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Friday March 24th

Task Force to Begin Discussion of Tuition Increase Proposals

"I'm sure there will be a tuition increase a year from now," Provost Robert Shelton, the task force's co-chairman said. "If it doesn't come from campus-based (increases), it will come from somewhere else."

Shelton said the committee will begin to consider specific needs at the University that a tuition increase could help address. "Let's look at the needs in the three broad categories we already have, namely, faculty salaries, an increased number of faculty positions and (teaching assistant) salaries," said Provost Robert Shelton, the task force's co-chairman. "We are going to be talking about real numbers."

Research since the last meeting, held Oct. 10, has yielded data on each department's student-faculty ratio and how many faculty members left UNC to accept other job offers this year, Shelton said. He added that the retention of faculty members is a main objective of the increases.

Shelton said 40 percent of any tuition increase will be earmarked for need-based financial aid.

The largest part of the remaining money would go toward increasing the number of faculty positions to decrease the student-faculty ratio, with smaller amounts going toward faculty and TA salaries, he said.

Additional faculty positions were approved this year for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and the College of Arts and Sciences, which were determined to have the highest student-faculty ratios, Shelton said.

This year the task force plans to propose a multi-year plan, as opposed to the one-year proposal developed last year. The task force started working with a five-year timeline, but it is currently considering a two- or three-year plan, Shelton said.

Task force member Dean Bresciani, interim vice chancellor for student affairs, said planning for the future will be beneficial for the students and the University. This year's task force might be taking longer than previous committees to formulate a proposal, but it will be worth the wait, he said.

"In some senses I would say we moved a little slower, but in the long run that will prove to be successful," Bresciani said. "I would anticipate that whatever timeline we work with, it will be the first step in the next timeline."

Shelton said that his goal is to plan ahead as much as possible but that long-term planning is not always feasible with the unpredictable economy and the possibility of the N.C. General Assembly and UNC-system Board of Governors initiating tuition increases.

"My preference would be to look at a broader timeline," he said. "If every student who came to Carolina could know what their tuition would be for the next four years, it would be ideal."

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