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The Daily Tar Heel

BOT to Hear Provost's Report on Tuition

The BOT will review information compiled by Provost Robert Shelton and decide whether to commission a committee to investigate tuition increase options.

In his State of the University address Sept. 5, Chancellor James Moeser announced his intent to propose a campus-initiated five-year tuition increase to the BOT at this meeting but did not specifically indicate the reason for an increase.

Moeser said earlier this week that he decided to delay the proposal until he could get some outside input.

Since September, Shelton has been gathering data about how UNC-CH has used money from past increases and how its tuition compares to the tuition of peer universities. He plans to present this information to the board at today's meeting.

Moeser said he -- as well as the BOT -- will be interested to see Shelton's report today. "I have not even seen the report the provost has prepared -- it will be new information for me," he said.

Shelton said that if the BOT decides to review options for a campus-initiated tuition increase, it will have the option to form a committee, made up of faculty and students, to draft a proposal to present to the board at its Jan. 24 meeting.

All campus-initiated tuition increase proposals will be voted on by the UNC-system Board of Governors in March.

One potential problem for a tuition proposal committee would be eliciting student involvement in the midst of final exams and Winter Break, officials say.

Both Shelton and Student Body President Justin Young expressed concern that student involvement might be hampered by the brief timetable available for drafting a proposal.

But Young said he will be an advocate for student concerns at today's meeting. "(I will) do what I've been elected to do, do what I've been chosen to do and do what I've done," he said.

Moeser said he is not sure how a tuition proposal would be received by the BOT. "(The board members and I) have had informal conversations -- not really extensive, not with complete information yet and not all of (the board members)," he said. "I don't have any sense of how sentiment may lie."

Shelton said he expects the BOT to ask for a committee to be formed. "I think they're going to want a proposal eventually," he said.

But the provost said the study's purpose is not to push an increase but to inform trustees of the school's position. "I think it's important each year to look at tuition and understand where we are and where we're going in context," Shelton said.

Young said he fears the BOT will call for a tuition increase to compete with other universities instead of to address specific problems. "Ultimately a lot of people get caught up in comparisons," he said. "I think we need to look at what the campus needs and what the solution is."

The last campus-initiated tuition increase was called for by the BOT in October 1999 to raise faculty salaries.

Moeser said he looks forward to the BOT's response to Shelton's presentation.

"I want to see a lively discussion of the issue."

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