On Sept. 15 and 16, the Board of Governors for the University of North Carolina school systems met to discuss COVID-19 protocols and their effects on budgets. Key points of focus from the meeting were the continuation of lessening COVID-19 restrictions, as well as a potential budget increase that will be discussed and voted on Nov. 17 and 18. Both topics will have immense effects on students of UNC institutions.
President Peter Hans discusses the current effects of COVID-19 on UNC schools and students, recognizing that the system is operating with in-person classes and a normal course year. Hans states it is “inevitable” that schools will continue to see COVID-19 cases.
So far, 100,000 vaccines across the UNC system have been administered in order to prevent the spread. With that information, the board will continue to advise universities to take COVID-19 precautions. Universities are expected to keep campuses at full capacity through both fall and spring semesters.
Hans also discussed how the pandemic has hurt the personal budget of UNC schools. He advises that tuition rates should either stay the same or face a possible reduction. If the Board endorses their recommendations, this will be the sixth consecutive year of no budget increase for fall in-state tuition.
The 2021 annual report on budget and finance summarizes the total cost for attendance of UNC school systems. The report considers possible policy reforms that could encourage higher attendance rates, along with improving the affordability of on-campus dining and housing plans.
Should possible revisions of the budget be passed, it will be the largest infrastructure infusion ever in the history of UNC school systems.