WHAT IS CITIZENS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION?

Citizens for Higher Education works to build political support for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the state’s other research universities. We aim to help the university:

  • Address the challenge of competition for funds;
  • Recruit and retain a world-class faculty;
  • Attract the best and brightest students; and
  • Enhance cutting-edge research that is critical to the state economy.

We are a political-action committee that backs state candidates who share our goals. We also take positions on issues to help the university. Our positions have always been consistent with those of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees.

Members pay dues of $2,000 a year to help. We also welcome junior members at reduced rates: $1,000 a year for members age 30 to 39, and $500 a year for those under 30. To become a member, click here or call 919-510-9240. To sign up for e-mail updates, click here.

Services cut, tuition up in a system that's supposed to be mostly free

The (Wilmington) StarNews
Editorial
September 24, 2011

State lawmakers can spin it any way they like, but the this year's budget cuts to our public universities will have significant and likely lasting effects.

Throughout the University of North Carolina system, 3,000 people lost their jobs – that's 3,000 more people who no longer had a salary from which they paid taxes, home mortgages and covered their bills. Another 1,500 vacant jobs were eliminated, leaving more work for the employees who remain.  Meanwhile, students at our flagship school, UNC-Chapel Hill, are living with the results of an $80.7 million budget cut: fewer classes, larger classes, skimpier maintenance and the double-whammy prospect of higher tuition coupled with less money for financial aid.... The university administration, seeking to prevent further bleeding, is considering yet another tuition increase, even as financial aid becomes less available. Students and their families, many of them also struggling as a result of an anemic economy, are being forced to pick up a greater share of what had been a constitutionally mandated state expense. As we've noted here before, the state constitution prescribes that public university education in North Carolina “as far as practicable, be extended to the people of the State free of expense.”  Click here to read more.


Submitted by Site Admin on Sat, 2011-09-24 12:02.
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Budget cuts cost UNC-Chapel Hill 16,000 class seats

WRAL-TV
September 21, 2011
Chapel Hill, N.C. — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill eliminated 500 classes this fall because of state budget cuts, meaning 16,000 fewer seats for students, according to a report to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday. The flagship campus of the UNC system will slash its budget by $80.7 million in 2011-12, officials told the board.... Chancellor Holden Thorp said UNC-Chapel Hill could be forced to seek more tuition increases to make up for the lost revenue.... "We think we have a significant opportunity to raise tuition without compromising access to the university."


Submitted by Site Admin on Thu, 2011-09-22 13:02.
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UNC-CH classes grow, staff shrinks

The News & Observer
September 22, 2011
BY LANA DOUGLAS - STAFF WRITER
CHAPEL HILL -- The decrease in state appropriations for several programs and budget cuts at UNC-Chapel Hill will mean larger class sizes, a decline in the campus's appearance, and staff layoffs.  UNC-CH is cutting $80.7 million in fiscal 2011-2012.... Arts and Sciences class sizes have increased by 23 percent, with an additional 40-50 students, and some class sizes are larger than the number accreditation officials recommend. The increase in class sizes "is the best indication that we've cut everything we can think of because we wouldn't do that unless we absolutely have to," Chancellor Holden Thorp said. "We have done everything we can do to keep those cuts away from the classroom, but we're running out of magic beans when it comes to doing that."  Click here to read more.


Submitted by Site Admin on Thu, 2011-09-22 10:58.
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Learn and grow

The News & Observer
Editorial
September 17, 2011

North Carolina has taken pride in its university system, from classrooms where undergraduates probe the arts and sciences to laboratories where professors carry out high-stakes research. Its community colleges, with their close ties to industry, have helped keep the state's workforce from being even more severely wracked by the recession. But to shortchange either of those great resources, or the public schools where young people acquire the essential tools for college success, is to yield to mediocrity, both educational and economic. The pump must be primed, or it will deliver nothing of value. And as a state and society, we will be at risk of a painful, tragic withering.  Click here to read more.


Submitted by Site Admin on Mon, 2011-09-19 11:09.
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UNC schools feeling the cuts

The News & Observer
September 9, 2011
By JANE STANCILL - Staff Writer
The budget cuts across the UNC system are being felt in ways both big and small. On Thursday, a report from UNC system officials tallied the job losses and other impacts from $414 million in state budget reductions this fiscal year.

