The UNC Board of Governors discussed the new state spending plan ahead of Gov. Roy Cooper signing the budget into law Thursday.
The BOG also introduced adjustments to digital learning and risk management during its full board meeting.
- UNC-System President Peter Hans — who was inaugurated to the position last week — introduced the approved priority items within the new state budget, including:
- A five percent salary increase and bonuses for faculty and staff across the System, plus $1,000 or $500 bonuses
- $70 million for full funding of enrollment growth
- $15 million for the NC Promise tuition plan, a program to increase access to university education at some UNC-System schools by reducing student costs
- $11.5 million to expand Fayetteville State University, a historically Black university
- $29 million designated for funding building reserves
- $97 million toward Kitty Hawk Adult Online Learning, a program for adult learners, veterans and working people to attend university
- $2.2 billion over the next two fiscal years for sweeping capital investments, such as renovations and building construction
- James Holmes, chairperson of the Committee on Budget and Finance, said the committee attained a study on each institution’s space utilization and physical building properties. The study was conducted using data from the 2019 condition of campus buildings.
- “This annual study evaluates self-reported data for the UNC-System institutions to measure capacity, use and conditions of buildings,” he said.
- Holmes said the committee should be allowed to allocate funds from the N.C. General Assembly's 2021-23 conference budget.
- Holmes said the committee is looking into giving each institution's Board of Trustees more fiduciary power regarding the All-Funds budget.
- He said Wendy Floyd Murphy, vice chairperson of the BOG, provided an update on the Task Force on Pricing, Flexibility and Affordability, which focused on the total cost of attendance at System institutions. Holmes said the task force and committee approved two recommendations:
- For Hans to develop a regulation that establishes a common methodology for calculating cost of attendance
- A proposed revision to the student fee policy for each institutions’ BOT to approve housing and dining rates each year under the All-Funds budget
- Holmes said the committee also approved revisions on the policy for tuition rates.
- Timothy Ives, adjunct professor of medicine-internal medicine in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, announced the Journal of Digital Learning Innovation, an open-source journal meant to give academics greater access to publication.
- “Libraries are under siege right now," he said. "Crazy subscription prices — it even costs money for faculty just to get something published."
- The journal has an editorial board and editors to maintain it, Ives said.
- Mark Holton, chairperson of the Committee on Audit, Risk Management and Compliance, said both the committee and the Board approved a summary for the 2022 audit plans, which includes efforts toward technology and security reviews, federal COVID-19 funding, Title IX and protection of minors on each institution's campus.
- Holton said the committee has been working to identify enterprise risks with the System office and each institution. He said there was a common theme across all 17 campuses, with top risks including: IT governance, data security, talent management, financial stability, the funding model, enrollment, campus safety and security and compliance requirements.
- Carolyn Coward, chairperson of the Committee on Strategic Initiatives, said future students in the Kitty Hawk program will work with faculty and staff at partner universities to create online degree programs. This includes access to digital technology, marketing, recruitment, enrollment management and student success coaching.
- “With some limited exceptions, our System is not typically focused on serving working adults, but many of these individuals would benefit from a high-quality education our universities provide,” Coward said.
- David Powers, chairperson of the Committee on University Governance, said there are two vacancies on the UNC Health Care System Board of Directors.
- Hans recommended that the Board appoint Dr. Hayden P. Kirby and Dr. Bill Winkenwerder Jr. to serve two separate terms, Powers said. The Board unanimously approved the motion.
- The Board of Governors will not meet in December. The Board will reconvene Jan. 20.