The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday February 1st

Broad: BOG Wary of More Tuition Increases

A slew of campus-initiated tuition requests during the past two years has prompted the BOG to consider a review of its tuition-setting policy, adopted in 1998.

But in his State of the University address Wednesday, Chancellor James Moeser announced that he will bring a five-year plan for tuition increases before the UNC-CH Board of Trustees this fall.

Broad said the present tuition-setting policy requires that any campus-initiated tuition increase approved by the BOT is also approved by the BOG, adding that she thinks a recently ended tuition debate in the state legislature this summer has made BOG members wary of granting additional requests.

"Frankly because there was so much activity this summer concerning tuition, I think it would be best to let the dust settle before we do anything else with tuition," Broad said.

The BOG's tuition-setting policy that was implemented three years ago permits two types of increases. The first allows the board to recommend systemwide tuition increases aimed at offsetting rising operating costs.

The second part of the policy gives the BOG the power to grant campus-based tuition increase requests under "extraordinary circumstances."

But during the past two years, the board has granted 11 campus-initiated tuition increase requests, including a $600 increase at UNC-CH.

Shortly after passing a second round of tuition increases last March, BOG members said they would re-examine the board's policy.

But the board has yet to examine the policy because members have been sidetracked by activity in the N.C. General Assembly, where lawmakers have passed a systemwide tuition increase and considered cuts to the UNC system's budget, Broad said.

"I'm not sure that any official action has been taken by the board, but this is clearly an issue that has the attention of a lot of board members."

UNC-system officials said that while nothing has been concretely decided, the board probably will re-evaluate the policy in the next few months. "Well, we did have a brief conversation about the policy in the spring," said former BOG Finance Committee Chairman Bradley Wilson. "I'm assuming that the board will take a more serious look at the policy this fall."

Broad said the BOG could make plans to examine the policy during the board's meeting next week.

UNC Association of Student Governments President Andrew Payne -- the only student member of the BOG -- said he has been told by Broad and several board members that no other campus-initiated tuition increases will be considered until the policy is re-examined. "I was told last year that nothing would be done until we take another look at tuition policy," Payne said. "And I'm not sad that (Moeser) and the UNC-CH BOT will have to wait a while before they can pass another tuition increase."

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

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