Some legislators say there is enough money in the state’s general fund to allow the UNC system a break in resident tuition increases, but others claim that the system’s Board of Governors is misguided in its assumption that the state can carry the load.
Legislators are likely to face a substantial deficit of as much as $1 billion when they convene in Raleigh on Jan. 26 to draw up the 2005-07 budget.
While the board reaffirmed its stance against systemwide and in-state tuition increases during last week’s meeting, the General Assembly has the final say on hikes. The legislature approved campus-based hikes last summer for all system schools.
The board’s decree followed Chairman Brad Wilson’s public statement against resident tuition increases, citing members’ constitutional obligation to keep public higher education affordable.
Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said he is glad to see the board take such a firm stance.
“It’s a wise approach,” he said. “I wish the BOG felt they had more support from legislators.”
The former BOG member said he thinks faculty salaries and student aid funded this year by tuition revenues could be provided for by the state next year.
“There may be some areas where spending can be adjusted.”
Moore also said that even though he doesn’t like tuition increases of any kind, the UNC system should look to nonresident students for revenue.