Surprised by yet another enrollment decline,
historically Black North Carolina A&T University may have to drop
the very programs it hoped would make it more competitive with larger,
predominantly White colleges.
A&T’s enrollment, which peaked four years ago at 8,050
students, has declined since then to 7,326 this fall, a 9 percent
decrease from 1994.
Last year, a similar enrollment decline forced the university to
eliminate 24 faculty positions plus other support staff, cutting about
$2.5 million from its $73 million state-funded budget.
Without more students, the campus could be forced to cut its budget
for the second year in a row, jeopardizing about a dozen faculty
positions. The cuts could also endanger several new programs begun by
A&T, including a joint master’s degree in social work with
UNC-Greensboro and a doctoral program in industrial engineering.
Of A&T’s 442 full-time faculty positions, about 40 are unfilled
and will remain open until $1.5 million in budget cuts can be made,
said Harold Martin, vice chancellor for academic affairs.
While A&T’s enrollment is down, the University of North
Carolina-Greensboro, UNC-Charlotte, East Carolina University, and other
state schools have reported record numbers of Black students in their
One option for A&T is to target White students, who would
qualify for minority presence grants if they attend a historically
Black UNC school. Only 8 percent of A&T students are White, making
the university the least racially diverse of the five historically
Black UNC schools.
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