UNC system loses 3,032 employees due to budget cuts

Staff writerSeptember 8, 2011 

The UNC system has cut 3,032 employees across North Carolina due to state budget reductions, including 488 full-time workers and 2,544 part-time employees, a new report said.

Most of the part-timers were contract or adjunct professors, which means bigger classes and fewer academic choices for the university system's 220,000 students. The UNC Board of Governors will be briefed on the impact of the cuts later today.

Many of the job eliminations were in the Triangle, particularly at the state's two big research campuses. Of full-time workers cut, 112 were at N.C. State University, 129 were at UNC-Chapel Hill and four were at N.C. Central. Of the part-time employees who were let go, 629 were at NCSU, 175 were at UNC-CH and 75 were at NCCU.

At the state's public campuses, another 1,487 unfilled positions were eliminated.

The state budget for the current year forced cuts of $414 million at the system's 17 campuses. The percentage of reduction ranged from 8.4 percent at N.C. School of Science and Mathematics to 17.9 percent at Chapel Hill.

The impact is being felt in various ways. Students have less access to academic advisers and they're finding computer labs and libraries closed at times. For example, libraries at Appalachian State and UNC Wilmington are no longer open around the clock on weekdays; ASU's library lost 35 hours of operation a week, while UNCW lost 25 hours.

But perhaps the most noticeable difference is the size of classes at the universities. at UNC Asheville, nearly every class is bigger, the report said. At Western Carolina University, the number of classes with more than 50 students has doubled in the past year.

jane.stancill@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4559

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