It might have not been as high as 30 percent, but it was enough to scare UNC-system administrators.
The N.C. House appropriations subcommittee on education released its proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, calling for a 17.4 percent cut, $483 million in state funding for the UNC system. Even though the cut is lower than administrators had recently heard in conversations with legislators, the reduction is high enough to affect the academic core of the universities.
To convey the magnitude of the cut, UNC-system President Thomas Ross said in a press release that the cut would be equivalent to the combined amount of annual state appropriations for five of the UNC-system schools: UNC-Asheville, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, Western Carolina University and Winston-Salem State University.
Proposed cuts include:
- Phased elimination of UNC-TV with a cut of about $12 million for the 2011-12 fiscal year.
- A $37.6 million reduction in financial aid.
- Loss off all state support, or more than $44 million, for UNC Hospitals.
- An $8 million reduction for East Carolina University’s Dental School.
- A 10 percent cut for N.C. community colleges and 8.8 percent cut for K-12 public education.
The legislative proposal officially recommends a 15.5 percent cut for the UNC system, but administrators factored in other line items — including a reduction of $37.6 million in financial aid funding — to come up with a net cut of 17.4 percent.
At last week’s UNC-system Board of Governors meeting, administrators discussed the possibility of a 15 percent cut in state funding. That cut would eliminate 3,200 positions — including 1,500 faculty — 9,000 course sections and 240,000 class seats systemwide. The system has not yet released projections for the 17.4 percent cut.