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BOG discusses in-state tuition rates and suicide prevention efforts

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Members of the UNC Board of Governors meet on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 to discuss the tuition freeze for in-state tuition and the institution of suicide prevention efforts.

The UNC Board of Governors announced that in-state tuition will remain steady at its current rate for the fifth year in a row in a meeting Thursday. 

“Our System-wide tuition freeze reinforces the board’s commitment to keep college costs low,” Chairperson Randy Ramsey said in a press release Thursday. “We are also grateful to the General Assembly for helping us reduce the financial burden on our students. Together, we will ensure people from every corner of this state can afford a world-class education.”

System-wide for the 2021-2022 academic year, nonresident undergraduate tuition will increase by an average of 1.2 percent and student fees, for both resident and nonresident undergraduates, will increase by 2.2 percent, according to the press release. 

The BOG also discussed the addition of suicide counseling and prevention to campus security fees, and gave updates about COVID-19 protocol. 

What’s new?

  • The BOG announced in-state tuition will be "held flat" across UNC System schools. 
    • UNC System President Peter Hans said the System's weighted average for tuition and fees is significantly less than the national average. 
      • “North Carolina is one of vanishingly few states where average tuition has actually declined over the last five years,” he said. “That not only represents a genuine improvement in opportunity and quality of life for our students, but sends a resounding message to the next generation that the people's University remains within their reach.”
  • Chairperson of the Committee on Budget and FinanceJim Holmes proposed the addition of suicide prevention and intervention counseling to the list of campus security fees. 
    • Holmes said it is important that UNC institutions have the tools they need to reduce the risk of suicide. 
      • “Suicide is a clear and present danger that has not only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Holmes said. “This is a good recommendation to expand campuses' ability to utilize these funds as they deem appropriate.”
    • W. Marty Kotis, III, a BOG member on the Commitee on Budget and Finance, suggested an amendment to the proposal to include suicide intervention resources. 
      • “When addressing suicide, it’s often not a 9-to-5-type thing,” said Kotis. “They're sending out crisis response teams at 2 in the morning. To make sure we get the language right, we could say suicide intervention and crisis response teams, rather than broad suicide prevention.”
    • Holmes approved the amendment to include suicide intervention resources, and the Board voted to approve the proposal.
  • The Board also discussed COVID-19 updates for the UNC System. 
    • Ramsey said the UNC System has made many contributions to the community during the pandemic. 
      • “North Carolina A&T University opened a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on its Greensboro campus last week,” said Ramsey. “A&T is the first of our campuses to offer vaccines to the community, and several other UNC schools will follow suit.” 
    • Ramsey also said UNC Health has given 160,000 vaccines across the state. 
      • “This is a great example of our university's core mission of education and public service,” he said. “By collaborating with our state's health emergency management departments, North Carolina is moving towards a safe reopening.”
  • At Han's nomination, the BOG also voted unanimously to name Darrell Allison the next chancellor of Fayetteville State University. Allison was a signatory in a December 2019 Silent Sam op-ed for the News & Observer, and was one of the five BOG members tasked with finding a solution for the monument. 

Who is on the BOG? 

  • The BOG has 24 voting members, elected by the Senate and House of Representatives of the North Carolina General Assembly.
  • The president of the UNC Association of Student Governments serves as a nonvoting, ex officio member of the BOG.

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