Gov. Mike Easley announced that revenue projections might not meet the state's needs and requested the UNC system return about $72 million, 4 percent of its allocated budget. UNC-CH Provost Robert Shelton said a 4 percent reversion of funds would result in about $16 million in cuts for UNC-CH.
But the provost said figures have not been made concrete. "We have nothing in writing yet," he said.
Easley also announced this week that he will withhold an additional $57.5 million in repairs and renovations funding from the system's budget.
Just last month Easley signed into law a $14.4 billion state budget, which was based on an estimated 4 percent growth in revenue.
But financial reports from the first quarter of the fiscal year show a 2 percent decline in state revenue -- caused possibly by a dramatic economic downturn following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
As a result, Easley has asked most state agencies to return 4 percent of their allocated budgets -- a request that could dramatically affect UNC-CH.
Shelton said the main difficulty with cuts of this magnitude is that it could happen on top of an already permanent $10 million reduction in the University's budget adopted under the new state budget.
A permanent $11 million revenue increase from tuition gathered from this year's enrollment increase could partially alleviate a funding shortfall, Shelton said. The additional funds gathered from increased enrollment could be allocated to academic programs early next week, possibly combating the effects of cuts, he said.
The provost said he founded an enrollment policy advisory committee a few months ago, and the group is now assessing an admissions strategy for fall 2002 in light of the possible additional cuts.