The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday December 3rd

UNC-system Board of Governors meeting to cover drug, financial aid policy

Illegal drug policies, financial aid and a new performance model are three of the items to be discussed at today’s UNC-system Board of Governors meeting.

After a month-long hiatus and a work-related trip to China, the board is unveiling today a new performance-based funding model that will reward schools for meeting certain requirements, including good retention, degree efficiency and energy usage.

Today’s meeting follows the board’s February meeting in which members — amidst opposition from hundreds of student protestors — approved a systemwide tuition and fee increase of 8.8 percent.

Due to the prolonged discussions on tuition and fee increases, the board postponed talking about funding requests from the N.C. General Assembly until a hastily planned March meeting, at which the board decided to request a 100 percent increase in its retention fund from $5 million to $10 million.

This money, if granted by the state legislature, will go toward the board’s new performance-based funding model.

Under the new model, portions of the funding will be allocated to schools who meet certain requirements.

Schools would be assessed on 10 separate measures, including graduation rates.

“It’s additional money that we’re asking for in order to reward and incentivize,” said Charles Perusse, vice president for finance for the UNC system. “We’re essentially going to grade how well campuses are graduating students and how they are using resources effectively.”

Seven of the measures will be standard core measures set by the board and the UNC General Administration, but three of the measures will be up to the jurisdiction of individual campus administrators.

“Three measures are campus choice because each campus has a different focus,” Perusse said.
Funds would be distributed annually to UNC-system institutions that improve student success and demonstrate effective use of state resources.

Hannah Gage, chairwoman of the board, said financial aid will also be an important discussion at today’s meeting.

Many board members have voiced concerns at previous meetings about financial aid and how much tuition revenue campuses should be allowed to direct toward need-based aid.

Board member Irvin Roseman said he thinks the board should explore tax breaks as a potential solution.

“Let’s say that tuition for you for a year costs $800 dollars. Under this present tuition guidelines, 25 percent of that goes to needy students, so that is charity,” he said. “If you have to give $200 out of your tuition bill to need-based students and that’s a charity, why couldn’t you get a tax deduction?

“I’m not a lawyer, but it could be done through a foundation I would think.”

Roseman, a member of the board’s university governance committee, said the system’s policy on illegal drug usage will also be reviewed.

Under the current policy, which was set in place in 1988, if a student gives away his prescription drugs and is caught, he or she can be expelled without a trial.

“We’re just exploring it right now,” Roseman said about the policy. “What we’re trying to do is determine what is right and what is wrong.”

And while it’s not on the agenda, Gage said it is likely that the board will discuss a House select committee’s recent approval of a bill, which recommends that the board oversee the appointment of UNC Health Care’s Board of Directors.

Contact the State & National Editor at state@dailytarheel.com.

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