The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

Cut and Dry; Student government should work closely with UNC administration on budget cuts to preserve quality

Chancellor Holden Thorp’s recent comments on the budget climate confirm that student government’s advocacy will be equally as vital next year as it was this year.

If student body presidents can meet with administrators to build massive and comprehensive platforms, then they can sit down with them again to represent students’ interests.

In an e-mail addressed to faculty, staff and students, the chancellor got down to the point: Legislators expect a $500 million shortfall next year. After budget cuts of 10 percent, the University can expect up to 5 percent more this season.

This time, with a round of cuts already under its belt, the University will be more prepared. Interim Provost Bruce Carney — along with the budget committee — has and will continue to be working on this problem as the next fiscal year rolls around.

Students are a huge stakeholder in this process. While cuts will be made by administrators and legislators, students will invariably be affected.

Last December, Carney submitted a memo to the vice chancellors and deans outlining the two main priorities that budget cuts should reflect: student instruction and administrative efficiency.

Student government has an especially important role to play in meeting this first goal. And with a detailed section of his platform dealing with budget and tuition issues, there is no reason why the Hogan Medlin administration should not begin on day one to become immersed in this process.

This in part means preparing to reach out and get students involved with the tuition debate.

He should also plan for early and strong involvement in the tuition process on the administrative end, meaning conversations with the Board of Trustees and the tuition and fee advisory task force.

It also means meeting with deans and discussing what it means to make 5 percent cuts while maintaining the integrity of a UNC education.

The cards are on the table. This is going to be another trying year for the budget. Strong student representation is a must.

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