Education

Budget concerns highlight NCSU forum

Posted January 27, 2011

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— About 500 North Carolina State University students, faculty and staff showed up at a chancellor’s forum Thursday afternoon to express concerns about university plans to save on spending amid a state budget crisis.

Chancellor Randy Woodson has asked school officials to consolidate business services, administrative duties and some academic units to reduce spending in advance of state budget cuts, which could be anywhere from 5 to 15 percent.

Since then, the university has received lots of feedback via e-mail, phone calls and the school’s websites. At Thursday’s meeting, they shared their concerns directly with Woodson about what would be cut and who would lose jobs.

University administrators admitted it is likely that layoffs will happen.

“We are looking at potentially losing 15 percent of our budget, which is $80 million,” Provost Warwick Arden said. “We are going to have to pay a lot of attention to the balance of personnel here at the university here as we move forward.”

Students worry about how the cuts will affect them, especially services such as academic advisers, tutors and teaching assistants.

Budget concerns dominate NC State forum Budget concerns dominate NC State forum

“It's harder for us to get help anymore because tutoring services have been cut a lot, and TA services have been cut a lot in different classes,” student Bradley Selzer said.

Woodson said he is committed to preserving the highest standards even with the potential cuts.

“This is not about closing out programs to remove faculty,” he said. “This is about keeping this university strong for the future.”

Woodson has appointed two university leaders to develop a plan for how to consolidate services and programs to save money. That proposal is due March 15.

How deep the cuts will be, however, remains unclear. The state Legislature has not yet started working on the state budget.

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  • carrboroyouth Jan 28, 2011

    tran: UNC is under the magnifying glass. see http://www.wral.com/news/education/story/9008341/

  • LovemyPirates Jan 28, 2011

    Some posts on a related article suggested closing ECU - a ridiculous suggestion. ECU is the 3rd largest University in the system - just where will these 30,000 students go? Others closings were suggested as well but will not happen. Some programs may need to be closed but campus will not be closed. These and similar suggestions demonstrate the depth of lack of information and understanding.

  • tran Jan 28, 2011

    These issues are not unique to NCSU. They are system wide. But discussions of cutting back are only taking place at NCSU. Why is that? Because NCSU has the largest enrollment? How about putting Chapel Hill under the magnifying glass?

  • cwood3 Jan 28, 2011

    After reading every post on here this morning, I have several comments.
    Many folks have no idea about how a University is funded. Tuiton and fees pay for part of the university's operations. Research grants fund alot of the upper level work including salaries of profs and grad students ( much of the research is done by grad students under the name of the prof.). In addition, alums, corperations, and weathy families give back to the university with tax deductable gifts.

    Very little if any tax money gets to the athletic department. Most large athletic departments are self sustaining including non-revenue sports like tennis, swimming, wrestling,...

    Bottom line, every state employee from professor to governor to curriers to motor grader operators and LEOs should see wages reduced. Some by a little, others more significantly. WE must start running state government(& universities) more like a business. Produce and stay. Don't produce and don't get paid-ie
    let go!! Common sense!

  • 27228 Jan 28, 2011

    A university isn't a business. It's a philanthropy. It's something the state provides to raise the education level of its residents and give people the tools they need to start businesses, attract businesses, get higher-paying jobs, etc. Much of the state's investment in universities is returned in the form of higher tax revenues. There are also less tangible benefits, such as having plenty of doctors and dentists around so that folks can stay healthy enough to work. That's especially true for a school like STATE, where many of the technologies and innovations go right back to the state's farmers, factories, businesses, etc.

  • clickhere Jan 28, 2011

    "Why doesnt the school run its budget off of its tuition paid by the students? Students, pay for your furthering education. College, if you need more to fix things then charge more tuition. Otherwise, appearently someone doesnt know how to run a business???? jscletsplay1002002"

    The State Constitution requires the legislature to provide for quality education for all in the State at a reasonable price. Tuition funds go to the State government and the State government funds each University based on an annual budget. For tuition to cover all expenses, you'd have to change the State Constitution. At least that's the way I've heard it explained in the past. It's not strictly up to the University on what they charge - that needs to go through the Board of Governors (BOG)and eventually be approved (or denied) by the State legislature. The State isn't running a business, at least when it comes to education. Not to say they shouldn't, but it would require legislative change.

  • LovemyPirates Jan 28, 2011

    jscletsplay1002002 - Tuition can only go to paying for the academic programs. Universities do WAY MORE than just teach.

  • LovemyPirates Jan 28, 2011

    ORMA - A full professor may teach one or two classes per semester and supervise Graduate Students and maintain a Lab (where research happens.) Many have grants that brought in 100's of thousands or even Millions of dollars. These grants pay for staff some of whom are Graduate Students and are doing research and have to be supervised. It is very difficult to look from the outside into the inside of an organization and thing you understand what you are observing. There is likely some waste, but way less than many believe. BTW - some courses are so specialized you'll never see more than a handful of students enrolled. That's way they are taught every few years. None the less, these courses are needed and have a part in the overall curriculum.

  • jscletsplay1002002 Jan 28, 2011

    Why doesnt the school run its budget off of its tuition paid by the students?
    Students, pay for your furthering education.
    College, if you need more to fix things then charge more tuition.
    Otherwise, appearently someone doesnt know how to run a business????

  • Madonna Jan 28, 2011

    Definitely need efficiency improvements at NCSU. I've watched TV broadcast of some classes over there and there is usually only 5-6 studuents in the classroom. And I've seen professors in my neighborhood on very loose schedules - they have a lot of free time.

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