Back to college in Charlotte brings rough surprises

After dramatic cuts in state funding over the past three years, UNC Charlotte's roughly 25,000 students will find a leaner university with fewer faculty and significantly larger classes when they start a new semester today.

The cut this year, $33.5 million, or 16.2 percent, means 295 lost jobs at UNCC (including 171 faculty positions). Only two other schools in the UNC system - UNC Chapel Hill and Western Carolina University - face a larger percentage of cuts.

Overall, the system's loss is $414 million.

"That has a huge impact on everything we do," said Beth Hardin, UNCC's vice chancellor for business affairs. "We just don't have enough people to teach."

Fewer professors means fewer course offerings and bulging classes, which also means some students may have to go a semester or two longer to get their degrees, UNCC officials say.

Read the complete story at