|Open Letter from Chancellor Peacock|
|Written by Kenneth E. Peacock, Chancellor|
|Thursday, 14 April 2011 16:00|
Dear Members of the Appalachian Family:
This past Tuesday, the North Carolina House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee for Education released its budget proposal for 2011-12. The proposed reductions to the UNC System are devastating—a cut totaling 17.4 percent of the University System budget—and, as a result, today I am in Raleigh meeting with the House and Senate Leadership. UNC System President Tom Ross has stated, “a cut of this magnitude is equivalent to the entire state appropriations for UNC Asheville, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington, Western Carolina University and Winston-Salem State University combined.”
The House Appropriations Subcommittee did honor our request to provide flexibility to the University System for us to determine how the reductions should be taken as well as to fund enrollment growth and operating support for new buildings. For this, I am thankful. However, the proposed flexibility management reduction equals $22 million of the Appalachian State University budget. To provide context for the severity of this cut and if the reduction was applied solely to Appalachian’s academic offerings, it would be the equivalent of 950 fewer course sections and 24,700 fewer classroom seats. A cut this size would have an irreparable impact on the University.
As President Ross reminded us, the budget is far from finished. The House proposal is a critical first step. Over the next month, the House of Representatives will vote on the budget, followed by the Senate’s response. The House and Senate Leadership want to complete the budget process in early June in order to allow adequate time for state agencies to implement the reductions.
Many of you have asked me what you can do. One suggestion is for you to contact your local members of the General Assembly and reinforce the value of public higher education in North Carolina. Our elected members are challenged to fund the state’s priorities and to balance the budget. It is important they know the benefit of public higher education to the citizens of our state.
Please visit the Budget Web Site at www.chancellor.appstate.edu/budget for the complete House budget proposal.
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