UNC Budget Close To Completion

CHAPEL HILL – UNC Provost Jim Dean says University leaders are in the process of putting the final touches on this year’s budget.

“We’re on a fiscal year budget of July through June, but we can’t really do our budgeting until the legislature does their budgeting, and then the General Administration does their budget,” Dean says. “We’re downstream from that, so we’re getting close to the end of the budgeting.”

At its Aug. 9 meeting, the UNC System’s Board of Governors made it’s allocations for the 16 campuses, based on the North Carolina General Assembly’s two-year budget plan.

The legislature’s spending plan, which was approved in July, called for substantial cuts to the UNC System. The spending plan designated $115 million in permanent funding reductions to the System’s base operating budget.

State budget cuts also called for the elimination of all funding for the UNC School of Medicine.  Five years ago, appropriations for the School of Medicine were about $46 million.

“We did better than we might have done but not quite so well as we would have hoped in certain areas,” Dean says. “We did end up with some budget cuts again. They are not so bad as we feared at one point.”

During four consecutive years of state budget cuts since the economic downturn, UNC campuses including Chapel Hill have faced significant reductions in state funding. Carolina has taken approximately $235 million in total state cuts since 2008, according to UNC’s website.


UNC Student Arrested During Protest: “We Felt Like We Had No Other Option”

CHAPEL HILL –Two UNC students were arrested Wednesday in Raleigh during in a protest of more than 350 people. The group rallied against a recent wave of controversial state legislation.

“In this moment, we felt like we had no other option,” said UNC senior Zaina Alsous.

The group, NC Student Power Union, mobilized hundreds of college students from 10 universities across the state on May Day.

Alsous and fellow UNC student Carissa Morrison were both charged with disorderly conduct. Morrison was also charged with misdemeanor assault on a government official. Five students in total were taken into custody.

The rally began at the NC State Bell Tower and ended at the NC State Legislature. Protestors held a banner that read: “We Demand a Future! Stop budget cuts! Stop racist voter laws! Stop attacks on workers!”

This coming just two days after 17 people were arresting during an NAACP demonstration against a House-supported voter ID bill.

“We hope that other community members will see what is going on and express their discontent as well. We know that these policies are incredibly unpopular,” Alsous said.

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget cuts to the UNC System total more than $140 million.

“I don’t know any college who wants to pay more for tuition, who wants to lose their financial aid, and with these budget cuts, more than 8,000 students would lose financial aid,” Alsous said.

Art Pope is McCrory’s budget director –Alsous believes with the proposed budget cuts, affordable and accessible higher education is being put at risk.

“We’ve had call-in days where hundreds of calls have been made to Pope and well as Governor McCrory urging them to stop attacking public education. And we’ve never gotten a response,” Alsous said.

Leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP, and the Southern Workers Assembly delivered messages of support for the students’ protest.

Alsous said the protests will continue throughout the summer.