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The Daily Tar Heel

Tuition Plan Draws Skepticism

Chancellor James Moeser says the BOT will not alter its $400 tuition increase plan regardless of BOG actions.

Robert Warwick, member of the BOG Budget and Finance Committee, proposed that campus-based tuition increases at research and doctoral campuses like UNC-Chapel Hill be capped at $250 and systemwide at 10 percent.

Eighty percent of the funding from the systemwide tuition increase will help pay for enrollment increases at UNC-system schools, while the remainder will go to fund need-based financial aid.

No vote was taken on the proposal, which board members are expected to discuss further during the next two weeks.

But UNC-CH Chancellor James Moeser said he thinks the committee's plan is unfair because much of the funding raised by the tuition increase would go to fund needs at other UNC-system campuses.

"(The proposed increase) generates a revenue of about $9 million," Moeser said. "At Chapel Hill, by their calculations, $2.3 million will be used for enrollment growth and $900,000 will be used for aid. That means $5.8 million goes to other campuses."

Moeser also said the UNC system has never previously used money from tuition to fund enrollment costs. He added that he does not expect UNC-CH students to be happy with the new plan.

"I have a major problem with raising money on one campus to fund other campuses," he said. "I think it's patently unfair to raise money from students in Chapel Hill to pay for a professor in Wilmington."

Moeser also said he does not think the UNC-CH Board of Trustees will consider altering its request for a campus-based tuition increase. "We have no plans to reconvene our Board of Trustees," he said.

The UNC-CH BOT passed a recommendation for a $400 increase on Jan. 24. The N.C. State University trustees also plan to vote on a one-year, $400 tuition increase Friday.

All told, 13 UNC-system schools are expected to bring campus-initiated tuition increase requests before the board.

Tom Stafford, N.C. State vice chancellor for student affairs, said the school's trustees also would not likely change their initial request to fit the $250 cap.

Stafford said N.C. State Chancellor Marye Anne Fox will still propose a $400 increase to the trustees. He said trustees can still amend the proposal before Friday's vote.

Under the plan proposed by Warwick on Tuesday, out-of-state tuition would also increase by 10 percent, on top of any campus-initiated increases. Previously, the BOG often has matched campus-initiated tuition increases for out-of-state students to the dollar amount increase for N.C. residents instead of increasing tuition by the same percentage.

"Out-of-state tuition is already very high across the UNC system, so any increase is going to have an impact unless the university can find more ways to find financial aid for students, or if they're outstanding students, to get them scholarships," Stafford said.

Stick Williams, vice chairman of the UNC-CH BOT, said the BOG faces a difficult decision concerning all aspects of tuition increases.

"I understand the tough position that the Board of Governors is in," he said.

"Years ago they realized that there would be significant growth (in the UNC system) and they planned accordingly. Now they have to change that (plan)."

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

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