The Dollars and Sense Behind the Cuts

In response to your questions and reactions to the cuts in undergraduate enrollment announced in February (see press release), we wanted to share with you some of the budget numbers as well as the process that led to the decision.

The UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing allocates 95% of the funds we receive from the state to support faculty and staff salaries. We have absorbed nearly 10% in budget cuts from the state over the last two years. Thus far we have dealt with those cuts without affecting academics. Early on we cut non-personnel items by decreasing supplies, delaying replacement of computers, and other means. As cuts continued we eliminated some vacant staff positions, reduced support services, eliminated most T.A. positions supported by state funding, reduced staff, and moved some full-time employees to part-time.

Thus when we received communication to permanently cut 5% more ($483,407) for the 2011-2012 fiscal year – with the possibility that those cuts could reach as high as 10 or 15% – we had very few places left to trim. The School of Nursing takes seriously its commitment to deliver high-quality undergraduate nursing education, and we will not compromise that quality.

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Budget Cuts Mean Fewer Nursing Undergraduates at UNC

UNC School of Nursing News Release
For immediate release: February 14, 2011
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing will reduce overall undergraduate enrollments by about 25 percent because of ongoing state budget cuts. The enrollment reductions begin with admissions for the summer semester, which starts on May 9, 2011.

In January, Chancellor Holden Thorp instituted campus-wide cuts equal to a 5 percent permanent state budget reduction to take effect July 1. That move anticipated expected reductions to the University’s state appropriations that could reach as high as 15 percent for fiscal 2011-2012. These anticipated cuts come on top of almost 10 percent in permanent cuts that the School of Nursing has absorbed over the last two years.

“We are committed to offering high-quality, rigorous and safe programs for entry into nursing practice at the baccalaureate and advanced practice levels,” said School of Nursing Dean Kristen M. Swanson, also Distinguished Alumni Professor. “The budget challenges have left us little alternative but to reduce the number of students we enroll.”

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Meet Micah McCanna, Nursing Student and Winter Sports Athlete

Senior ABSN student Micah McCanna balances nursing school with serious training for Olympic winter sports in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Micah McCanna is a skeleton slider. He experiences forces up to 5 g while riding face down a frozen track on a small sled.

Micah McCanna says he likes to stay busy, and he certainly does that. The senior accelerated BSN student has figured out how to balance training for bobsled and skeleton winter sports with class, clinical, studying, an honors project, spending time with his fiancé, and working at UNC Hospitals.

McCanna is part of the USA Olympic Elite Developmental Skeleton team. Skeleton is a fast winter sliding sport where the competitor rides face down on a small sled down a frozen track.  People are quite surprised to hear that this North Carolina native who played on the East Carolina University baseball team is competing in winter sports. Ironically, McCanna says he doesn’t even like cold weather. It is the competition he craves.

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