UNC professor among those cut as university eliminates some language programs – CBS Denver

GREELEY, Colorado (CBS4) – In an effort to facilitate new programs and studies offered at Greeley, the University of Northern Colorado has announced plans to cut some programs and staff to facilitate growth in other areas. However, UNC’s decision to cut several liberal arts programs and faculty caused many students to protest the decision.

(credit: CBS)

On Friday morning, dozens of UNC students gathered on campus to express their disgust at UNC’s decision to get rid of some programs, including the French and German departments. The university, in a statement released to CBS4, said the decision to cut those programs was associated with low enrollment and greater demand for other educational opportunities.

For years, enrollment in French and German programs has been in the single digits, according to UNC, leading the university’s president to reprioritize staff elsewhere.

The decision would cost several professors, including Patricia Jolly, their jobs.

“Our president said we were in the best financial position we’ve had in a decade, and the next day cuts were made,” Jolly told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.

According to Jolly, several departments have seen budget and staff cuts in recent years.

“Geography has taken cuts. Sociology took cuts, criminal justice took cuts, psychology took cuts, history took cuts,” Jolly said.

The university has seen nationwide declines in interest in many liberal arts programs, saying UNC is just one of many universities now reallocating funds to different programs with greater interest.

“It touches me really deeply,” Jolly said. “I make $42,000 a year. It’s not enough to send a child to college. So, I’m going to lose my son’s tuition, I’m going to lose my house, I’m going to lose my career. But, above all, I will lose my family.

On Friday, the UNC president took an hour out of his day to attend the protest the students and staff had planned. He listened to students talk about their concerns and even read angry messages they had written on campus sidewalks. At one point, he even put on a student-donated shirt that represented the school in which cuts were taking place.

“To see a national trend where we see these cuts is concerning,” said Neal Jeppeson, a senior European languages ​​student.

“German and French will cease immediately,” Jeppeson said.
Jeppeson and Jolly warned that suppressing these studies would dilute the university’s ability to engage beyond the local scale.

Jeppeson is lucky. He will graduate before the program and staff he is in are eliminated. However, underclasses will be forced to change universities or majors if budget cuts continue.

“I feel like I’ve become a mama bear to my students. And as an alum, it’s absolutely awful to feel kicked out of my home,” Jolly said.

UNC management declined to interview CBS4 on the subject. But in a statement, they told CBS4 that the university expects a 10% drop in enrollment in the 2022-23 school year.

As they plan to make cuts to several departments, the university said it is proud to expand others while creating new interests and classes for many students. The university said reassigning staff would allow schools to stay relevant and modern with current workforce demands.

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