Faculty and students in five of UNC's professional schools are optimistic about the potential benefits that could arise from tuition increases.
They say they are eager to see the funds put to use for increasing financial assistance, hiring new professors and raising faculty salaries.
At its Wednesday meeting, the Board of Trustees approved tuition increases for the Kenan-Flagler Business School, the School of Dentistry, the School of Law, the School of Medicine and the School of Pharmacy. The proposals will now go before the Board of Governors when it meets in January.
Law school Dean Gene Nichol said he regrets the increases but that he thinks it is impossible to remain competitive with other top universities without them.
"The increases are very necessary or we wouldn't do it," said Jeffrey Houpt, dean of the School of Medicine, where 50 percent of the funds from tuition increases would go toward financial aid packages.
Houpt said increasing financial assistance will help the school remain nationally competitive because it will allow the school to attract better students.
Nichol said one problem for the law school has been its student-to-teacher ratio."A large part of (the tuition increase) is to expand the size of the faculty," he said. He said one way to achieve this is to raise faculty salaries, which tuition increases would accomplish.
Professor Doug Shackelford of the business school said the school's reputation has kept him on the faculty despite relatively low salaries. "In what I do, we are the best school in the country," he said.
Law Professor Elizabeth Gibson, who has been on faculty since 1983, said proximity to her family has played a large role in keeping her at UNC. "I've gotten inquiries (from other institutions) but never pursued them," she said.