August 7, 2009
To the Campus Community,
Earlier this week, the NC General Assembly approved a budget for 2009-11
aimed at closing a revenue shortfall of more than $4 billion. Governor
Purdue has said she will approve this budget.
In the days to come, UNC General Administration will be working to
understand all of the provisions of the budget, and it may be several weeks
before we know what the budget cut for our campus will be. However, the
legislation does contain definitive guidance about many items, and I wanted
to share those things that we know at this time.
The overall budget cut to the University system will be 10.4% in 2009-10
and 14.4% in 2010-11.
Federal stimulus money received by the State was allocated to the
University system, reducing the overall budget cuts. In 2009-10, stimulus
money, known as Educational Stabilization Funds, reduced the 10.4% budget
cut to 6%. In 2010-11, stimulus money reduced the 14.4% budget cut to 9.7%.
While this is a great help for the short term, it cannot be counted on
beyond these two years.
A Management Flexibility Reduction provision requires that the UNC system
allocate these cuts among the constituent campuses. We are waiting for UNC
General Administration to determine the amount that each campus will bear, a
process that may take several weeks. We will let you know as soon as that
information becomes available to us.
The legislature, at the request of the Board of Governors, specified that
these Management Flexibility Cuts shall not be allocated on an
across-the-board basis, and that specific categories of expenditures shall
be considered for reductions: senior and middle management positions,
centers and institutes, low enrollment degree programs, faculty workload,
speaker series, and institutional trust fund balances.
When we know what our share of the budget cuts will be, we will use the
2009-11 Resource Reallocation Budget Strategy in determining how these cuts
will be applied on our campus. This is the document that was developed in
consultation with UPC and which has guided our campus decisions for the past
Need based financial aid for North Carolina students the University
systems top priority for funding -- was increased by $23 million to a total
of $139.4 million. We do not yet know how much this will benefit students on
our campus, but it is extremely encouraging to know that the fund from which
all campuses draw has increased in this difficult economy.
The EARN Scholarship (which grants $4,000 per year to students at 200% of
the poverty level) was reduced from $4,000 to $2,000 in 2009-10, and
eliminated in 2010-11. This means that about 10,700 low-income students in
North Carolina, and 94 UNC Asheville students, will need to find some other
way to afford the education they are pursuing. Our Admissions and Financial
Aid experts have been preparing for this possibility for several months, and
they will be working with those students to help them manage this
The tuition increase for 2009-10 was approved as proposed by the Board of
Governors. Because 40% of the tuition increase is reserved for financial
aid, this will increase campus-based financial aid by an additional $12.5
million across the University system, and $121,000 on our campus.
This 2009-10 tuition increase will raise the cost of attendance for a UNC
Asheville student by $50 per year for resident undergraduates and $437 per
year for nonresident undergraduates. Fee increases, which do not require
legislative approval, were implemented as approved by our Board of Trustees
$12 million in specific budget cuts were made to Centers and Institutes at
several UNC campuses. While our Centers were not specifically identified for
cuts, an additional $1.7 million will need to be cut from Centers and
Institutes across the University system going forward. These will be
determined by the University system in consultation with the campuses.
UNC Asheville, along with UNC School of the Arts, received an additional
$1 million, in recognition of our unique mission and its budgetary
challenges. We are grateful to our legislators and the Governor for
reinforcing the value of a liberal arts education to North Carolina
students, and for investing in our continued success and national
In order to put this $1 million into context, we will need to wait until
we know about our specific campus budget cuts before making any decisions.
At that time, we will use the 2009-11 Resource Reallocation Budget Strategy
to guide us as we invest in our highest priorities, just as we did with the
More details are contained in the budget document that is posted on our
There is no doubt that it will be a difficult two years as we struggle
together to serve our students with fewer staff and faculty, heavier
workloads, and more meager resources than ever. The cuts we have already
made have been painful, and have affected each of us personally whether
through the loss of a colleague, adjustment of workload, the delay of
important professional development opportunities or the delay of purchases
vital to doing our best work. Each of us has sacrificed something
sometimes many things -- in order to focus our energy on our students
education and wellbeing. For that, I am grateful, proud and admiring of all
I look forward to working alongside you in the weeks and months ahead as we
fulfill our ambitious and important mission at UNC Asheville. We will gather
again at the next All Campus meeting on Friday, August 21, at 2 pm in the
Humanities Lecture Hall, and I will share any updates that we may have at
that time. I hope to see as many of you there as possible.