State education leaders are warning lawmakers that double-digit budget cuts will affect university and community college classrooms.
State lawmakers are looking for spending cuts to offset a $3.2 billion shortfall next year. But higher education officials say a proposal to cut their budgets 10% would mean fewer seats, fewer classrooms, and higher tuition. UNC Chief Operating Officer Jeff Davies says universities already sustained huge cuts in this year’s budget. He says schools would have to raise tuition 6.5% just to keep their doors open:
"The 10% budget cuts, at $270 million, would reflect the entire budgets of Appalachian, Elizabeth City, the Cooperative Extension Service at NC State, the School of the Arts, and the School of Science and Math."
Davies downplayed last month’s comment by UNC chief Erskine Bowles that closing a campus might be necessary. But he says a 10% cut would mean about 2,000 layoffs systemwide.