BY DR. LISA LEVENSTEIN AND DR. KATHERINE CHARRON Elizabeth City State University, a historically black college in northeastern North Carolina, is considering ending seven undergraduate degree programs including Physics, Political Science, and History. This response by administrators to a $5 million budget shortfall would be unprecedented in the nation and has profound implications for our state and its future.
To get a sense of what is at stake, consider the implications of eliminating ECSU’s History Department:
The study of history represents a vital component of any university’s core mission and liberal arts curriculum. History exposes students to diverse cultures and complex national and international connections that are essential for functioning in today’s global world. On every campus, History faculty contribute to the General Education core by providing courses that are required for all students.
At ECSU, History faculty play a critical role in training Middle School and High School teachers for a twenty-one county region in northeastern North Carolina, an area that has historically been, and remains, one of the most economically depressed in the state.
Business leaders nationally have repeatedly expressed their preference for hiring graduates with expertise in the Humanities due to the research and critical thinking skills that these majors provide.