N.C. State laid-off three of its faculty members due to budget cuts on Friday.
The layoffs are the result of the $400 million cut to the UNC-System just two years ago and an additional $138 million dollars in cuts that will be added this year.
The three faculty members served as academic advisors in the Division of Academic and Student Affairs Transition Program. The program was eliminated Tuesday and its responsibilities will now be managed by the First Year College.
“If we had the money I think we’d still [have the Transition Program],” said Carrie McLean, executive director of Academic Programs and Services and director of FYC.
The merger will bring many changes to Academic Programs & Services, a sub-division of the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, according to McLean, who said the most prominent change is the layoff of Transition Program faculty.
“It’s very painful because I like those people a lot,” McLean said.
McLean said she speculates the discontinuation of the Transition Program may be followed by other budget-related changes to FYC and other Academic and Student Affairs programs in the near future.
“We can only speculate for now,” McLean said “No one has told me anything yet.”
However, students of the program will continue to have access to the services and support once provided by the Transition program.
Transition program students received an email Tuesday from McLean saying the changes to the programs are due to the recent cut backs in the budget of programs within the Division of Academic and Student Affairs.
“This change is necessary because of the continued reductions in our state budget allocations which have forced us to evaluate how we maintain programs throughout the Division of Academic and Student Affairs while serving the needs of our students,” the email stated.
FYC faculty will take on the roles as Transition Program students’ academic advisors and instructors due to the merger.
In addition to receiving all the services once provided by the Transition Program, students will also receive additional services, McLean said. New services open to students include the Pack Academic Workshop Series, Academic Coaching, Faculty Connections Events and other additional programming and support.
Advising will remain the same once students transfer to FYC faculty academic advisors of FYC and the former Transition Program are cross-curricular advisors, however they will have to do more work with less employees.
McLean and her staff’s workload at FYC has increased due to the merger, and that FYC’s 18 academic advisors are now responsible for the estimated 75 Transition Program students in addition to the estimated 750 students they already have.
In the next week Transition Program students will be assigned to their new FYC academic advisors.
McLean said most of the mergers’ impact is felt amongst her and her colleagues who have had to see, who she calls “three amazing professionals” leave the University.
In the spring FYC’s faculty will instruct the courses USC 105 and 106 required for Transition Program students.
“It’s about efficiency and providing comprehensive services to students,” McLean said.
Mclean said despite the current changes, the quality of student services will remain the same and it will continue to provide them with resourceful programming and support.
The support the Transition Program’s faculty provided its students with was valuable to the University and the changes in no way reflect the lack of the need for the Transition Program’s faculty members, according to McLean.