A Message from the Chancellor

Posted on February 01, 2024

Dear Spartan students, faculty, and staff: 

Thank you for all the time and feedback you’ve shared over the past few weeks for our academic portfolio review, or APR. Since I announced last month the deans’ recommendations for our program offerings, you have provided invaluable consultation to Provost Debbie Storrs and to me. 

We’re grateful for your passion for and commitment to UNC Greensboro, to your respective fields, and to one another’s success and achievement. 

Today I’m announcing my final decision in the APR, a long-term collaborative process that began late in 2022. In short, the University will follow most of the deans’ and provost’s recommendations for program discontinuations. 

This means that the following programs will no longer accept new students as they prepare to wind down in the coming years:

Undergraduate Majors

  • BA, Anthropology
  • BA, Secondary Education in Geography
  • BS and BA, Physics
  • BS, Physical Education, Teacher Education (K-12)
  • BA, Religious Studies (will now be a concentration within the Liberal and Professional Studies Program — see below for details) 

Undergraduate Minors, Certificates, and Course Offerings 

  • Chinese minor
  • Russian minor
  • Korean language courses 

Graduate Programs

  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Nursing
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Advanced Practice Foundations (Nursing)
  • MA, Applied Geography
  • MFA, Drama Concentration in Directing (Concentrations in Musical Direction for Musical Theatre, Theatre for Youth, and Design will continue)
  • MFA, Interior Architecture
  • MA, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
  • MAT, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures in Teaching
  • MA, Mathematics (all concentrations)
  • MEd, Special Education
  • Dual Masters in Nursing Science and Business Administration (The stand-alone MBA and standalone MSN are not affected)
  • PhD, Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • PhD, Computational Mathematics

In addition, the dean’s recommendation for the admissions pause for the MFA in Drama Concentration in Acting is approved. The Joint PhD program in Social Work (offered with NC A&T) will also pause admissions to the UNCG Department of Social Work. 

While the BA in Religious Studies will be discontinued, I have accepted a thoughtful recommendation by Dr. Gregory Grieve and the Religious Studies faculty to retain their expertise and establish a Religious Studies concentration within the Liberal and Professional Studies Program (LPS). This comes with an expectation they will recruit new students and generate additional student credit hours with online offerings and shorter term semesters to meet a growing need for flexibility of working adults. Please note that the minors in Islamic Studies and Jewish Studies will also be housed within LPS. Further, the University will also continue to offer the lower-division physics courses required for STEM majors. More information about the APR process, including contextual statements, is available on our Reinvention and Innovation website.  

As noted before, all current students in affected programs can complete their chosen studies at UNCG as long as they maintain good academic standing. The University is directly in touch with them — and with faculty and staff in the programs — to provide individual support and more information.

Now that the decision-making is concluded, academic deans and others will work with affected programs to craft detailed discontinuation plans, including timelines. We will develop a plan of study for students in discontinued programs to enable them to complete their degree in a timely manner. We will follow institutional policies regarding any future employment changes and anticipate that no significant changes to faculty or staffing assignments will take effect in any of the discontinued programs in the immediate future.  

These programmatic choices were difficult, and I recognize they will disappoint some of us. Provost Storrs and I independently reviewed all forms of data and listened carefully to everyone who contributed to the APR process. We closely reviewed the letters, emails, online submissions, spoken remarks, and additional documents provided in recent weeks.  

Extra consultation and outreach with faculty and staff in areas including Religious Studies, Physics, Anthropology, and language minors helped us better understand their contributions to the University and implications of discontinuation. Alumni joined students, faculty, and staff to provide compelling insight and experiences. We took it all to heart. 

I understand the human and personal implications of program changes. As we recognize those implications, it’s important that we keep context in mind. UNCG has always modified our portfolio over time, eliminating and adding programs to remain relevant. Our current conditions and the higher education landscape require us to act more comprehensively and decisively. My decision is rooted in the University’s strategic direction; patterns in enrollment and demand; a need to prioritize faculty time and expertise; and where we see the greatest opportunities to grow, lead, and bolster our excellence.

Fundamentally, this is about the future. By better aligning resources with our mission, student and community needs, and competitive demands, we ensure UNCG’s academic and financial footing for the next generation. It’s also crucial that we learn from the APR process and sustain our attention to important metrics like student success. Programmatic evaluations will become a more regular part of the landscape — here and elsewhere — as headwinds confronting higher education persist. 

We live in an era of enormous change, from how we work to how we learn. It’s up to us to welcome these shifts as an opportunity. Through sharpening our focus and reinvesting in our collective work, we set a stronger foundation for students and communities to thrive. We’ll announce specific reinvestment strategies in the near future.  

Thank you again for your contributions and for your commitment.

Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.  

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