one Forget about tenor Term . That would save alot of money.

  • hollylama Mar 15, 2011

    Education suffers while 700 billion is still being pooled around banks. I'm sure all those CEOs and individuals that received bonus could care less about our educational system cause they can send their kids to private school.

  • ncguy Mar 15, 2011

    Is Sidney Lowe gonna teach economics?

  • mrshankly Mar 15, 2011


  • WildBullMoose Mar 15, 2011

    Sad day. My curriculum (Technology Education) will be one that is culled due to small enrollment size. But then again - it was painful to teach its subjects in the system in which I worked. Long live the Lego Lab, at least in our hearts.

  • educationisliberation Mar 15, 2011

    Like I did as a military unit commander, I now try to teach my high school students about about developing objective decision making and higher-order thinking skills. Otherwise, they can be easily misled by ideological propaganda and do harm to our Nation's growth and survival. I don't mean to sound redicalus, AKA "ridiculous," but now I know why our education system is in trouble. Everyone should view a copy of the DVD titled "2 Million Minutes." China and India aren't better than us; we've just lost our drive and sense of team work. We don't seem to respect what others brings to the American table...even professors. -Raptor6

    Thank you for referencing Two Hundred Million Minutes. It really shows the focus and work ethic that too many students are lacking and desperately need.

  • collegestudent Mar 15, 2011

    Yeah, a family friend took it then too. They still teach the updated version from 1995 though. That class is a pain.