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UNCW set to officially separate Arts and Sciences into two new colleges

The University of North Carolina Wilmington is splitting its college of arts and sciences in two. WHQR spoke with Provost James Winebrake about the decision — and some concerns from faculty.

The college of arts and sciences is, by far, the largest of the four on UNCW Campus. Winebrake said when he took the provost job in 2020, it was one of his first challenges.

“What I came to realize was that the College of Arts and Sciences, because it was so big, because it had one dean, managing 23 departments with 32 direct reports, it created some issues with respect to achieving some of the growth activities in certain areas. It created some issues with us doing what we need to do with our external facing work, for example, working with donors working with funding agencies working with the state," Winebrake said.

Some, including humanities faculty, voiced concerns that the move could mean more support for the sciences — at the expense of the arts.

“My argument, when I speak with folks in the Humanities and the Arts and Social Sciences is that this, in fact, is a way to ensure your continued important relevance. And to ensure the advocacy that you need moving forward to have a dean that's really focused on the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts and can advocate for for those disciplines moving forward.”

UNCW will officially launch the two new colleges in July of this year. You can find more information here. And you can find much with Provost Winebrake on this week's episode of The Newsroom: Conversations about education: Provost James Winebrake on UNCW's new colleges, Dorian Cromartie on Rachel Freeman's struggles