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The Daily Tar Heel

BOG Discusses Potential State Budget Reduction

The UNC-system's budget for the 2001 fiscal year totals $1.79 billion, a slight reduction from last year's budget.

"In essence, we're working with less funding to serve more students," said Jeff Davies, UNC-system vice president for finance.

The discussion of the UNC system's budget was interrupted when UNC-system President Molly Broad gave a brief presentation to the committee concerning the 4 percent budget reversion of funds that Gov. Mike Easley imposed this week on state agencies. "We're going to get a 96 percent allotment of the budget passed by the General Assembly," Broad said.

The committee also broached a topic that it has been planning to discuss since last spring -- its tuition-setting policy.

The General Assembly passed the state budget last month with a provision changing the circumstances under which system campuses can request a campus-initiated tuition increase.

The BOG's previous tuition-setting policy, adopted in November 1998, allowed the board to raise tuition in two cases -- a systemwide increase to cover inflation and a campus-initiated tuition increase for emergency situations.

Davies proposed a calendar at the meeting that would allow the board to review its tuition policy.

The board will host several workshops between its November meeting and the spring to receive input on potential changes that could be made to its tuition policy.

BOG member Jim Phillips said the process of reviewing the policy might not require a task force similar to the one organized in 1998 to create the policy. He said, "I don't see much point in sending this back to a task force again."

He added that he also didn't think there was a need for the task force in1998.

The discussion about the tuition increase was intertwined with talk about management flexibility provisions included in the state budget.

One of the provisions states that campuses do not have to show emergency need to request a tuition increase.

But members of the committee seemed to agree that the provision in the budget will not impact its own policy. "This is pretty much exactly what we've entertained for the last two to three years," Phillips said.

He added that the provision allows the individual campus boards of trustees to change their policies but does not state anywhere that the BOG should change its policy.

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

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