The UNC-system’s governing body might be losing its grip.
But, as the Board of Governors demonstrated last week at its meeting, it won’t relinquish its jurisdiction over the system’s tuition decisions without a fight.
The body unanimously approved a resolution Friday condemning the N.C. Senate’s budget passed May 5 that would delegate what has been the board’s responsibility since its establishment in 1971.
The Senate’s budget proposal was the crowning touch to a year full of power struggles between the board and the General Assembly. Last summer, the N.C. General Assembly passed a budget that approved funds for a massive capital projects package the system had yet to approve.
While legislators were well within their rights, the historic process had been disrupted.
And echoes of that decision can be seen in the 11th-hour provision, which would allow UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State University to set their own tuition rates without approval from the board.
“I believe this is a bad idea,” said Jim Phillips, chairman of the board’s Budget and Finance Committee.
“It significantly impacts in a negative way this board’s ability to govern and manage this system as a whole.”
The Senate provision was reportedly added after two weeks of communication between UNC-CH lobbyists and the offices of Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight and Sen. Tony Rand, D-Cumberland.