The UNC Asheville Board of Trustees on Tuesday voted unanimously to
reaffirm a campus-based tuition increase recommendation that it originally
passed in 2003. If approved by the University of North Carolina Board of
Governors, the recommendation would result in an increase in UNC
Asheville's in-state tuition by $300 a year and out-of-state tuition by
$600 a year for the next two academic years, 2005-06 and 2006-07. The
recommendation - originally developed and recently reaffirmed by a
16-member campus task force representing faculty, staff, administrators
and students -- now moves to the University of North Carolina Office of
the President and the UNC Board of Governors for consideration.
The vote Tuesday reaffirmed the Board of Trustees' recommendation
passed in December 2003, which requested the identical annual increases
for three academic years, beginning with 2004-05. The University of North
Carolina Board of Governors reduced UNC Asheville's 2004-05 campus-based
tuition increase to $225 a year for in-state students, approved the $600 a
year increase for out-of-state students, and did not take up consideration
of increases for subsequent years. UNC Asheville's current annual tuition
is $1,897 a year for in-state students and $11,097 for out-of-state
If the recommendation passed Tuesday is approved, a full 36 percent of
the tuition increase will be set aside for students who are on need-based
financial aid. "We know, in requesting this tuition increase, that
students and their families can find it challenging to pay for a college
education. It is for this reason that we would devote more than one-third
of the tuition increase to ease the burden of those least able to absorb
the increase," said UNC Asheville Chancellor Jim Mullen.
Some 46 percent of the proposed tuition increase would be earmarked for
faculty salaries and benefits to continue to address the challenge UNC
Asheville faces in recruiting and retaining excellent faculty.
"Although UNC Asheville's faculty salaries continue to lag behind
the peer institution averages, the cost of living and merit increases
which would result from this package would have a very positive effect on
our ability to compete in the marketplace for new faculty hires,"
said Mark Padilla, UNC Asheville Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic
and Student Affairs. "The recommendation voted on today is the
continuation of a three-year plan we developed to bring faculty salaries
up to a competitive level."
UNC Asheville's faculty salaries remain among the lowest paid on
University of North Carolina campuses and at peer institutions. UNC
Asheville continues to rank 15th among the 16 UNC campuses in average
budgeted faculty salaries.
In addition, 18 percent of the proposed tuition increase would go to
staff salaries and benefits, with the highest priority placed on bringing
up the wages of those employees paid the least. About 52 percent of UNC
Asheville's staff earn less than $27,000 a year.
The Board of Trustees also unanimously approved a recommendation to
increase student fees for 2005-06 by $66.50 per semester, bringing fees up
from $747.75 to $814.25 a semester. The recommendation came from a
seven-member campus committee, made up of representatives from
administration, staff and students. The fees recommendation now moves to
the UNC Office of the President and the UNC Board of Governors for
Specific fees increases that were recommended are: a $33 increase in
the Highsmith University Union fee, which would expand student programming
and help pay for student workers and other staff in the new student union;
a $22.50 increase in the Athletic fee, which would help pay for increased
operating costs, maintenance of facilities, and meeting NCAA requirements;
a $5.50 increase in the Recreation fee, which would go toward meeting the
increased demand for additional student outdoor recreation programs; a $4
increase in the Cultural and Special Events fee, which would help pay
part-time events support staff; and a $1.50 increase in the Educational
and Technology fee, which would help fund computing infrastructure and
Porscha Yount, UNC Asheville Student Government Association president
and member of the Board of Trustees, voted in favor of both the tuition
and fees recommendations. "Students are willing to put money forward
when they know where it's going and that it will improve the
university," she said.