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UNC Budget Cuts Sent To General Assembly

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Budget cuts for the University of North Carolina system have been finalized, and now they go back to the General Assembly.

The cuts weren't as bad as expected. But they will take a toll on higher education in the state.

Hundreds of positions have been eliminated. Classes have been cut, and there won't be money for supplies and maintenance.

One way to save money, officials say, is to hold meetings by conference call.

A budget committee heard how the 16 chancellors have made budget cuts ordered by the legislature. They trimmed more than $52 million, with instruction and personnel taking the biggest hits.

Some $20.2 million were taken out of the instructional budget at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Systemwide, 422 positions are gone - meaning students will have a tougher time getting the classes they need. There will be fewer classes and sections to choose from.

Classes also will be larger, to make better use of fewer professors.

Students may not find as many computers, books or reference material in libraries. Because there won't be as much money for supplies and maintenance, university vehicles will be used longer.

Programming money for the UNC Center for Public Television was also cut, meaning more repeat programming and less coverage of statewide events.

Although the cuts will make for a lot of belt tightening, the UNC system is not alone. In fact, North Carolina appears to be in substantially better shape than a lot of other states.

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