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The Daily Tar Heel

Board of Trustees pass max tuition increase

Hogan Medlin was one student against 11 members of the Board of Trustees on Thursday morning.

The student body president cast the lone dissenting vote on a 6.5 percent increase to tuition for the 2011-12 school year.

The recommendation calls for the maximum permissible increase for students and must receive approval from the UNC-system Board of Governors and the N.C. General Assembly. The hike will be applied across the board, though there is no cap for out-of-state students tuition increase.

In-state tuition for undergraduate students will increase by $313 to $5,128, and out-of-state tuition will increase by $1,523 to $24,953, if the proposal is approved.

The Board of Governors will review the proposal in January.

Medlin, who is the lone student voice on the board, advocated a 5.6 percent increase for all students.

In the meeting, he said the state’s budget struggles might necessitate an additional tuition increase reminiscent of the $750 supplement that was approved during the summer.

Medlin, who voiced frustration in August for not being included in discussions regarding the supplement, said he hopes student leaders will be included in the decision process for any additional hikes.

“Whoever my successor is would say, ‘We’re here over the summer. You can call us anytime,’” he said.

The state budget shortfall is expected to be $3.5 billion, and the University has been told to prepare for a 10 percent, or $54 million, cut.

Medlin has said he wanted students and the University to share the burden of the cuts.

Bruce Carney, executive vice chancellor and provost, said the University itself had cut virtually all of its nonessential services.

“I think we’ve cut ourselves as far as we easily can,” he said.

When Board Chairman Bob Winston asked if there were any dissenting votes on the increase, Medlin voted “no,” visibly surprising board members.

“It was a loss, but we drew attention that students were not involved in this process,” he said. “It definitely got their attention and their respect.”

Thorp said he was not surprised by the vote and would have supported Medlin’s proposal were it not for uncertainties with the state financial situation and new leadership in the General Assembly and UNC system.

“In about any other year, I would have (supported Medlin’s proposal),” Thorp said. “I’m really scared about financial aid.”

Medlin said he was not surprised by the absence of student protestors even though proposals to raise tuition have historically been met with questions about what the increase would fund. He attributed this to the student body’s awareness of the challenges confronting UNC.

Staff Writer Colleen Volz ?contributed reporting.

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