Raleigh, N.C. — The state Senate will not propose closing any of the 16 University of North Carolina system campuses, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said Wednesday.
"I don't see that's something that in this year's budget that we're going to do," Berger said. "That doesn't mean folks aren't going to talk about those things."
"I think our members definitely envision that there could be some consolidation between campuses, and we might need to go from 16 down to 15, 14, something like that," Brunstetter said.
That thought prompted push-back from campuses around the state.
The university campuses in the system include UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University, Fayetteville State University, East Carolina University, UNC-Greensboro, North Carolina A&T State University, Winston-Salem State University, the UNC School of the Arts, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Pembroke, Elizabeth City State University, Appalachian State University, UNC-Asheville and Western Carolina University.
Berger said the system should definitely look at consolidating some functions, such as centralizing the determination as to whether someone is eligible for in-state tuition.
"I think those kinds of consolidation make a whole lot of sense," Berger said.
He added that the cost-cutting discussion should continue. If it is more expensive to educate freshmen and sophomores on some campuses, he said, that may be an example of fodder for future debate.
"I think there are ways we can continue to have a university system that is among the best in the country, but it doesn't have to look exactly like it looks now forever," Berger said.