On cap and gown weekend, higher education leaders take stock (video)

Across North Carolina this weekend, thousands of college graduates will be collecting their diplomas and entering what they hope will be an improving job market.

NC State University Chancellor Randy Woodson is mindful of not only what the students have accomplished, but the hard work from his faculty and staff under tight state budget constraints to help the Class of 2015 reach this goal.

“I think the UNC system has lost over $120 million in the last few years, some of which has been made up by tuition, but not all of it,” explained Woodson. “So, as a result our funding per-student has gone down over the last five years as a system, which is a challenge.”

Gov. Pat McCrory’s latest budget proposal calls for the UNC system to trim another two percent from the bottom line, about $50 million. House leaders will present their budget blueprint for the state and the UNC system the week of May 18th.

Chancellor Woodson joins us this weekend on NC’s Policy Watch’s News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon to discuss the need to invest in higher education, the impact of rising tuition rates, and some recent good news regarding NCSU’s scholarship endowment.

Click below to hear a preview of our radio interview with NC State’s Chancellor.

For more on this weekend’s graduation activities with their notable commencement speakers, check out our list below:

Saturday, May 9th:
North Carolina State University
Commencement Speaker: France A. Córdova, National Science Foundation Director
North Carolina Central University
Commencement Speaker:  Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education
Elizabeth City State University
Commencement Speaker:  Gov. Pat McCrory
UNC School of the Arts
Commencement Speaker:Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President
University of North Carolina at Asheville
Commencement Speaker: Wiley Cash, Novelist
Shaw University 
Commencement Speaker: Congressman G.K. Butterfield

Sunday, May 10th:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Commencement Speaker: Jason Kilar, former CEO of Hulu

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