Written by HBCU Digest, Posted in Breaking News, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, Politics, Winston-Salem State University
WRAL.com today reports on substantive changes coming to the University of North Carolina System of Higher Education. State Governor Pat McCrory has called for more than $130 million in cuts to higher education, and some lawmakers have suggested that 16 campuses in its system may be too many.
Of concern in this dialogue is the potential impact on the state’s historically black colleges and universities. No public statement has been made about planned or potential closure for any of the state’s five public HBCUs – Fayetteville State, North Carolina Central, North Carolina A&T, Elizabeth City State and Winston-Salem State. The rational is that the historic neglect of these institutions and their resulting struggles with enrollment, retention, fundraising and influence on state industry will eventually yield a proposal that may add one of the big five into talks about closure.
Signs to watch for – talks about programmatic duplication, merging or underperformance. Elizabeth City State was the last HBCU confronted with this kind of discussion, thanks to the rhetoric about the viability of its joint pharmacy program with UNC Chapel Hill. Today must begin the campaign against any of these schools being placed in discussions for closure – alumni and supporters cannot wait until a name is called out in the NC legislature to react.