The final 2010-11 state budget provides for a $10.4 million increase in budget appropriations compared to the amount of spending recommended for the UNC system in last year’s two-year budget plan. The dollar amount of the UNC System budget turned out very close to the Senate’s proposal of a $10 million appropriations increase, rather than the House’s proposal for a steep $98 million reduction for FY 2010-11.
The budget’s $70 million management flexibility reduction represents the most striking compromise between the House and Senates’ budget recommendations. While the Senate originally proposed a comparatively mild $50 million flexibility reduction, the House’s original proposal was a much more severe reduction of $150 million. Last year’s two-year budget plan already lowered the baseline expenditures for UNC operations for 2010-11 with a $100 million flexibility reduction. In sum, UNC’s operating budget will be $170 million lower then it was two years ago.
The House did receive its share of victories, as it was successful in its proposal to repeal the reimbursement of UNC campuses granting out-of-state athletes on full scholarship in-state tuition rates. Subsidizing the difference costs taxpayers nearly $10 million annually.
Major expansions and reductions include:
- Tuition Repeal: $34.8 million. Repeals the tuition rate increase enacted in the 2009 legislative session. The state therefore is replacing the lost revenue from the lower tuition rates by increasing the appropriation to the UNC system.
- Need-Based Financial Aid: $8.2 million. This provision increases funding for Need-Based Financial Aid to adjust for inflation and to fund an additional 4,600 students that qualify for assistance. General Fund appropriations in addition to 10 percent of lottery proceeds constitute the funding for Need-Based Financial Aid.
- Building Reserves Restored: $25 million. This will restore most of the building reserves cut in the 2009 session. The funds will pay for housekeeping, maintenance, and security requirements of the 40 new or renovated buildings completed in FY 2009-11. 286 new employees will be added pursuant to meeting the operation needs of these buildings.
- ECU Dental School Operations: $6 million. This funding will continue to meet the faculty and operating needs of the new School of Dentistry at East Carolina University, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2011.
- Distinguished Professor Endowment Fund: $3.5 million. Increases the Distinguished Professor Endowment Fund from its base budget appropriation of $8 million to reduce the backlog of 66 professorships awaiting State matching funds. This fund matches state money to private contributions at a one-to-one basis to create endowed chairs for distinguished professors.
- Aid to Private College Students: $4.5 million. This provision will increase funding to the Legislative Tuition Grant and the State Contractual Scholarship Fund in expectation of a 2.9 percent growth in enrollment in private North Carolina colleges for FY 2010-11.
- Management Flexibility Reduction: $70 million. This management flexibility reduction for the UNC operating budget with a priority on non-teaching related reductions. This reduction is in addition to the $100 million flexibility reduction already embedded courtesy of last year’s two-year spending plan.
- Repeal of Nonresident Athletic Full Scholarship Tuition Waiver: $9.4 million. This repeals the reimbursement of the UNC system for loss of revenue due to providing in-state tuition to out-of-state student athletes on full scholarships.
- UNC Advertising Reduced: $2.5 million. This reduces the UNC advertising budget by 24 percent. Campuses in the UNC System spent $10.6 million in advertising in FY 2008-09.
- Aid to UNC Hospitals Reduced: $8 million. Reduces the UNC Hospitals aid by $8 million in nonrecurring appropriations. This reduction will be offset by the UNC Hospitals’ $501 million in unrestricted reserves.