Education

UNC system OKs tuition increases, hate crime policy

Posted February 12, 2010

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— The University of North Carolina Board of Governors on Friday approved tuition increases for the coming year and a uniform code of conduct to address possible hate crimes on the 16 campuses in the UNC system.

The board also heard some details about an internal audit at North Carolina Central University that showed improper payments to some employees of a program based at the Durham school.

State lawmakers last year mandated tuition increases to help balance the budget. Under the guidelines, each campus must raise tuition for the 2010-11 school year by the lesser of 8 percent or $200, with the extra revenue going to the state's General Fund.

The board, however, followed the lead of UNC President Erskine Bowles, who criticized the mandate and said the schools need the tuition money to provide financial aid to families squeezed by the recession and to address campus needs.

Under the proposal approved by the board, in-state students at UNC-Chapel Hill would pay $200 more, while North Carolina State University students would pay an extra $150 and N.C. Central students would pay $113 more. Fayetteville State University students would see tuition go up by $124, while East Carolina University students would pay an extra $90.

The increases, which don't include the student fees each campus also charges, must be approved by lawmakers this spring. If they reject the board's proposals, the mandated increases would take effect.

The board also approved a policy for handling hate crimes on campus. The uniform code of conduct prohibits actions defined by federal and state laws as hate crimes while expressing support for free speech on campus.

A panel Bowles created recommended the code of conduct a year ago. Bowles appointed the panel after four N.C. State students spray-painted racist graffiti in the campus' Free Expression Tunnel on the night President Barack Obama was elected in November 2008.

The state chapter of the NAACP called for the students to be expelled, but N.C. State officials said they had no grounds to do that.

Bowles also updated the board about the N.C. Central audit of the Historically Minority Colleges and Universities Consortium. The program represents a dozen public and private institutions across the state that have traditionally had heavy minority enrollment and administers grants to help close the achievement gap between minority and white students.

N.C. Central Chancellor Charlie Nelms, who ordered the audit last fall following allegations the program was ineffective, discounted the findings of the audit, saying it needs more work to determine if any wrongdoing actually occurred.

"The thing that we don’t want to have happen is for good work to be tarnished by a report that is not accurate," Nelms said Friday. "We are going to produce an accurate report, and we are going to take the appropriate actions to deal with any kind of inadequacy that exists there, including the termination of anyone that may have engaged in behavior that is inconsistent with the values of this institution.”

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  • Caliaelyn Feb 12, 2010

    Let me get this straight, they're increasing tuition to help pay for the education of those who cannot afford to pay tuition? Seems very counterproductive to me.

  • rargos Feb 12, 2010

    Tuition at UNC has quadrupled (i.e. 400% inflation) in the 20 years since I went there. And guess what? The quality of education is no better ... most undergrads are still taught by starving grad students (I was one of these). The money goes to hire "superstar" profs who don't teach classes but are good at attracting government and industry grants.

    "Hate crime" is frighteningly close to "Thought crime". If someone of a different race breaks your nose, they are now punished in part based on what they were THINKING at the time .... scary.

  • SaveEnergyMan Feb 12, 2010

    The tuition increase is not to cover the losses of the athletic programs, but to cover the lost funding from the General Assembly. There's the crime. The State Constitution says the schools are to be "free or at the lowest practical cost".

    Tuition and fees have increased by a factor of six over the last 20 years ($500 to $3,000 per semester). That is well in excess of inflation. The difference - more of your tax dollars going to fund pet projects rather than the schools. They used to put the state contribution on the tuition bills, now they don't want you to know.

  • WhoMe44a Feb 12, 2010

    school cost money, get past it! get loans, get grants, get scholarships... if you cant do any of that then you should not goto school in the first place!

    I think that the cost of tuition is NC is very affordable! Its one of the cheapest in the country, for in state residents.

    if anything make the cost of in state the same as out of state, this would help keep the riff-raff out of the education systems!

  • timothycapwell Feb 12, 2010

    The real "hate crime" is UNC allowing illegals to attend.

  • Nunya123 Feb 12, 2010

    Highly over elevated tuition in the North Carolina university system? Are you kidding? $3400 (Elizabeth State projected 2011 tuition and fees) to $6200 (UNC Chapel Hill projected 2011 tuition and fees) per year is highly over elevated tuition rates? What would you expect to pay for a college education? $13600 for a degree is less than some private schools charge for a single semester.

    http://www.northcarolina.edu/finance/tuition/6.5_increase_3years.pdf

  • Igliigli Feb 12, 2010

    The UNC System has raised and raised and raised tuition and fees to cover up the multi-million dollar losses by their professional sports teams. If they fired all the coaches and sports teams, they could lower tuition and fees, not raise them.

  • dogman1973 Feb 12, 2010

    I think the tuition hike is a hate crime....it truly discriminates against individuals who can't afford to pay overly elevated tuition costs!