The system has already taken a net reduction of $482 million in funding for campuses in the last four years, which has resulted in fewer course sections and larger class sizes for students.
Hannah Gage, chairwoman of the board, said she hopes the 32-member board can find a reasonable compromise on tuition increases, which she hopes will remain low.
“I’m still hopeful that it will be under 9 percent,” Gage said.
“I think (Ross) is still playing with the whole thing and trying to come up with the lowest amount that will meet the basic needs that the campuses have right now.”
The N.C. General Assembly, which will review and make the final decision on the board’s tuition proposals, will meet for a “short session” of six weeks this spring.
Because of the legislature’s time constraints, Gage said she’s not expecting any extra funding for the UNC system.
“What we’re really doing now is deciding what we’re going to have to have to just hold our own for the next couple of years,” she said. “Hopefully, by then the economy will improve and there may be more hope to get more funding.”
Despite Gage and Ross’ stance on tuition and fee increases, Bruce Carney, executive vice chancellor and provost for UNC-CH, said Thursday the University’s Board of Trustees will continue to seek approval of its proposed tuition increase from the Board of Governors.
And Chairman of the Board of Trustees Wade Hargrove said he would work with Chancellor Holden Thorp, Carney and Ross to review the University’s proposal.
UNC-CH’s tuition increase proposal, which was authored by Carney, would have raised tuition by $2,800, or 40 percent, during the next five years. At the Board of Governors meeting Thursday, Ross also said he would not support any tuition proposals that applied to more than two years.
As Carney continues to show support for higher tuition increases, a system-wide, student-led coalition is calling Ross’ 10 percent cap unconstitutional.
“While this is an improvement, it is still well above the 6.5 percent state mandated cap,” states a press release from the group, called N.C. Defend Education.
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