In the midst of increasing costs and declining state support, USC Upstate has undertaken a strategic planning process to increase focus on its instructional mission and student learning development as the center of University life.
Plans call for administrative changes in several academic areas including the Honors Program, Continuing Studies, Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, Upstate’s Greenville Campus and others.
The moves—which would take effect July 1—will save USC Upstate more than $450,000 annually. The savings are realized largely by moving some faculty and staff from 12 month positions to 9- or 11-month positions.
“We are reviewing programs and structures across the institution, and as a result, we are reducing administrative costs and applying the savings toward increased effectiveness and efficiency,” said Chancellor Tom Moore. “While all of these decisions are difficult, the changes impacting our Center for Women’s and Gender Studies are particularly hard given the importance of their programming and the unfortunate timing of this announcement. However, our campus should be reassured that some of our savings will create an efficient and effective structure to oversee, coordinate, promote and strengthen interdisciplinary minors including Women’s and Gender Studies as well as African American Studies and International Studies.”
Moore noted that while all the interdisciplinary minors offer strong and needed programming, Women’s and Gender Studies is the only one that currently has a dedicated center. That center will be closed in the upcoming fiscal year.
Moore said that while USC Upstate has recently received much attention regarding LGBTQ related programming, this decision is not in any way related.
“We have looked across Academic Affairs for ways to reduce administrative costs, and we are implementing many changes,” said Moore. “Not only is this decision not punitive or a response to external pressure, it is part of an effort to be consistent and systematic across Academic Affairs in how we administer and support various programs.”
“USC Upstate remains fully committed to Women’s & Gender Studies as an important component of the University’s academic and co-curricular programming, just as we are to African American Studies and International Studies. “
Also included in the changes are the elimination of a non-classroom programming space for the Honors Program and two administrative positions at USC Upstate’s campus in downtown Greenville at University Center.