The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday March 25th

Officials explain their roles

Students in the American studies seminar “The Role of the University in American Life” spend a lot of time talking about UNC’s relationship with the state.

Today, they heard from two men who set the tone of that relationship.

Joe Hackney, speaker of the N.C. House of Representatives, and Roger Perry, a member of UNC’s Board of Trustees, spoke to the class Monday about the connections between UNC and the state legislature.

Both men are major players when it comes to making big decisions for UNC.

Hackney, D-Orange, brought the political point of view while Perry acted as the University’s voice. Perry is one of 13 trustees who advise UNC’s administration and examine policy changes.

They spent most of their time explaining the relationship, not debating policy issues.

State and University policy

Hackney said the General Assembly shares the responsibility of making University policy with UNC-system and University administrations.

He said the chancellor, trustees, Board of Governors and the governor’s office all impact University policy.

New programs within each University are initiated by administrators. But they must pass through the Board of Trustees before they can be approved by legislation, Perry said.

University and the budget

Hackney said education currently receives approximately 60 percent of the state budget. That money is spread between the university, community college and public school systems, creating tension, Hackney said.

“There’s only so much money, and percentages are up in the air,’ he said.

He said legislators historically advocate for universities, sometimes at the expense of K-12 education.

“We are nationally known for supporting our universities,” Hackney said. “Some would say we’re nationally known for neglecting public schools.”

At UNC, the trustees are responsible for helping to manage the state money, which covers a fourth of the campus’ budget of more than $2 billion.

Out-of-state tuition

Perry said the Board of Trustees is trying not to be too “mercenary” about setting the price for nonresident students, even if the price tag seems steep compared to in-state tuition.

“Our goal when we set out-of-state tuition is to make that tuition equal the cost of providing education,” he said.

Hackney said a lot of people in North Carolina don’t think the out-of-state tuition is high enough.

He said acting on behalf of out-of-state students is not politically beneficial because many residents are against out-of-state competition for admission.

“I’m glad you’re here, but they’re not,” he said.

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