Education

NCSU plans restructuring in light of budget cuts

Posted January 18, 2011 6:37 p.m. EST
Updated January 18, 2011 10:59 p.m. EST

— North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson is asking school officials to consolidate business services and some academic units to reduce administrative costs in advance of significant budget cuts by the state. 

Gov. Beverly Perdue instructed University of North Carolina system administrators last fall to prepare for budget cuts of 5 to 10 percent. A 5 percent cut would mean laying off 900 employees, including 400 faculty members across the 17-campus system, affecting about 2,700 courses, officials said. A 10 percent cut would mean about 2,000 layoffs – half of them faculty – and affect about 6,400 courses.

“While much is still unknown about the state budget, we cannot wait for the final outcome of legislative budget discussions to take action,” Woodson said in his blog.

Woodson said a 15 percent cut would translate to nearly $80 million for NCSU.

“What we are facing necessitates fundamental changes in the way we operate the university. We must be smart, creative and think broadly and long-term about the best interests of our institution. In short, everything is on the table,” Woodson wrote.

In addition to consolidation, Woodson is also asking Provost Warwick Arden and Vice Chancellor Charles Leffler to review all low-enrolled courses and academic degree programs and under-subscribed majors and minors for possible elimination.

“We cannot and should not be all things to all people, given the capacity of other universities in the UNC System,” he wrote.

Woodson cited new  UNC system President Tom Ross, who initiated a study aimed at streamlining academics by looking for unnecessary duplication.

“There is no doubt that we will lose positions with such a deep reduction in our budget. Our top three business operations expenditures are labor-related. It is not clear yet how many jobs we will lose or what areas the positions will come from. But let me quickly add that new efficiencies gained through restructuring will have the net effect of negating some of our job losses and is our best opportunity to minimize the impact on our employees,” Woodson wrote.

N.C. State Sophomore Tyler Moncourtois, an aerospace engineer major, is more worried what his friends may have to do with fewer course options.

"My friends that are in other majors, such as English, I would see them transferring, maybe to UNC-Chapel Hill or other colleges," he said. 

Woodson has asked that a plan to deal with the cuts be delivered to him by March 15. Changes would take effect on July 1.