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Finance committee OKs UNC system tuition hikes

Posted February 12, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— The UNC Board of Governors' finance committee on Thursday passed the University of North Carolina system's recommendations for tuition increases.

The full board is expected to vote on the plan Friday.

Erskine Bowles UNC's Bowles: Budget cuts will be painful

Under the proposal, in-state undergraduate tuition at UNC-Chapel Hill would go up $160, to $3,865, while tuition at North Carolina State University would increase by $93, to $3,953.

Each of the 16 campuses in the UNC system has had to reduce its budget this year by 6 percent because of a projected $2 billion deficit in the state budget, and tuition increases are one way to offset some of the reduced funding.

Last November, UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp recommended a 6.5 percent increase – the maximum allowed under a state-imposed tuition cap – which would have added $241 to in-state tuition bills.

But UNC President Erskine Bowles wants to limit the increases – and reduce the cap to 4.5 percent – because the recession makes it harder for families to pay bills.

During Thursday's meeting, Bowles also talked about the 2009-10 budget, saying there is no way to keep cutting funds without having to eventually affect employees with either furloughs, pay cuts or layoffs.

"We're going to have some pain here that we are going to have to deal with for a couple of years," he said.

That could mean larger classes and heavier workloads for faculty.

"It's going to mean lower retention and graduation rates because people can't get the classes they want," Bowles said.

The system still faces budget cuts of up to 7 percent from the state, which already has pulled $150 million from the system's annual budget to help erase the state budget deficit.

Bowles has said furloughs – which generally allow employers to force workers to take brief periods of unpaid leave – would help deal with the cuts.

Seventy-five percent of the system budget is for personnel. Furloughs and pay cuts would require state legislation and would have to be approved by the Board of Governors.

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  • tobis19341 Feb 12, 2009

    how much are you spending on academic vs. athletic scholarships in this state?

  • anne53ozzy Feb 12, 2009

    Please do not try to turn our universities into 4 yr tech schools by suggesting that the Liberal Arts are not to be funded. That is ridiculous. We are already in danger of raising a generation who cannot write, think outside the box or ponder the unknown in ways necessary to challenge them. A society is not measured over time by the per capita income of its people. If you fail to see how an understanding of and exposure to the Liveral Arts enriches us all, I would suggest that you need to do some homework.

  • fatcat11 Feb 12, 2009

    This is a bloated system,when 75% of expenses are employees...

  • Eduardo1 Feb 12, 2009

    How about some cuts for the sacred cows. You know who I mean, The multi million dollar compensation that the COACHES get. I, like a lots of other love sports, but the compensation that they get especially, when we are raising tuition, asking lower echelon employees to do their share, why not these sacred cows. President Obama whats the private sector to cap compensation at $500k, so why not colleges, university, and how about our entertainment people. As long as we are hedging on Socialism, get them all under control

  • blazinmami8807 Feb 12, 2009

    As a NCSU student, I can't quite understand. When you walk around NCSU all you see is construction and construction workers. Why don't they cut back on building and paying people to build? What about the landscapers who just cut bushes all day and mow the lawn whenever spring time comes around? Where does NCSU get the money for the materials to build and the furniture to put in the new buildings? Cut back on TA's who grade tests once a month and answer occasional emails.

    Why are we increasing tuition on someone who actually is trying to do something with their life??
    100-300 isn't much, but once its added to books, food, gas, webassign (you pay for your homework, literally!), clickers (for professors who don't grade tests)... School is expensive!! Hence why a lot of poor people dont go. Luckily, I maintained my grades through high school and have scholarships.

  • myrtlebeachrock Feb 12, 2009

    I know college cost for many are too high and I wish the state would reduce the college cost according to family income. With some private expensive schools if a family makes under $60,000 free they go to school free. Now 60,000 would be a lot of income to me or to most NC families, but I could see offering discounted or free tuition for families making less than $40,000.

    Bev Purdue is not living in the Real World. Not every student drinks beer and I guess she does not know how hard it is to work and pay for school. Mayby that is why she is on a tropical island taking a week long vacation now while the state is in trouble. Wait until the smoke clears and then take a vacation. That's like Santa Claus taking a vacation during Christmas! lol

  • myrtlebeachrock Feb 12, 2009

    Cost for NC schools are still very inexpensive compared to other states. I went to ECU for my undergrad and I'm in grad school at Harvard University in their extension school Masters of business program(Like an MBA for part-time people, but not as expensive) but it is still more expensive than any in state NC school. I actually work two jobs and wait tables in a busy seafood restaurant in Myrtle Beach in the summer just to pay the expenses.

    I'm taking a break from school and back in the Carolina's now due to money. I really don't know how much a Masters degree from Harvard is worth in today's economy but I will say NC has the least expensive and most beautiful colleges of any where. I miss going to school in NC.

    We all should be thankful to have such great universities here.

  • haggis basher Feb 12, 2009

    "Haggis Basher..that is got to be the most ridiculous idea that I have ever heard."
    Well that that was a well reasoned counter arguement? Do you really think there is any shortage of English, History or Pol Sci grads? What earthly use are they? yes, we need some as English and history teachers and I'm sure there are a few real jobs wher Poly Sci might be of some use but most end up doing something unrelated to their degree. Thats fine, but why is it in the States interest to do that?

  • haggis basher Feb 12, 2009

    Is it really necessary for the University system to keep highly paid researchers in various departments who do not teach?"
    They are usually paid by outside money not the State and are a net benefit financially to the University.

  • haggis basher Feb 12, 2009

    "ok, that would mean that only RICHER people will now be able to afford this education....isn't that OPPOSITE of the liberal agenda? I don't get the left!"
    The poor already don't pay so this will make little if any difference to them. The middle class, as always, are the only ones this will affect.

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