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The Daily Tar Heel

3 Schools Consider Hikes To Remain Competitive

The UNC-G Board of Trustees voted Thursday to increase tuition by $300 during the next two years, making the school the first in the system to formally request a tuition increase this year.

But officials at UNC-Pembroke and N.C. Central and Appalachian State universities also have tuition increase proposals in the works.

The increases at UNC-P and ASU would fund faculty salary increases, which was the primary need driving last year's increases at UNC-CH as well. N.C. Central officials would not comment on how the increase there would be used.

Officials at the universities considering tuition proposals this year say the increases are needed to maintain faculty salaries that compete with those at system schools that received tuition increases last year, lending validity to arguments from student leaders and system officials that last year's round of tuition increases would cause a snowball effect across the system.

The BOG and the N.C. General Assembly must approve all campus-initiated tuition requests. The state legislature approved campus-initiated tuition increases last year at five UNC-system universities, including UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University.

The BOG - which approved a 4 percent systemwide tuition increase Nov. 10 that is meant to offset inflation - plans to consider campus-initiated tuition requests in March.

Joni Worthington, UNC-system vice president for communications, said tuition increase proposals are due to General Administration officials by December and to the BOG by February.

But Worthington said every university has not yet received instructions for making tuition increase proposals to the BOG. "However, there is no fast or firm set of procedures on how each campus should decide on proposals," Worthington said.

N.C. Central spokeswoman Tonya Joyner said a proposal for a tuition increase at N.C. Central is in the works but would not provide any further details. "There are some (proposals) under development," Joyner said.

Neil Hawk, UNC-P vice chancellor for business affairs, also gave coy confirmation that university officials are considering a possible campus-initiated tuition increase. "We're developing plans," Hawk said. "But there is no formal approval process yet."

Bob Shaffer, ASU associate vice chancellor for public affairs, said university officials are reluctantly looking into proposing a campus-initiated tuition increase for the 2001-02 year. Shaffer projected that this year's proposed tuition increase would not exceed $200.

"We are exploring the possibilities," he said. "But we have not finalized anything yet."

Shaffer said ASU is now forced to play catch-up with other UNC-system schools because it did not propose a tuition increase last year. "We would like to avoid (raising tuition) this year," he said.

"But we have to remain competitive."

The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.

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