Academic Affairs

Text: Provost's Perspectives, An Update from Provost Sheerer

December 6, 2019                                               NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE

Dear Colleagues,

How fast the fall semester has gone! Our December commencement is right around the corner, which means that faculty and students, in particular, are incredibly busy as work is completed and graded.

As the weather turns colder, more and more students will spend time in our library. Thanks to our very committed library faculty and staff, the reconfiguring of space is done well to handle the increased number of students. In addition, we have designated particular study sites outside of the library for student needs..

Library Expansion

A number of people have asked about the proposed expansion. While we have completed the design process, we are unable to move ahead until the legislature commits the actual building resources. Chancellor Sartarelli has been working hard to keep this proposal in front of key legislators, and we remain hopeful that the project will come to fruition.

College Day

On Nov. 16, the College of Arts and Sciences, in partnership with OLLI under the Office of Community Engagement, held its annual College Day. This allowed more than 200 learners and scholars of all ages to take part in four sessions filled with a great variety of classes on campus.

Thanks to the CAS and OLLI staff, keynote speaker Dr. Amy Kirschke and the following professors for providing these classes on a volunteer basis:

Roger Shew, Senior Lecturer, Earth and Ocean Sciences
Higher Water–Coming to the Coastal Zone Near You–Sea Level Rise, Nuisance Flooding, and Storm Impacts

Dr. Rachael Urbanek, Assistant Professor, Environmental Sciences
Coyotes in New Hanover County

Dr. Natalie Boeyink, Lecturer, Music
From Gardel to Piazzolla: The Evolution of Tango Music

Dr. Aaron S. King, Associate Professor, Public and International Affairs
The Party Decides? Winnowing the Field in Presidential Nomination Campaigns

Dr. Angela Zombek, Lecturer, History
Treated Worse Than Felons Before Prisons Were Reformed: The Civil War’s Crisis of Imprisonment

Dr. Larry Cahoon, Professor, Biology & Marine Biology
GenX: How Did This Happen?

Dr. Christopher Elliott, Assistant Professor, Sociology and Criminology
Blurred Boundaries: Craft Beer and the Consumption of Meaningful Work

Dr. John Stevens, Associate Professor, World Languages & Cultures
Moroccan Bombers: American Volunteers in the Rif War of Independence

Dr. Jamie Pond, Lecturer, Women's Studies and Resource Center/ Psychology
Gender Stereotypes

Dr. Florentina Andreescu, Assistant Professor, International Studies
The State in a Globalized World

Dr. Paulo Almeida, Chair and Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
The Evolution of Proteins, the Machines that Keep Us Alive

Dr. Russell L. Herman, Professor, Mathematics & Statistics/Physics & Physical Oceanography
How Many Atoms Does It Take to Show 15 = 3x5?

Dr. Richard Satterlie, Professor, Biology and Marine Biology
Marine Bioluminescence

Dr. Kemille Moore, Associate Professor/Associate Dean, Art & Art History/College of Arts & Sciences
The Civil War Through the Camera's Lens

Hikmet Kocamaner, Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Anthropological Perspectives 

Dr. Olga Trokhimenko, Professor, World Languages and Cultures
Tales We Read Too Young: Less Known Sides of Brothers Grimm

Dr. Daniel Masters, Associate Professor, International Studies
From Marches to Violence: Northern Ireland 1968

Dr. Beverley McGuire, Philosophy & Religion
The Contemplative Life

Dr. Bill Bolduc & Mr.  David Pernell, Communication Studies
Live TV:  Let's Try It!

Dr. Barbara J. Michael, Graduate Liberal Studies Program
Anthropology of Masks

Dr. Barry Salwen, Department of Music
Claude Debussy, Musical Impressionist – Or is He?

Dr. Maria Cami-Vela, World Languages and Cultures
Catalonia: A new European state?

Dr. Kara Yopak, Department of Biology and Marine Biology
Are Sharks Smart? Brain and Behavior of Fishes

Mr. David M Bollinger, Department of Communication Studies
Technology and the Demise of the Inartistic Proof

Dr. Len Lecci,Department of Psychology
Making your "memory stick:" Examining three factors.

Dr. Christopher Laursen, Graduate Liberal Studies Program
First Contact: Transformative Encounters with the Unexpected

Dr. Brian Davis, Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography
The Antikythera Mechanism


Such events allow our community to experience the excellence of our teaching on the UNCW campus. Comments were extremely positive, and we plan to continue this opportunity!

Philip Gerard Receives North Carolina Award

By now, you have probably seen the announcement on the 2019 North Carolina Award for Literature received by Philip Gerard of Creative Writing. It was presented by the NC Governor on November 16.

