A Message from the Chancellor

Posted on January 16, 2024

Dear Spartan students, faculty, and staff:

Following more than a year of evaluation and collaboration in UNC Greensboro’s academic portfolio review, the University deans have completed their recommendations for adjustments to our program offerings. 

These carefully developed suggestions now enter a key phase over the next two weeks — continued community consultation and engagement — before Provost Debbie Storrs makes final recommendations to me. I’ll take into consideration all of the recommendations, community feedback, and our University mission and values, as well as our overall strategic focus before determining the academic portfolio changes we will adopt. 

I’ll announce those decisions via email on Feb. 1. Program changes will require years to take effect, and we’ll communicate the adjustments in detail as concrete plans emerge. 

The deans’ recommendations are to discontinue the following: 

Updated January 22, 2024

Undergraduate Majors (124 currently enrolled students)

  • BA, Anthropology (62 students)
  • BA, Secondary Education in Geography (no students) (the other undergraduate Geography programs are not affected)
  • BA, Religious Studies (24 students)
  • BS and BA, Physics (30 students)
  • BS Physical Education, Teacher Education (K-12) (8 students)

(Please note that the minors in Islamic Studies and Jewish Studies, currently housed in Religious Studies, are not under consideration for discontinuation. If Physics remains on the list for discontinuation after the consultation period, the University will continue to offer the lower-division physics courses required for STEM majors.)

Undergraduate Minors, Certificates, and Course Offerings (42 currently enrolled students in minors)

  • Chinese (36 students)
  • Russian (6 students)
  • Korean language courses 

Graduate Programs (61 currently enrolled students)

  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Nursing (5 students)
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Advanced Practice Foundations (Nursing) (2 students)
  • MA, Applied Geography (9 students)
  • MFA, Drama Concentration in Directing (no students) (Concentrations in Musical Direction for Musical Theatre, Theatre for Youth, and Design will continue)
  • MFA, Interior Architecture (3 students)
  • MA, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (7 students)
  • MAT, Languages, Literatures and Cultures in Teaching (1 student)
  • MA, Mathematics (all concentrations) (5 students)
  • MEd, Special Education (7 students)
  • Dual Masters in Nursing Science and Business Administration (10 students) (The stand-alone MBA and stand-alone MSN are not affected)
  • PhD, Communication Sciences and Disorders (12 students)
  • PhD, Computational Mathematics*

*Recommended by Provost Storrs, January 22, 2024.

In addition to recommendations for discontinuation, deans have recommended admissions pauses for the MFA in Drama Concentration in Acting and the PhD program in Social Work (offered jointly with NC A&T). 

These are only recommendations at this point. Once decisions are made on programs, we will make every effort to ease the transition for those affected by program discontinuations. In each program, all students in good standing will have the opportunity to complete their chosen studies at UNCG.  

The list of recommended discontinuations will raise questions from students, staff, and faculty in these programs. We are communicating directly with students in these programs on next steps and to assure them, regardless of the ultimate decision regarding their program, of our commitment to their academic success in completing their chosen academic programs at UNCG. Likewise, deans will communicate directly with faculty and staff in the identified programs.  

For those programs ultimately designated for discontinuation, the wind-down process will take years. While we can’t know at this point precisely how that process will unfold, we do know that there will be no immediate changes to staffing or instruction in the affected programs. Any affected faculty and staff will have significant time to prepare for any transitions, and other opportunities within UNCG may be available to them.

In the meantime, please note these opportunities to share input on the recommendations:

  • Faculty Senate —
    • 3-5 p.m., Jan. 10, EUC Auditorium (forum)
    • 3-5 p.m., Jan. 17, Alumni House (meeting)
    • 3-5 p.m., Jan. 24, Alumni House (*meeting without Chancellor or Provost)
    • 3-5 p.m., Jan. 31, Alumni House (meeting)
  • Student forum (open to students only) — 10:00-11:30 a.m., Jan. 19, EUC Auditorium
  • Campus-wide forum (open to students, faculty, and staff) — 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Jan. 23, EUC Auditorium
  • Alumni forum (open to alumni only) – 5:30-6:30 p.m., Jan. 23 (virtual meeting)
  • Graduate Council — 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Jan. 26, NIB 510
  • Undergraduate Curriculum Committee —  2-3:30 p.m., Jan. 26, NIB 510

Community guidance is an essential part of this process; don’t hesitate to share your insights and questions. We’ll be especially grateful for feedback that hasn’t already materialized in the portfolio review. Thorough details of the review — and what’s next — are available on our Reinvention & Innovation website, and this fact sheet offers a brief look at where we are in the process.

Change can be a challenge — and worry can be a natural reaction — but this is an invaluable chance to shape the future. Periodic portfolio reviews make sure we offer the right mix of degrees to meet the needs of our students and communities, to seize on emerging opportunities, and to keep the University competitive and fiscally responsible.

The recommended program discontinuations reflect patterns in enrollment, in student and community needs, and in our strategic direction, but they’re not a reflection on the excellence and commitment of the faculty, staff, and students who make up those programs. We remain deeply grateful for their dedication, their talents, and their many contributions. To reiterate, there will not be any immediate changes to staffing or instruction.

Our portfolio review is one initiative of a holistic effort to put UNCG on sound academic and financial footing for the next ten to twenty years. Turning inward to self-assess is essential, especially in these fast-shifting times for higher education. Moving forward, we’ll discuss next steps to sharpen our focus and ensure our resources most effectively support the UNCG mission: to redefine the public research university and improve the lives of our students and communities.

Thank you for your support and engagement, and for your commitment to one another. I look forward to what we’ll achieve together as we move UNCG forward. 

Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. 

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