Despite vehement student opposition, UNC administrators approved Thursday a 15.6 percent tuition hike proposal for in-state students.
With the exception of Student Body President Mary Cooper, the UNC Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the proposal that would increase in-state students’ tuition by $2,800 during the next five years.
Cooper asked the board to postpone the decision until December. She said a delay would help students and administrators work together to create a more modest proposal. But her motion to delay the vote failed.
Administrators supported the significant tuition hike, saying it was the only way to improve the University’s faculty retention rates. During the last two years, more than 50 percent of UNC faculty members who have received offers from other institutions chose to leave.
Students speaking at the board meeting said the tuition hike would diminish the University’s ability to attract talented and diverse students.
“If we raise tuition we are going to lose students,” said junior Cornell Jordan, who spoke on behalf of students at the meeting. “What is a faculty member without a diverse group of students?”
Bruce Carney, executive vice chancellor and provost, said tuition hikes will not be the only avenue administrators will explore in an attempt to offset budget cuts.
“We have a lot to do. We are not asking students to do all of this themselves,” he said. “We will certainly be asking the state for help.”
But while UNC administrators say they have no choice but to propose tuition increases to protect their faculty, N.C. Rep. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke, said the substantial proposal might not be necessary.