This is such a significant acknowledgement of Philip’s excellent work over the years. We are so proud to have him represent UNCW

Tuition and Fees Committee

In accordance with UNC policy, a committee of faculty, students and administrators held a series of meetings to review proposals for increases in tuition and mandatory fees. The committee was chaired by Miles Lackey, Marilyn Sheerer and Rachel Kowadlo, vice president of SGA. In addition to the meetings, student forums have been held to hear the concerns of students relative to the proposed increases.

The Board of Governors has allowed each campus to request up to 3% in increases in both tuition and fees.

After reviewing the advice of the committee and the feedback that resulted from the student forums, the following are requests for mandatory fees and tuition the Chancellor is moving forward: 

  • Tuition increase of 3% for all undergraduate and graduate students
  • A $25.70 increase in the Athletic fee
  • A $4.87 increase in the Academic Affairs Education and Technology fee
  • A $7.96 increase in the ITS Education and Technology fee
  • A $12 increase in the Campus Life (Student Union) fee
  • A $20 increase in the Campus Security fee
  • A $500 decrease in the DNP Residency fee

These requests require the approval of our Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors are anticipated to render their final decision on these proposals by March 2020.

In addition to the tuition and mandatory fees, the following non-mandatory fees will be presented to the Board of Trustees at their December 2019 meeting:

  • Housing rate adjustments of 3 to 3.5% based on the type of housing
  • Meal plan adjustments of -2.9% to 5.7% based on the type of meal plan
  • Increases to the Education Abroad fee of $25 to $50 depending on the nature of the abroad experience
  • Implementation of an 11% service charge for all non-student ticket sales at Kenan Auditorium
  • Increase of $82 to the Pre-NCLEX testing fee that applies only to the new pre-licensure nursing students
  • Implementation of a $120 MHA assessment fee that will apply to students pursing an MHA degree

These requests require the approval of our Board of Trustees.

One-time Funding Process

In November, Academic Affairs participated in the university’s one-time funding process for the 2019-20 academic year. The university identified a pool of $4.5M for which units could request funding. Academic Affairs identified just over $6M in requests and we have been allocated $2.6M. Funding will be distributed to units in the coming week.

UNC Peer Institutions

The UNC System Office has initiated an update to the official UNCW peer institution list, which was last updated in 2011. The current list of peer institutions can be found here. Most of the 10-12 peer institutions will be public institutions, though a small number may be private. Institutions define the list of variables they consider most important for comparison. To assist campuses in the identification process, the System Office has designed a peer analysis tool to conduct a cluster analysis of variables. Campuses are encouraged to provide feedback on the process of identifying peers and are expected to present a proposal by mid-spring for final BOG approval. A small workgroup at UNCW comprised of faculty and staff leadership is being formed to assist with this charge and provide updates to campus. Please contact Andy Mauk ( with questions.

Majors that Pay

Ever wonder which degrees yield the highest incomes? The Department of Education recently compiled and published data from thousands of college programs in a new edition of The College Scorecard, a dashboard outlining graduation rates, median earnings of graduates, annual costs and student debt. The new edition allows viewers to search data by both institution and program areas. UNCW fares well in comparison to other medium-sized public institutions with graduation rates over 70%. Specifically, UNCW reports a graduation rate of 73%, median earnings of $19,000-$61,000, and an annual cost of $18,000.

Data ascertained from 3,484 UNCW graduates with bachelor’s degrees indicate a median total debt of $22,192, with median first-year earnings of $30,691. However, as you may expect, there is significant variation across programs. Programs in which median debt is greater than median first-year earnings include English/Writing, Philosophy/Religion, Anthropology, Sociology; Drama/Theatre, and Film/Studio Arts. At the high end, the top five programs at UNCW in regard to median first-year earnings with a bachelor’s degree are as follows: Computer Science ($61,300), Nursing ($57,800), Health and Clinical Sciences ($48,000), Business Administration/ Management/ Operations ($40,200), and Business/Managerial Economics ($38,200).

Data based on 645 graduates with master’s degrees show the median debt across masters’ programs to be $33,506 with median earnings of $49,430. Only two graduate programs (English/Writing and Psychology) demonstrate a greater median debt ($40,750 and $48,542, respectively) than median earnings ($20,800 and $39,600, respectively). Notably, the programs with the highest median earnings of those reported are Nursing ($90,500), Business Administration ($67,200), Studio/Fine Arts ($59,500), and Chemistry ($53,200). Data regarding doctoral programs has been released for Education (median earnings of $70,500), and is forthcoming for Marine Biology and Psychology. Find the full report and searchable database here.

Best wishes to you and yours for a peaceful close to 2019 and a joyous holiday season!


Marilyn Sheerer signature

Marilyn Sheerer
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs