UNC system to absorb $64 million net funding reduction

The state budget approved in July by the N.C. General Assembly included a permanent funding reduction of $115 million for the UNC system. That amounts to approximately 4.5 percent of the system’s base operating budget, UNC President Tom Ross said in a message to the 17 constituent campuses.

The largest share of that cut includes a management-flexibility reduction of $65.8 million, $25.8 million for all the efficiencies proposed in the UNC system’s new five-year Strategic Plan and the elimination of all funding for Carolina’s School of Medicine (last year $15 million was allocated), Ross said.

After accounting for funding adjustments for enrollment changes and reserves for operating new buildings, the net funding reduction for the system is a little more than $64 million, or about 2.5 percent, he said.

“Absorbing these required reductions will be difficult and painful, but the General Assembly provided us with the flexibility to determine how many of the cuts will be implemented, enabling campus leaders to mitigate harm to the core mission of our institutions,” Ross told the campuses in an Aug. 21 message.

On the plus side, he said, enrollment growth across the UNC system was fully funded, the legislature allocated $60 million for building repairs and renovations (the first time in several years the state has allocated funding for the growing backlog of deferred maintenance for campuses), and legislatively mandated tuition hikes for out-of-state students were confined to undergraduates.

Non-resident undergraduates will pay more tuition at 14 campuses in 2014–15, with that revenue allocated for the state’s general fund. Lawmakers stipulated a 12.3 percent hike at four campuses, including Carolina. The remaining 10 campuses will impose a 6 percent increase in 2014–15 (N.C. State and UNC-Charlotte are not required to raise out-of-state tuition).

Read the message from Ross.

Read more about the impact of the budget cuts at Carolina, including a cut of $8 million for the University Cancer Research Fund.

Published August 26, 2013.