Universities in the UNC system should plan on cutting their budgets by at least 10 percent and prepare to face a tough fight against legislators, the system’s President Erskine Bowles said Thursday.
At their monthly meeting, Bowles and members of the UNC-system Board of Governors began drafting their budget request for next year to send to the N.C. General Assembly in November.
They also reviewed the recommendations to update the system’s current tuition policy or Four Year Tuition Plan, which is set to expire at the end of the year.
- November-UNC-system Board of Govenors will send its budget request to the N.C. General Assembly
- January- Gov. Bev Perdue will present her budget proposal, which will help determine how much state money is available
- January 26- The General Assembly will convene
- February-May- The House will draft its budget proposal, then the Senate will draft its own
- June-July-A conference process will result in the final budget
Recommendations for updating tuition policy
- Allowing campuses to increase tuition by a maximum of 10 percent in years when the state appropriations are less than 6 percent. The current cap is 6.5 percent.
- Reconsider using the bottom quarter of tuition rates of peer public institutions as benchmarks.
- Giving campuses more discretion for non-resident tuition rates.
- Having different tuition models for different campuses.
- Having similar tuition rates for similar institutions with same teaching missions.
- Clearly defining the role of students in the tuition decision-making process.
- Charging students by credit hours on select, pilot campuses.
Budget looks bleak
The state’s budget shortfall this year is expected to be between $3.2 and $3.5 billion, meaning that the UNC system, which makes up 13 percent of the state’s total budget, could be losing millions more in state appropriations.