UNC System Seeks Big Budget Increase

The UNC System Board of Governors has approved a budget request to the N.C. General Assembly that includes almost $787 million in new spending over the next two years.

The request faces a tough time in Raleigh – it came just days after all state agencies were told to send 0.75 percent of this year’s budget back to the state to help cover hurricane damage.

The request seeks an increase of nearly 28 percent for the 2005-06 year from the current budget of just less than $2 billion. Under the proposed budget, the UNC System would receive more than $2.5 billion for 2005-06 and about $2.7 billion for 2006-07.

The new money would fund increased student enrollment at the 16 UNC System schools, faculty salary increases, library renovations and technological improvements.

According to the budget proposal, Carolina would receive $211 million in academic funding for 2005-06 and $218 million for 2006-07. Of all the UNC System schools, only N.C. State University receives more money from the state than Carolina.

The request calls for a 7.5 percent increase in faculty salaries for each of the next two years, amounting to $100 million next year and $214 million in two years.

The proposal also tagged systemwide “expansions and improvements” for significant funding. The board seeks $283 million for improvements for 2005-06 and $371 million for 2006-07.