It appears that new UNC president Tom Ross has opened the door to eliminating some of the system’s duplicative or redundant academic programs.
For a brief primer on the topic, I would recommend Ross check out this 2009 article by the Civitas Institute’s Bob Leubke. Here’s a slice:
According to the UNC General Administration Web site, there are currently 2,262 approved degree-granting academic programs ranging from agriculture to vocational evaluation. Closer examination reveals not only plenty of overlap and duplication, but also programs with relatively low numbers of graduates.
Nothing against the parks and recreation industry – it’s an important industry – but does North Carolina really need 45 different programs in parks, recreation, leisure and fitness studies, and sports management? If titles are any indication of content, many of the programs seem to be only slight variations of each other. There is a program in Recreation and Park Management (East Carolina University) as well as a program in Parks and Recreation Management (UNC-Greensboro). Can someone tell me if there is a significant difference between Recreation Administration (UNC-Chapel Hill) and Recreation Management (Appalachian State University)?
Need more? UNC offers 33 different programs in Communications, Journalism and Related Programs at 15 institutions. While the larger programs (North Carolina State University and UNC-Chapel Hill) produce a healthy number of graduates each year — several hundred a year – in recent years smaller programs like Elizabeth City State University and Fayetteville State University graduated only seven and nine students in Communication Studies and Speech Communication/Rhetoric respectively.