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McCrory takes belt-tightening message to UNC system board

Posted April 11, 2013

— Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday had his first meeting with the University of North Carolina Board of Governors since proposing massive cuts to the university system last month.

McCrory included a $135 million cut to the UNC system in his 2013-14 budget proposal, although steep tuition increases on out-of-state students could help campuses recoup some of that lost funding.

“I just wanted to let you know it’s tough out there," he told members of the Board of Governors during a meeting in Pembroke. "The revenue that’s coming in right now – our projected revenue for the next two years – is based upon about a 2.3 percent growth.”

To become more efficient and cost-effective, he said, North Carolina needs to remake its education system. That starts by breaking down the walls between pre-kindergarten, K-12, community colleges and universities.

"One message I’m giving to all of you is we have to work together as a team and have a consistent process altogether," he said. "The status quo is not acceptable."

He suggested sharing facilities and personnel to cut administrative costs.

"We're going to have to change, just like your businesses are having to change every single year, every single month," he said. "I think education is going to be under the same competitive pressures."

Pat McCrory with Peter Hans McCrory urges education efficiency to UNC leaders

A chief Senate budget writer said last month that lawmakers might look at closing one or two UNC campuses to save money, but Senate leader Phil Berger said Wednesday that no consolidation would be in the Senate's budget plan this year. McCrory reiterated that message Thursday.

Al Roseman, a member of the Board of Governors from Wilmington, said he doesn't think any campuses will ever be closed, but he said programs will have to be streamlined across the system to reduce duplication on numerous campuses.

"I think we’re going to change drastically because of the funding," Roseman said. "We just need to get together and do a better job."

McCrory said North Carolina needs to create a "brand" for its education system, one that aligns with the needs of businesses statewide.

"“There is a disconnect between our high unemployment rate and our education establishment," he said. "I have employers tell me, 'We have job openings, but we can’t find qualified employees to fill the job.'"

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  • SMAPAEA Apr 15, 10:17 a.m.

    Two things stand out in the comments...the salary thing..cause they don't want to pay anyone above an entry salary, and two, yes...start those cuts from the top down...both very good points.

  • hiddentreasurescruecds Apr 12, 9:13 a.m.

    "McCrory said North Carolina needs to create a "brand" for its education system, one that aligns with the needs of businesses statewide."

    And to do that the state will treat teachers like dirt, their salaries will be among the lowest in the nation, and every attempt to destroy public education will be taken. In the end we'll have private and charter schools so the Fat Cats can line their pockets with even more of our money. Go NCGOP!!!

  • Qwerty27807 Apr 11, 10:06 p.m.

    How about laying off a few "adjunct assistant multicultural diversity directors" first?

  • jzweather Apr 11, 8:17 p.m.

    Start at the top.

  • dfmlythr Apr 11, 8:09 p.m.

    (McCrory said North Carolina needs to create a "brand" for its education system, one that aligns with the needs of businesses statewide.)

    State wide????? How about world wide? That is a very shallow statement from a governor!

  • rmsmith Apr 11, 7:37 p.m.

    Employers do not want to pay for talent. The decision makers of companies do not understand the technical aspects of a positon they are hiring for and how that impacts their overall bottom line and customer base.

    They think a warm body can do the same level of work and value but that is not the case. That is why they do not want to hire older workers and state they cannot find qualified employee's for what they want to pay.

    Basic cut throat work environment these days with massive overtime hours and stress

  • LovemyPirates Apr 11, 7:22 p.m.

    I know 3 engineers who have been laid off. They can't find jobs because of their age - they are over 50 so no one wants them.

  • turkeydance Apr 11, 7:02 p.m.

    quote...'I have employers tell me, We have job openings, but we can’t find qualified employees'...for the Salary we Pay.

  • superman Apr 11, 6:42 p.m.

    How about start with cutting your high paid staff.

  • timexliving Apr 11, 6:33 p.m.

    How about cutting the salaries of the dozens of over payed administrators making well into the 6 figures? That will save a lot.