UNCG students, staff protest budget cuts; walk out

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- University of North Carolina at Greensboro students and faculty protested Thursday afternoon against proposed budget cuts from the state General Assembly.

"I love UNCG. I'm from Greensboro, I grew up here, my mom’s an alumna from here," said freshman Jen Nelson. "I don't want to leave UNCG but if classes and courses and programs are not going to be available there are different options I might have to start looking at."

Approximately $12.8 million could be cut from the state appropriated budget in 2014-15.

According to a letter sent to staff and students from Chancellor Linda Brady, $8 million is "due to a drop in enrollment."

Chancellor Brady also mentions in the letter the approach of potential cuts.

“I have charged our university’s leaders to develop strategic approaches to their budget cuts, avoid horizontal [across the board] reductions, identify vertical cuts, administrative efficiencies and collaborations across divisions, and place priority on protecting enrollment and instruction,” the letter reads.

Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs Reed Taylor said all departments are in jeopardy of a reduction.

"Everything from teaching to housekeeping to grounds, library support, IT support, finance staff, facilities -- every department could be affected," Taylor said.

Students and staff at the protest rally argue that administration is not prioritizing academics over the growth of the athletics and recreational facilities.

"We're a school that traditionally has served first generation college students, working class students, and it’s ridiculous to ask them to pay for this rec center and then not give them the courses that they need to graduate and not give them the education that they need," said Professor of Music History and Gender Studies Elizabeth Keathley.

The recreation facility is expected to cost $91 million but Dr. Cherry Callahan with Student Affairs said that the $707 facility fee is what students are charged to maintain facilities like the health center or student center and are not funded by the state.

Taylor said that the proposed cuts are expected to go into effect July 1, however the board of directors is working closely with the General Assembly to reduce the cuts.

UNCG has launched a Reduction-in-Force Plan to reduce the chances of another budget cut and help to increase enrollment.

Since the 2007-08 school year, UNCG has dealt with more than $39 million in permanent cuts from the state.


  • Hobbes

    As the article notes, the slashing started years ago, so why the sudden agitation? One place to save money would be to eliminate programs subsidized by the state which do not directly benefit the state, such as “gender studies.” Let the private universities handle such non-essentials.

    • Bulent Bediz

      But, in this economic climate, to build a $91 million monstrosity of a “Rec Center” (216,000 square feet!) totally financed by student fees is OK? And this is necessary and sustainable when there is already an existing one? Not to mention how this rec center wrecks the neighborhood it is being placed in?

      • Jerome Gonzalez

        I am confused how the rec center is ruining the neighboorhood. From what I understand, the site of the new building was a manufacturing site. As a resident of Greensboro, I would much rather see a newer vibrant building than an older manufacturing plant.

        In regards to the academic cuts mentioned in the video, there does not seem to be as much of a need for the ASL program as in previous years. According the UNCG’s web site “Since fall of 2013 the ASL Teacher Licensure concentration has been suspended due to the fact that school districts in NC are not hiring teachers in this area. Consequently, there are no practicum or internship sites available for fieldwork for this concentration.” – http://ses.uncg.edu/pid/professions-in-deafness-programs/asl-deaf-studies-minor/

      • observer10

        When they graduate and join the real world, they will also have to pay to belong to a private ‘Rec Center’ of that quality.

      • higgins418

        Ha. This coming from a guy who owes more than $60000 in property taxes and made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling his dilapidated houses to UNCG? That’s rich.

  • Hobbes

    Building plans are made years in advance. We can discuss the current college recruitment climate which pushes institutions to build resort-like campuses, but that is a separate issue. I highly doubt the plan to build the new recreation center was drafted recently. Student complaints or surveys probably revealed a dissatisfaction with current facilities which led to a study of possible upgrades.

    • observer10

      I agree with you. It also increases costs and combined with substantial student loans and compound interest, they had better be taking real educational topics.

  • Nancy Lenk

    Costs are going up for students making it harder and harder for some of them to stay and finish school. UNCG says they want to increase their retention rate but raising the costs for education is hardly the way to increase graduation rates. While cuts are being made to academic programs the Athletics Director just got another raise. This is a clear sign, to me that UNCG is losing it’s mission and trying to compete with private colleges. If kids want fancy resort like entertainment they can go to HPU down the street. If they want a degree that matters, UNCG should return to its real mission.. education!

  • Thomas

    One minute they are complaining about higher tuition and now they are griping about budget cuts (that are an alternative to tuition hikes). Just goes to prove that no one can please a liberal!

    • Brady

      Where does it say that the budget cuts are an alternative to tuition hikes?

      “and place priority on protecting enrollment and instruction,”
      -Linda Brady

      How are they protecting enrollment and instruction by cutting classes that would attract students? Why was there a need for a new Rec center when we’re “protecting enrollment and instruction”?

    • Jameson

      I’m a liberal and your comment pleases me, especially since it seems like you have no grasp of reading comprehension

  • Will Grant

    What is most humorous is the fact that these students and faculty members actually think they have any say in the matter.

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