The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday October 27th

State Denies Funding to UNC-C

As part of this year's budget, East Carolina University received $1.5 million to upgrade its classification.

The Carnegie Classification System is a set of guidelines used to evaluate and classify system campuses. It also serves as a basis for allocating funds.

Both UNC-C and ECU requested funding after they were reclassified as research-intensive institutions. UNC-C requested $9.2 million in funding after being reclassified in August 2000 by the Board of Governors. ECU was reclassified in May 1998.

UNC-C's request was divided among two sources: $7.3 million from the General Assembly and $1.9 million from tuition increases. From the General Assembly, the school had hoped to get $4 million this year and the remaining $3.3 million next year -- derived by the same formula ECU used.

The requested funding is divided into five categories, including creating faculty positions, expanding the library, funding graduation tuition waivers, augmenting faculty salary and adding staff positions.

Denise Trauth, UNC-C provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said in the event of a funding shortage officials will not cut from one specific category. "All five will receive funding, but getting new faculty will be most important," she said.

Trauth said the General Assembly's decision not to give any money to the school did not come as a great surprise to her. "We are not distraught. We started to drop the money out of our budget because we were not planning to have it," she said.

UNC-C only submitted one of many requests for budgetary funds that could not be met, said Gretchen Bataille, UNC-system senior vice president for academic affairs. "Much of what was requested was not given because the state has a huge budget problem," Bataille said.

ECU recently received $1.5 million as a final payment of requested funding.

Bataille said attention will turn from ECU's transition to UNC-C's needs "We hope to do Charlotte in a two, three or four year period," Bataille said.

UNC-C officials are optimistic it will take the two years they originally hoped, albeit a year late.

Olen Smith, UNC-C vice chancellor for business affairs, said he thinks two years is a reasonable goal if economic conditions improve. "We'll have to see how North Carolina's financial situation is," Smith said. "We hope to get some funding and half (of $7.3 million) is realistic if the situation is turned around."

Tom Martz, UNC-C vice chancellor for university relations, said it is unfortunate that funds are not currently available, but he thinks the legislature eventually will allocate funding. "We're disappointed but we know the legislature will do what they can."

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

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