Public education consumes more than half of North Carolina’s annual public expenditures, and spending on the 17-campus university system accounts for a healthy portion of that at roughly $2.6 billion. In an era of tighter public budgets, it therefore stands to reason that the University of North Carolina budget would become an inviting target for conservative leaders in Raleigh.
Yet, even as newly installed Board of Governors members speak about eliminating redundancies in the UNC system, campus leaders contend that further spending cuts threaten their academic mission. It is an approach that should strike the East Carolina University as particularly worrisome, given that the school’s commitment to regional service acts as a lifeline to thousands.
While there were many items to like about the education component of Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed 2013-15 budget, higher education would see further spending reductions should the plan win legislative approval as is. He would impose some $135 million in cuts, that would inflict additional harm after more than $400 million was trimmed from the budget last year.
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