Elizabeth City State University, part of the University of North Carolina system, will discontinue four academic programs as it continues to cope with enrollment declines and a budget deficit of $5.5-million, the News & Observer reported. The system’s Board of Governors approved the program cuts—in geology, marine environmental science, physics, and studio art—on Friday.
The university had considered eliminating other degrees, including history and political science, proposals that led to an outcry by history faculty members around the state. Those programs were spared on Friday, but further cuts may lie ahead. Thomas W. Ross, president of the UNC system, said he expected the campus to see a $5.5-million budget shortfall again next year, before it stabilizes its enrollment.
Mr. Ross said Elizabeth City’s interim chancellor, Charles L. Becton, was taking steps to rebalance priorities on the campus, which saw a scandal in its police department last year when it was discovered that the campus police had failed to investigate more than 125 criminal cases over the previous six years. The police chief left, and the campus’s former chancellor abruptly retired. A state investigation is under way.