The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday March 20th

BOT Begins Talks on Tuition Hike

Although many trustees said they are afraid a new tuition increase would overburden students already struggling with rising costs, others said tuition increases are a necessary part of ensuring quality education.

Moeser said his proposal, which will be presented to the BOT in November, was prompted by UNC's low faculty salaries. Recent budget cuts from the N.C. General Assembly gave the University full funding for enrollment growth and retained its overhead receipts, but left little money for faculty or staff compensation.

"We know we have lost ground with this legislative session," Moeser said.

Moeser said a five-year plan of graduated tuition hikes would help combat the faculty salary problem.

But BOT Chairman Tim Burnett said the trustees do not like to discuss tuition increases unless it is absolutely necessary.

"I think the trustees would be surprised to have a proposal at the November meeting," Burnett said. "We'll receive it regretfully."

Trustee Hugh McColl said he would not comment on the idea of Moeser's tuition hike until he sees more specific details. But he said he does not want to see out-of-state students treated unfairly by a tuition hike.

"I am in favor of out-of-state students," McColl said. "They add a great deal of diversity to the University, and I wouldn't support any plan that made it harder or impossible for them to come here."

Trustee Stick Williams said recent tuition increases, such as the two-year campus-initiated increase that was approved last year and the 9 percent increase passed by the N.C. General Assembly this semester, could mean that many students would be greatly affected by additional hikes. "Now, I think that (because of) how high the increases were from other places, we need to make sure students can do all that," Williams said.

But Trustee Richard Stevens said some increases are an important part of University development. "Generally there is a favorable climate to moderate tuition increases over time," Stevens said.

All the trustees said they want to ensure that students who cannot pay for the increase are supported by the University. Burnett said students receiving need-based financial aid should be the top priority when any increase is considered.

"We need to be sure we don't cause students receiving financial aid to suffer," Burnett said. "I want to make that clear that that's still the sentiment."

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