Thursday morning, the Board of Governors educational planning committee voted to discontinue 46 degree programs across the UNC-System, including one at UNC-Chapel Hill: human biology. Some of the programs will be reformatted as concentrations or consolidated into other majors. The entire Board voted Friday to adopt the recommendations voted on by the committee Thursday.
Other schools saw more programs discontinued than UNC-CH. East Carolina University and UNC-Greensboro saw eight programs discontinued each.
Junius Gonzales, senior vice president for academic affairs for the UNC-System, led the review of program productivity, which refers to the number of degrees granted in programs annually.
Gonzales said the process was inexact and that it was essential to listen to the thoughts of campus-level officials. He said the frequency of education programs being classified as low productivity due to few majors was an example of a situation where the processes of the UNC system and the interests of the state did not always align.
"This is an art, not a science," he said.
Stacey Franklin Jones, the chancellor of Elizabeth City State University, said she was satisfied with the process. ECSU has previously faced significant scrutiny from the Board of Governors and state legislature.
“Part of what Dr. Gonzales said was that it’s an imperfect process,” Jones said.
Jones said that ECSU's responsibility to respond to regional needs made the maintenance of some low-productivity programs essential.
“(It was) very encouraging — just that acknowledgement that it's an art, not a science,” she said.