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The Daily Tar Heel

BOG Uncertain On System School Tuition Increases

Several schools, including UNC-Greensboro and UNC-Pembroke, have petitioned the board for tuition increases -- some to fund faculty salary increases and student financial aid.

BOG member John Sanders said the proposals are beginning to come in, but the board will not begin to review them until next month.

"I have no impression as to how the board is leaning," he said.

Sanders added that he had briefly reviewed several proposals from the schools but would not comment on the content.

Sanders, who voted against last year's increases, said he would probably vote no again unless he was greatly impressed by the proposals.

"Unless (the institutions) present a better case than the institutions did last year, I would be opposed to (tuition increases)," he said.

But BOG member J. Addison Bell, who supported last year's tuition increases, said the issue of faculty salaries is one that will not go away.

"We're going to lose the good faculty we've got (if we don't do something)," Bell said.

UNC Association of Student Governments President Andrew Payne said many in ASG favor tuition hikes.

Payne opposes the increases but said he is skeptical of the outcome. "Unfortunately, because of what happened last year, I think they're going to go through," he said.

Last year, the board voted in favor of tuition increases for five UNC-system schools, including UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University.

Bell said if a forthcoming UNC-system General Administration report shows past increases negatively affected accessibility, he will have a hard time voting for more.

Because of a looming budget deficit, the legislative committee recently withheld financial support from the Excellent Universities and Community Colleges Act, part of which was designed to raise the salaries of UNC-system faculty.

But Bell said state lawmakers knew of the impending deficit last session. He added that if the board passes the proposals, the large budget deficit should not affect tuition increases.

Payne said the ASG has no strategy to combat the proposals but that members will formulate one once they receive the proposal information.

If the proposals pass, they will then be reviewed by state legislature.

Payne said the BOG must put its foot down on tuition increases before it gets out of control.

"This isn't positive for the (UNC-system)," he said. "(The board) has opened Pandora's box, and they've got to try to close it."

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

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