Before the fee proposal reaches the Board of Trustees, it passes through three committees made up of students, faculty and staff — but in the case of the business school fee, those lower committees couldn’t reach a consensus.
Without a clear recommendation from the other committees, the finance committee recommend against it and will not pass the proposal on to the Board of Governors. The fee proposal would cost $2,000 for business majors and $1,000 for business minors in the 2017-18 school year.
Harry Edwards, student body treasurer and chairperson of the Student Fee Audit Committee, commented on the committees’ concerns with the fee.
“We raise a few issues, mainly in three areas related to diversity, classroom experience and affordability, that we thought in each area the proposal would have a negative impact on,” Edwards said.
He said students, faculty and staff were concerned that raising costs for students attending the business school would decrease the already low socioeconomic diversity within the school. He said they thought the fee would negatively affect the typical classroom experience — the proposed fee would be used to reform classes so that many of them would only meet weekly and the rest of the class would be conducted online.
Edwards said the committees involved in the fee discussion were not convinced that the $2,000 fee was the lowest possible cost for business majors, as the proposal suggested.
Haywood Cochrane, chairperson of the Board of Trustees finance committee, said he and the rest of the committee plan on finding a solution to expand the business school and address the concerns mentioned by Edwards. He emphasized the importance of the business school for UNC.
“This is one of the gems of our undergraduate experience. I think Provost Dean and I share a strong commitment to it, a strong commitment to the growth of the program,” Cochrane said.
Provost Jim Dean proposed an increase of two percent in tuition for incoming in-state students in 2017-18. He said current in-state undergraduates will experience no tuition rises, but he proposed a $300 increase to graduate student tuition. The committee approved these proposals.
The University Affairs Committee heard updates from the Graduate and Professional Student Federation, which has led efforts to start a separate student government in the past year.
Anginelle Alabanza, GPSF chief of staff, said a graduate and professional student bill of rights has been created to outline the rights and responsibilities of graduate and professional students at UNC.
Alabanza said they are continuing efforts to create a government separate from undergraduate students, despite the “Two for Two” separation measure not passing in October.
“We’ve been working with administration to make sure that all voices are heard, both undergraduate and graduate students, in student government,” Alabanza said.