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Higher Education Works Foundation

How to make higher education more accessible and affordable makes for some heated debate. UNC President Margaret Spellings and her counterpart in the community college system joined the House Speaker in Charlotte last week to discuss that. There was a lot of agreement on stage, but among North Carolina policy makers the topic has come with some tension. 

Higher Education Works Foundaiton

UNC System President Margaret Spellings and her community college counterpart shared a stage in Charlotte last night with House Speaker Tim Moore. They fielded questions about how to make higher education more affordable and accessible. 

The U.S. National Whitewater Center will not reopen its river rapids Saturday as was scheduled. Mecklenburg County officials say the delay is of the center's own making. The center needs a permit from the county, but the center only sent in its application for the permit last Thursday, Feb. 23. The county is still reviewing the application.

Lisa Worf / WFAE

There's a plan to reduce tuition to $500 a semester at a handful of UNC system schools. Students at other UNC universities wouldn't have to worry about tuition hikes, since they'd pay the same tuition for their first four years. It's all laid out in a state senate bill that has gained some traction and lots of concern. 

NC General Assembly

Possible name changes for campuses are no longer part of a senate bill that would drastically cut tuition at five UNC system schools and fix tuition at others.

Every so often the idea comes up of putting the UNC moniker on the names of state universities that struggle with enrollment. That happened to UNC-Pembroke, formerly Pembroke State University, in 1996.

This bill had many alums of some of the state's historically black universities worried their school's name would disappear. But the bill's sponsor Tom Apodaca says the bill no longer deals with the naming of schools.

CPCC

A plan by state lawmakers to reroute lower-performing students otherwise bound for UNC schools through community college has garnered a lot of concern from university leaders. NC GAP is aimed at making it cheaper for students to get a college diploma. A recent report compiled by both systems found it would do that, but would also likely result in fewer students graduating with bachelor’s degrees. 

twbuckner/ Flickr

Some students applying to UNC system schools next year may not get an outright acceptance or rejection letter. Instead, the university may say, “We’ll take you, but go to community college first.” 

More than a third of UNC system students start college, but never finish or take longer than six years to graduate. Many of these students are those whose grades and scores are just good enough to merit an acceptance. Maybe they’re not prepared or life just gets in the way.   

www.northcarolina.edu

Chancellors at a dozen UNC system schools are getting pay raises of between 8 and 19 percent. 

UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois received one of the biggest raises at $63,000.  His base salary is now $388,000. NC State’s Chancellor Randy Woodson received a $70,000 raise and UNC Chapel Hill’s Chancellor Carol Folt a $50,000 one. 

By Dave DeWitt, NC Public Radio

The UNC Board of Governors has hired a new system president. Margaret Spellings comes to the job from Texas, where she is currently the director of the George Bush Presidential Center. She served the second President Bush as education secretary and political advisor.

Margaret Spellings has spent her professional life in the eye of the political storm. And if today’s announcement and reaction is any indication, it’s not going to get any less windy.

First, let’s start with those who believe they have hired a “game-changer.”

www.northcarolina.edu

Faculty leaders in the UNC system have some scathing criticism for the board that governs North Carolina's public universities. The Faculty Assembly for the 17-campus system released a statement Thursday airing their concerns with an upcoming vote on a new system president.

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