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The Daily Tar Heel

Task Force to Discuss Tuition

Provost Robert Shelton, co-chairman of the committee with Student Body President Justin Young, said the one-hour meeting will consist primarily of introductions and the distribution of background information. The meeting will be held at 3:30 p.m. in South Building and is open to the public.

"I think this meeting will be the most straightforward of them all," Shelton said. "The important thing is that we get the informational materials on the table so people can study them over break and form their views on the issue."

Shelton said the information presented at the meeting will include budgetary figures comparing tuition at UNC with tuition at its peer institutions and data examining UNC students' individual and family income. He also will reintroduce information he presented to the UNC Board of Trustees at its Nov. 15 meeting.

The task force, which was called for by Shelton during that same meeting, plans to make a presentation at the Jan. 24 BOT meeting, when a formal vote by the trustees is expected to take place on a possible tuition increase.

Task force members said they don't expect to discuss the merit of any particular proposal during Tuesday's meeting, but they also said an evaluation of UNC's tuition policy as a whole might take place. "We'll need at some point to discuss our school's overall tuition philosophy," said committee member Eric Johnson, a senior history major. "That's where you have to start with this topic."

The dates for future meetings of the task force will be scheduled Tuesday after the individual committee members present their availability for Winter Break. Committee member Shirley Ort, director of scholarships and student aid, said she does not expect any meetings to be held before the first of the year, but she added that most committee members are planning to be available during the week before classes resume on Jan 7.

"It's my expectation that we're going to need to be available," Ort said. "That's a commitment I made when I joined the committee. and I've scheduled my calender accordingly."

Johnson and James Alstrum-Acevedo, students on the committee, said they will be available for meetings the first week of January, as did committee members Doug Dibbert, president of the General Alumni Association, and Stephen Weiss, chairman of the Department of Computer Science. Shelton said he thinks the individual members of the committee will hold a variety of viewpoints on a possible tuition increase after they examine the background information. "Everyone will use these numbers differently," Shelton said. "Some people will say we should be more like Florida on the low end of tuition levels, and some will say we should be more like Michigan on the high end."

Shelton said he plans for the task force to present multiple tuition increase proposals to BOT members and the public several days before the Jan. 24 BOT meeting so those proposals can be evaluated. "I would hope we could eventually present two or three scenarios to the Board of Trustees and evaluate the pros and cons of each," Shelton said. "Putting myself in the board's role, I think they want us to do the homework."

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