The UNC system has cut just over 3,000 employees - including 488 full-time and 2,544 part-time workers. Another 1,487 vacant jobs were eliminated. Last year, the system's workforce across North Carolina was 47,000.... Most of the part-timers who were let go were contract instructors, known as adjunct professors. That means bigger classes and fewer academic choices for the university system's 220,000 students. For example, UNC Greensboro has cut 975 course sections, or about 40,000 student seats.  Click here to read more.


Submitted by Site Admin on Fri, 2011-09-09 11:08.
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Reaves talks budget, cuts during town-hall meeting at WSSU

Winston-Salem Journal
August 31, 2011
By Lisa O'Donnell

Early in his town-hall-style forum Tuesday on the campus of Winston-Salem State University, Chancellor Donald Reaves alluded to the "800-pound gorilla in the room," a reference to the $10 million loss in appropriations in the recent state budget.  The budget cut has resulted in more than 100 job eliminations, a reduction in supplies and travel, heavier class loads for faculty and 55 fewer adjunct faculty members.... (Reaves) is concerned about upperclassmen who may be struggling to find money to pay tuition and living expenses.  "We didn't get the financial aid funding we needed," he said. "We simply don't have enough financial aid to go around."  Click here to read more.



Budget cuts keep students out of school

Winston-Salem Journal
Editorial
August 29, 2011
As fall semester classes started at community colleges and public universities this month, students, their families and taxpayers saw the most dramatic effects yet of the monstrous cuts that the General Assembly has made to higher-education budgets over the last several years.  If the experience so far at UNC Asheville is at all representative of what occurs statewide, things do not look good. University officials told The Asheville Citizen-Times that many students are delaying enrollment or taking leaves of absence because they can't afford school.  Click here to read more.


Submitted by Site Admin on Mon, 2011-08-29 13:23.
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UNC feeling impact of budget cuts

The (Greensboro) News & Record
Sunday, August 28, 2011
By Jonnelle Davis
GREENSBORO — Days into the start of classes for UNC students, and the fears of $414 million in cuts to the university system have been realized.  Nearly all of the system’s 17 campuses have reported fewer faculty members and fewer classes, UNC President Tom Ross said. Instructors are teaching more courses and students.... UNC’s priorities remain the same, he said: to provide the highest quality education, the best faculty in the classroom, and research that enhances learning and spurs economic activity.  “Our mission is clear, and it is not changing,” Ross said. “There are going to be shifts in the way we do things. We’re already seeing that, where we’re going to have to be more efficient.”  Click here to read more.


Submitted by Site Admin on Mon, 2011-08-29 13:18.
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UNCC students feel the deep cuts

The Charlotte Observer
August 22, 2011
By David Perlmutt
After dramatic cuts in state funding over the past three years, UNC Charlotte's roughly 25,000 students will find a leaner university with fewer faculty and significantly larger classes when they start a new semester today. The cut this year, $33.5 million, or 16.2 percent, means 295 lost jobs at UNCC (including 171 faculty positions).... Overall, the system's loss is $414 million. "That has a huge impact on everything we do," said Beth Hardin, UNCC's vice chancellor for business affairs. "We just don't have enough people to teach."  Fewer professors means fewer course offerings and bulging classes, which also means some students may have to go a semester or two longer to get their degrees, UNCC officials say.  Click here to read more.

Submitted by Site Admin on Mon, 2011-08-22 15:07.
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Tighter budgets being felt in classrooms across UNC system

Wilmington StarNews
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Editorial
In just a couple of weeks students will be hitting the books in our state-funded universities as fall semester 2011 begins. They’ll be paying higher tuition, have less financial help available and most likely will squeeze into more crowded classrooms – that is, if they can get the classes they need at all.
Don’t tell us that cuts made by the Honorables over the past several years won’t hurt the accessibility, affordability and quality of higher education in this state....
We can get through short-term budget cutting, with a lot of pain and a little ingenuity. But our lawmakers and the public must commit to reinvesting in our state universities once the financial picture brightens a bit, or risk lasting and possibly irreparable damage.
If we allow our stellar university system to erode, we will be crippling ourselves and our state’s economic future. And that would be unforgivable.  Click here to read more.





Citizens for Higher Education is a registered Political Action Committee in the state of North Carolina.



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