Local/State

McCrory's higher education budget draws criticism

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Some taxpayers are calling Gov. Pat McCrory's budget plan absurd and shortsighted especially when it comes to higher education

McCrory wants to withhold millions from the UNC System in his proposed budget which was released Wednesday. He said it is part of an effort to make government run more efficiently.

The North Carolina State University chancellor says the final impacts won't be known for some time, but it is clear he has concerns.

McCrory is proposing to a cut of more than $55 million to the UNC system. That comes after hundreds of millions of dollars were wiped out of the budget the previous year.

"Further reductions in funding beyond what we have experienced in recent years would certainly affect our ability to fulfill our mission of serving the people of North Carolina," said NC State Chancellor Dr. Randy Woodson.

The governor said in-state tuition would stay the same, but out-of-state students would see an increase.

"College is already really expensive already," said NC State sophomore Dani Foster.

One professor who spoke to ABC11 worried what type of education he will offer students under this proposal or if he'll even be in a position to still teach.

"We need to recruit in new areas and that's been very difficult for the last few years and it looks to be very difficult for the future," said UNC English Professor Ben Clark. "I'm particularly concerned because I'm in humanities and I think it's been made clear the humanities are not a priority."

The proposal does make some investments in the UNC system.

An estimated $63 million will be funneled into the strategic direction plan, which will promote enrollment in high demand fields.

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