CHAPEL HILL – The state budget for fiscal year 2013-14 will take effect on July 1, and some members of the UNC Board of Governors Budget and Finance committee expressed concern about the effects on the system.
At yesterday’s meeting, Fred Eshelman, a member of the Budget and Finance committee, presented a concern about possible cuts in future years.
“If I’m in Raleigh and I hand you this, and you accommodate it without too much trouble, guess what will happen next year?” Eshelman said.
“Cut you more?” said Board of Governors chair Peter Hans.
“Yeah,” Eshelman said.
Four proposed budgets were discussed at Thursday’s meeting with general fund appropriation reduction recommendations from one to eight percent. The UNC Board of Governors’ budget is the lightest cut at 1 percent; Governor Pat McCrory’s is the steepest at 8.1 percent. Schools in the UNC system were told to plan for a 2-5 percent budget cut for the upcoming year since the budget will not likely be approved until at least June 30 and the level of the cut can’t be assumed.
Eshelman disagrees with the proposed budget cuts, claiming that rather than cutting the budget the schools should go on the attack and spend more.
“So that if ever there was a time to go on the attack, it’s right now,” Eshelman said.
“Oh, I see what you mean, going after top talent,” Hans said.
“Yeah, you got to spend more to make more, that’s just how it is,” Eshelman said.
The UNC Board of Governors proposed a net increase in the budget from last year at 4.1 percent, but the Governor’s office, the Senate, and the House all proposed cuts to the UNC budget. The Governor’s office proposed a 5.4 percent cut, the Senate proposed a 1.1 percent cut and the House proposed a 4.2 percent cut.
Hans said he is confident this will not be as serious year-to-year since the Medicare explosion impacted the proposed budget for this and needs immediate attention, putting education on the back burner.
“But they’re also dealing with a Medicaid situation that has ballooned, just exploded; they’ve got tremendous needs, unmet needs,” Hans said.
The full Board of Governors met at 9 a.m. Friday.