Raleigh, N.C. — University of North Carolina President Tom Ross said Monday that closing parts of the 16-campus system would not produce the cost savings some lawmakers might think.
"I don't think it's a good idea for lots of reasons," Ross said.
Foremost among them, he said, is that those students would enroll elsewhere in the system, simply shifting costs from one campus to another.
North Carolina legislative leaders have stepped back from proposals that the UNC system close some of its 16 campuses. However, Ross was asked about the potential for closures in the future during a roundtable meeting with reporters organized by the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Among the problems with closing campuses, Ross said, would be finding a buyer for large, specialized properties.
"I'm not sure who is going to stand in line to buy those campuses," he said. Until a buyer is found, he noted, the state would have to provide security and maintain the buildings, reducing any savings.
In an interview last week, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger suggested the system look at centralizing functions, such as determining who is eligible for in-state tuition.
That's something the system already looking to do, Ross said. The system is also examining how to centralize financial aid decisions as well as consolidate other administrative functions.