January 29, 2009
To the Campus
You may have read in the news recently that UNC President Erskine Bowles, in
response to the turbulent economy and the concerns of North Carolina
families, has led all campuses in the UNC system to revise our proposal for
tuition for the coming year. President Bowles’ outline of his proposal can
be found by following this link
On Monday of this week, I had an opportunity to brief our Board of Trustees
about this revised proposal. At that time, I was also able to brief them on
the budget situation as we know it. To a person, our Board members are
supportive of the way we have decided to manage our University in this
difficult time, and they stand prepared to help us in any way they can.
On Tuesday, I provided similar updates to Senior Staff, the University
Planning Council, and a meeting with the Chancellor's Staff Advisory
Committee (CSAC) is next week. On Friday, I will join President Bowles,
other UNC chancellors, and the Budget and Finance Committee of our Board of
Governors in a thorough discussion of this topic, which is of such crucial
importance to our students, our University, and our State.
It is important to remember that our original tuition proposal – like those
of other campuses -- made perfect sense in the economic climate of just a
few months ago, but today’s reality requires a reduction in our proposed
increase. Instead of an increase of $75 per year, President Bowles’ proposal
for UNC Asheville is $50 per year, to be allocated for student need-based
aid and critical needs of the campus. Things are moving quickly, and it is
our responsibility to understand as much as we can, so that we might make
good decisions that will serve our students and our State both today and
Although the decision about our tuition and fees is now in the hands of our
Board of Governors, and will ultimately be decided by the Legislature, we
have good reason to be proud of the way President Bowles has chosen to
balance the needs of students and families with those of our State coffers
Now more than ever, we will need the very best advice and effort of everyone
on campus to meet this significant financial challenge, while continuing to
do what we do best – educating our students in the liberal arts tradition.
Thanks to each and every one of you, our creativity and mountain tenacity
continues to serve us well, even in these difficult circumstances.
Frequent updates will continue in the weeks ahead.