Your May 27 news article “56 UNC degrees dropped,” regarding the legally mandated biennial productivity review of UNC courses, contained a statement made by me that the Board of Governors should consider student demand in determining whether to continue academic programs.
Your article restated a comment I made to a reporter for another newspaper, which was taken out of context from a discussion addressing solely whether reviews of low-demand programs are worthwhile. I believe they are.
However, the recent program reviews by campuses and the UNC General Administration, which the Board of Governors approved in full, took into consideration factors besides student demand, such as whether the programs provide foundation courses for other majors or serve pressing needs in the state.
The value of academic programs, such as history, literature and the arts, as well as research and service programs at a university cannot be measured by a mere market analysis of demand, and a university should not be operated using capitalistic guidelines applicable to a profit-making enterprise.
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My comments were not intended to be anything more than a statement that reviews of low-enrollment programs should be continued and that campuses should consider student demand as one factor in evaluating academic programs. That is a policy teh BOG has followed for many years.
UNC Board of Governors