Bill Friday: It’s time to draw the line on tuition increases at NC universities (Audio)

Dr. Bill Friday, president emeritus of the UNC system, says North Carolina is at the point where it is violating the State Constitution, which states higher education should be offered as free as practicable.

In a weekend radio interview on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon, Dr. Friday said it is time to draw a line on tuition hikes.

The 91-year-old, who served as the first president of the expanded UNC system, says continued cuts by the legislature have seriously hurt the institution.

At the same time, the trend of offsetting those cuts by raising tuition and fees has only discouraged young people from seeking higher education:

“One out of three families in North Carolina don’t gross $35,000 a year…the tragedy is these families don’t even apply anymore, see they have no resource base to work from,” explained Friday.

Friday believes the state’s lawmakers should have the courage to close billions of dollars in exemptions and tax loopholes rather than “whacking at” the budgets of North Carolina’s public schools and universities.

To hear a portion of Dr. Friday’s interview, click below. To hear the full segment (including this week’s other  interviews with Bob Etheridge and author Jeff Clements)  visit the Radio Interview section of the N.C. Policy Watch website.

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4 Comments

  1. Frank Burns

    April 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Tuition increases have been greater than inflation so therefore it would be appropriate to investigate which costs should be cut. Inflation is what, around 3%? So why are we seeing tuition increases like we’re seeing? We must be paying the staff too much or maybe we have too much staff at the Universities. I hope nobody is thinking that our taxes should be raised to take up the slack.

  2. david esmay

    April 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    @ Frank. Yeah, they should, investing in education reaps huge benefits for the state.

  3. Frank Burns

    April 3, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    David, That’s a big negative on that. Your comment is rejected as being unacceptable to the middle class. Education is priced too high and the education professionals are to blame. There is no excuse for these cost increases.

  4. Ricky Leung

    April 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

    http://www.aplu.org/page.aspx?pid=309

    “The money available and cost of providing educati on at public universities is not increasing. One of the most robust findings in the research literature is that the real cost per student in public higher education is not increasing. This finding was most recently repeated by the Delta Cost Project in its 2008 study, The Growing Imbalance. The constant-cost finding necessarily follows from data that demonstrate that public higher education revenues per student (the sum of state appropriations plus net tuition receipts) was $10,091 in 1996 and increased to only $10,294 in 2006. Cost per student has remained constant because revenue per student was constant; funds were not available to increase expenditures further. Public university managers have been highly effective at controlling costs; indeed, they were compelled to be, given the resources available.

    [...]

    Public university tuition has increased because real per student appropriati ons have declined. This finding appears again and again in serious examinations of the causes of public university tuition inflation. Efforts to control tuition in the public sector of higher education are generally misdirected, since they focus on cost. Overall cost per student has been constant. Tuition increases have been just sufficient to offset reduced state subsidies, but not to increase public university budgets.”