- The University of North Carolina System has mandated a tuition freeze and cap on student fees, while using an expenditure analysis to cut appropriations by nearly $1 billion to its 17 campuses.
- Critics of the new funding system also say the system struggles with classifications between faculty and staff, which alters schools’ funding and attractiveness in employee recruitment and compensation.
- Families are likely to endorse the tuition freeze as a method of boosting affordability, but some legislators say the effects of the freeze, like student service reduction or course offerings, will not be felt until years later.
Systems throughout the country are battling legislative bodies for relief from budget cuts and tuition freezes, but costs for other state-mandated expenses like healthcare and pension benefits continue to drain tax revenues.
But for those campus leaders who don’t have billion-dollar endowments or strong allies in state government, strategies to build revenue and increase advocacy must become a top priority. Arizona State University has developed a non-profit corporation designed to produce revenue from research, real estate, and technology development. Some schools are partnering with agencies to recruit international students who will pay out-of-state tuition financed by their respective governments.
For college and university leaders, the pressure to remain attractive and viable becomes a game of creativity and aggression in the marketplace.