UNC system finance committee reviews budget reductions

Nov. 07, 2013 @ 06:22 PM

The UNC Board of Governors Budget and Finance Committee reviewed the multi-million dollar hit to UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. Central University programs Thursday as part of its system-wide budget reduction overview.
The committee convened Thursday at N.C. State University’s Hunt Library.
Andrea Poole, UNC assistant vice president for finance, walked board members through the implementation report of fiscal 2013-14 budget reductions, which was submitted by Nov. 1 and is still under review by the Office of State Budget and Management.
UNC-Chapel Hill’s allocated reductions totaled $21 million, and NCCU was allocated about $3.8 million in cuts.
Across the UNC system, which comprises 17 institutions, the 2013-14 state budget required $65.8 million in management flexibility cuts, $15.8 million in instructional efficiencies cuts, and $10 million in operational and administrative efficiencies cuts.
The Board of Governors also approved a $3 million reduction to be distributed among the 17 schools.
These reductions total $94.6 million, the majority of which were made to personnel expenditures, at 61 percent, and purchased services and supplies, at 15 percent each.
Institutions eliminated 701 positions from general funding support. Ninety-six of those were filled positions, according to the report.
Campuses also reported an additional 671 people who lost their jobs, such as those in temporary positions, student employees and adjunct faculty, and can no longer be hired as a result of the state budget reductions.
“We’ve got about half our campuses aren’t growing and others are growing in the opposite direction because they’re following our mandate to up their academic standards so that they’ll have greater success,” said board member Hannah Gage. “But in this period of transition, where we’re also cutting our budget, there is a lot of struggle on the smaller campuses, on all of the campuses.”
Fourteen schools will experience a tuition rate increase for nonresident undergraduate students effective 2014-15. UNC-Chapel Hill will see a 12.3-percent increase, from a$28,205 tuition rate to $31,674 in 2014-15.
NCCU has been mandated a 6-percent tuition rate increase for nonresident undergraduates, jumping from $14,028 to $14,870.
Four schools also cut low-enrollment, low-performing and redundant programs. East Carolina University eliminated wood design; N.C. State eliminated its master of agricultural education, master of science in agricultural education, master of immunology, master of science in immunology, and Ph.D. in immunology; and UNC-Greensboro cut its bio music program and UNC-Pembroke cut its master of music education.
UNC board member Fred N. Eshelman said last year, the board revised its five-year strategic plan for the UNC system. Legislators had asked the board to find additional savings, and at the time, they found tens of millions of dollars, also positioning themselves to be strong competitors, especially in research and development, against other university systems that were struggling financially.
“And the whole thing was gutted,” Eshelman said. “And I hate to be blunt about it, but it was. So this whole thing you’ve got in front of you is a whole big pile of bad news. ... We really, in my opinion, missed a golden opportunity to sock it to some of our peers, and I hope that in the future we can recover some of this stuff and get back on the offense.”
The entire UNC Board of Governors is holding its meeting today and will receive committee updates.