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The Daily Tar Heel

Board of Governors discuss enrollment restrictions, laboratory schools

The North Carolina General Assembly sits in Raleigh.

At the UNC Board of Governors meeting on Thursday, Nov. 16, board members discussed the freshman enrollment caps for out-of-state students and failing reports for laboratory schools. They also elected to send a return on investment report covering the state’s laboratory schools to the General Assembly for consideration, and board member Terry Hutchens announced the UNC System police officer award winners and honorable mentions. 

What’s new?

  • Board member Joel Ford moved to consider the enrollment restrictions for out-of-state students, requesting further debate on the topic moving forward. 
    • Board member Woody White said the policy needs to be revisited because it was originally voted on in 1986 and was based on data that has since changed. 
      • Although he believes in-state students should be given preferential treatment, assuming they meet the minimum criteria, he said he sees changing demographics as a spring board of opportunity to evaluate enrollment caps for each institution within the UNC System with present-day data. 
    • An increase in interest from out-of-state students, particularly for UNC System’s historically Black colleges and universities, led to policy changes in recent years, Board of Governors Chair Randall Ramsey said
      • “I think we are going to find a very spirited discussion about this policy going forward because there are some who believe that the policy isn’t strict enough, there are some who believe it is too strict,” he said
    • Board member Kirk Bradley said members reviewed the enrollment caps and found a 1 percent increase in overall enrollment and a 6 percent rise in first-year students. 
      • Bradley added that UNC Wilmington exceeded the out-of-state undergraduate cap for the second consecutive year and will be subject to a financial penalty and UNC-Chapel Hill has been warned regarding the cap. 
  • The Committee on Strategic Initiatives and the Committee on Education Planning, Policies, and Programs shared a report of the return on investment associated with almost every undergraduate and graduate degree program in the state. 
    • The two-year study included 47 million wage records from the N.C. Department of Commerce, 3 million student records from the UNC Student DataMart, 1.7 million records from the UNC Finance DataMart and 900,000 from the Financial Aid Office on each campus. Results are based on projected earnings for 220,000 UNC System graduates, Holton said
      • Significant findings include 94 percent of undergraduate degree programs and 91 percent of graduate degree programs showing a positive ROI and almost 90 percent of students who are at the lowest income bracket when they enroll experiencing economic mobility throughout their career. 
    • Ramsey said he wants to see the data be used as a vigorous tool for students and their families. Although the data shows positive ROI for students, He said it may not be as beneficial for the universities themselves. 
  • The Subcommittee on Laboratory Schools shared the approved 2022-23 lab school evaluation report, designed to inform the General Assembly on demographic admissions and processes, student achievement data and more from lab schools. 
    • C. Philip Byers, chair of the Board of Governors' special committee on laboratory schools, said according to the report, students at most laboratory schools met and many came close to exceeding academic growth expectations.
      • Because the subcommittee is in its seventh year, he said the Board needs to focus on increasing proficiency in reading and math rather than simply meeting expectations. 
      • “Students who are proficient in reading and math are more likely to be successful in high school, enroll in college and find meaningful careers,” Byers said. “We can and we must raise this bar.”
  • The Board of Governors recognized several officers for the Police Officer of the Year Award to honor those who serve students, staff and faculty on campuses. 
    • UNC-CH Investigator Nick Lynch, who leads the Criminal Investigations Division in cases that are closed or cleared by arrest, received an honorable mention. 
      • Officer Lynch was recognized for his dedication to speak with victims after hours, promote best practices for dignitary visits on campus, make improvements for the search warrant process in Orange County and his work developing a training program for rape aggression defense classes.  
    • Officer Jonathan Hill from UNC Wilmington was awarded the Act of Valor — which seeks to honor a courageous deed — for his response to and handling of a report of a suicidal student. 

The board will meet again on Dec. 14, if business warrants.


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