UNCW Statement Regarding Inaccurate Reporting on Physical Education and Health and Music Programs

Friday, May 29, 2015

The vote to discontinue several academic programs in North Carolina, as voted on by the Board of Governors and announced by UNC's General Administration, coupled with inaccurate media reports of the vote's impact on UNCW, has created a great deal of worry among current and prospective students and their parents.

The university has received dozens of inquiries this week expressing anxiety about two of our programs. To clarify the misreporting that is causing these concerns: The Physical Education and Health degree program has not been discontinued and continues to play a critical role in preparing our students for this important field. This was a clerical change, not a functional one. Upon GA's last cycle of reviews of low-productivity programs, it came to our attention that they were still monitoring an old program code along with a new code. This made it appear that we had a PEH degree program with no enrollment, when in fact there were many students who were being counted under the newer code. To fix this problem, we submitted paperwork to formally discontinue use of the old code - which made it look like a program was being cut. In actuality, it was just a resolution of a coding issue. There is absolutely no change to the existing PEH degree program, which remains in high demand and will continue to be one of the best in the system.

In addition, the Bachelor of Music in Performance is being phased out gradually as a distinct degree program, but classes will still be made available to students through the Department of Music as part of UNCW's recently revised Bachelor of Arts in Music. Our music students have multiple tracks from which to choose within the Bachelor of Arts degree, including vocal performance, and music education remains a Bachelor of Music degree. General music is another option, but only one option. The university is very proud of our superb arts and humanities offerings, including the outstanding music education our students receive - not just as a means of securing employment but as a means to experience, appreciate and even improve the world in ways they may not have otherwise. To suggest music isn’t important to the university is an insult to past, current, and future music students and minimizes the opportunities that come with a music degree from UNCW.