The UNC Board of Governors this morning reviewed the budget that is now before Gov. Bev Perdue. The UNC numbers -- the negative numbers -- were big.
The UNC system as a whole would be reduced 14.6 percent, or $407 million under the legislative budget. The cut to the 17 campuses would be 13 percent -- a reduction of $344 million.
But UNC President Tom Ross reminded the board that earlier in the year, there was talk of a bigger reduction. At one point, the figure of 30 percent was bandied about. Under an early draft proposal, UNC would have been sliced by 21 percent.
The end result is tough, but it could have been worse, he said. Still, it's substantial.
"There are lots of ways we can look at this and lots of ways we can approach it. One is, we can moan and groan," Ross said. "The other is, that we can understand that we have a responsibility to the people of North Carolina, that we've been educating students since 1795 and that we're not going to stop and we're not going to stop doing it with excellence.
"We have to make some adjustments and they're going to be difficult," he added. "They're going to be painful and they're going to have consequences, there's no question about that, we've been clear with the legislative leadership. But we are going to survive this."
Ross said that given the insufficient financial aid dollars for the coming year, he recommends against a supplemental tuition increase to deal with the cuts. He said financial aid packages have already been put together for students for the next academic year.