Education

Budget cuts cost UNC-Chapel Hill 16,000 class seats

Posted September 21, 2011

— The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill eliminated 500 classes this fall because of state budget cuts, meaning 16,000 fewer seats for students, according to a report to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

The flagship campus of the UNC system will slash its budget by $80.7 million in 2011-12, officials told the board. That amounts to about 3.4 percent of its overall budget.

Chancellor Holden Thorp said UNC-Chapel Hill could be forced to seek more tuition increases to make up for the lost revenue.

"We are going to have a tuition process that we have every fall and will be working with the Board of Governors on what the parameters are for that," Thorp said. "We think we have a significant opportunity to raise tuition without compromising access to the university."

The cuts were part of $414 million in spending reductions across the 17-campus university system called for in the budget, which used across-the-board cuts to close a $2.6 billion deficit without raising taxes.

Class sizes in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences have jumped by 23 percent this fall because of the loss of seats. Some schools have restricted enrollment – nursing is down by 25 percent and elementary education by a third – to keep classes small.

The budget cuts also will squeeze financial aid by $5.5 million to $7 million in 2012-13, officials said.

More than 3,000 filled jobs were cut by the UNC system because of the state budget. Another 1,487 vacant jobs were eliminated, while 508 positions that had been funded with state money are now funded through other sources.

The recent report to the UNC Board of Governors said state funding to the university system has been cut by almost $1.2 billion over the last four years.

Less state funding also forced the Chapel Hill campus to charge public school classes for the use of Morehead Planetarium & Science Center and delay repairing problems in buildings, officials said.

Another $20 million budget hole is looming in 2012-13, officials said, even if state support isn't cut further. UNC Health Care transferred that amount to the university system, including $5 million to the School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, to help cover some shortfalls.

68 Comments

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  • jellybiscuit Sep 22, 10:49 a.m.

    It seems that we can always count on WRAL golo to be a bastion of ignorance.

    So are the conservatives celebrating the loss of classroom seats? The loss of jobs? Or was this just a chance to make some unrelated political comment?

    Don't worry, I'll wait while you turn on your radio/tv/etc so someone can tell you what you think.

  • seankelly15 Sep 21, 7:00 p.m.

    Pseudonym - "However, I believe YOU and seankelly are jealous of those of us with common sense and who know how to use money wisely."

    Explain "common sense". If it is "common" then everyone must have it, right? Then if that is the case, then I must have it. Or, is it just YOUR common sense but then it wouldn't be common. See this is why I need your definition.

  • OSX Sep 21, 6:55 p.m.

    bigal02282..."ALREADY on the books to remain, even if temporarily"

    The tax increase was passed as temporary and it would expire on a particular date, trust me. We did and we passed it.

    It isn't anything less than making our politicians keep their word. It expired as promised. Is that asking to much or is it better to go back on your word?

  • LuvLivingInCary Sep 21, 6:51 p.m.

    what a bunch of winers out there. why do they think they should be exempt from budget cuts.

  • yankee1 Sep 21, 6:39 p.m.

    So unload some liberal professors, cut the pay of the rest, like in the private sector and cut the salaries of the coaching staffs. After all it is about education isn't it??

  • OSX Sep 21, 6:33 p.m.

    pmcgrath..."Sorry but assume that was a joke ... Can you say 960 Billion spent for lets say ... nothing"

    pmcgrath, please do tell what we have gotten from OblameA's spending. Let me guess... nothing.

    What will be fun, is watching all the University of California, Berkeley educated democrats cry watching their precious democratic party fall in ruin next year. I can't wait.

    Oh by the way, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, from Berkeley University were released from Iran from their trespassing ordeal. Cost $1 million dollars. Wonder who paid for that?

  • bigal02282 Sep 21, 6:24 p.m.

    I think the voters are most concerned about what seems to be a pattern of bills and laws introduced by our republican legislators. NONE of them have done ANYTHING to improve the jobs prospects for anyone in the state. They have had the exact opposite effect, whether intended or not. Big government aside, the stubbornness of grown men not to allow a 1 cent tax ALREADY on the books to remain, even if temporarily, which would not have cause any additional strain on the economy, because the word "tax" in any shape or form is an evil entity created by Satan to cause pain and suffering on all mankind.... well, you get my drift. We are living in a time of LESS taxation than at any time in our recent history. Corporations have had their taxes reduced time and again. And throughout our more recent history, taxes reduced at the behest of those who say it is the ONLY way to stimulate jobs and the economy? RECORD corporate profits, FEWER JOBS than ever, and MORE JOBS SHIPPED overseas.

  • Dadof4girls Sep 21, 5:59 p.m.

    OSX ... Sorry but assume that was a joke ... Can you say 960 Billion spent for lets say ... nothing

  • Pseudonym Sep 21, 5:55 p.m.

    Quote from Plenty Coups: "So you want to use the service and then deny it for others."

    The only people denying anything for others are the drama-queens in the UNC-CH offices.

    I would say that if you had an idea to save $$, I'm sure UNC-CH would listen to you. However, I'm not entirely convinced this isn't political, so I'm not sure they will listen to anybody, regardless of political affiliation.

    Having said that, education is a product, like a TV set or computer. Increased demand with a decreased supply should result in higher prices. However, it seems the only places where people refuse to let market rules lower costs are places deemed "essential" and regulated by the government, like education, healthcare, and energy.

  • Plenty Coups Sep 21, 5:48 p.m.

    "tax are too high, and raising them to provide more money for waste is not the answer."

    But our combined state and local taxes are below the national avg., our education system is one of the worst funded in the nation, and our business climate is consistently rated as one of the tops in the country.

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