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The Daily Tar Heel

BOG Examines Tuition Policy, Budget Cuts

In the Budget and Finance Committee meeting Friday, board members debated how to best re-examine the board's existing tuition policy.

The current plan calls for the board to host a workshop before its meeting in January as the starting point for a formal re-examination of the policy.

Finance Committee Chairman Addison Bell said he recently hosted a conference call with five UNC-system chancellors -- including UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser -- to get their input on the tuition policy.

"This is a very complex issue. ... I was hoping to get as much preparation as possible before the workshop," Bell said.

Bell said he plans to hold similar conference calls with the remaining 11 UNC-system chancellors.

But several committee members said they also would like to be involved in the discussion or at least have detailed information on what had occurred.

"It strikes me that it would be a very positive thing for us to hear what the chancellors had to say," said BOG member Jim Phillips.

In her report before the full board Friday, UNC-system President Molly Broad also informed members that an agreement had been reached with Gov. Mike Easley's office to plan for a 2.7 percent budget reversion.

"This (agreement) is predicated on the understanding that the chancellors will offer the necessary classes in the spring semester," Broad said.

She said that economic data will be re-examined after Jan. 1 -- when the first half of the fiscal year comes to an end -- and the extent of the cuts could be readjusted.

But Broad also said members of the Bond Oversight Committee -- which first met last week -- will ask the governor to release $57 million in renovations and repairs funding that he is holding in case the economic situation further declines.

"We do not want to find our University in the same position as when we had to go to the voters of this state with the bond program," Broad said.

Also at the meeting, two board members -- H.D. Reaves and Peter Keber -- gave reports to the full board about their recent trip to Qatar with members of the UNC-CH faculty. UNC-CH is considering establishing a business program in the country.

"The purpose of the trip, really, was to look the place over," Keber said.

Both BOG members said they were pleased with what they saw in Qatar and the possible benefits for UNC-CH of establishing a school in the country.

"This is really a business deal -- 'you do this for us, and we will give you lots of money,'" Keber said. "But there are a lot of advantages to North Carolina, other than just the money."

The board also unanimously approved planning for an Institute for Disaster Studies.

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