H. Frank Grainger, Board of Governors, Vice Chairman
Ann B. Goodnight, Board of Governors, Secretary
W. Louis Bissette, JR, Board of Governors
John M. Blackburn, Board of Governors
Peaches Gunter Blank, Board of Governors
Laura W. Buffaloe, Board of Governors
Cameron Carswell, Board of Governors
Bill Daughtridge, Jr., Board of Governors
Walter C. Davenport, Board of Governors
James M. Deal, Jr., Board of Governors
Phillip R. Dixon, Board of Governors
Fred N. Eshelmen, Board of Governors
John C. Fennebresque, Board of Governors
Dudley E. Flood, Board of Governors
Paul Fulton, Board of Governors
Hannah D. Gage, Board of Governors
James E. Holshouser, Jr., Board of Governors
G. Leroy Lail, Board of Governors
Mary Ann Maxwell, Board of Governors
W. Edwin McMahan, Board of Governors
Charles H. Mercer, Jr., Board of Governors
Fred G. Mills, Board of Governors
Burley B. Mitchell, Jr., Board of Governors
Hari H. Nath, Board of Governors
David M. Powers, Board of Governors
Irvin A. Roseman, Board of Governors
Raiford Trask, III, Board of Governors
Phillip D. Walker, Board of Governors
J. Bradley Wilson, Board of Governors
Aldona Zofia Wos, Board of Governors
David W. Young, Board of Governors
Richard F. Taylor, Board of Governors
Thomas J. Harrelson, Board of Governors
Peter D. Hans, Board of Governors, Chairman
Tom Ross, President of UNC System and members of the Board of Governors
As students of the UNC school system, we deliver this letter with deep concern for the future of our University. In the past 10 years, average tuition at UNC System schools has more than doubled, student-to-professor ratios have risen, and entire academic programs have been scaled back or eliminated. The 25% minimum portion of tuition revenues set aside to fund need-based financial aid has been...
As students of the UNC school system, we deliver this letter with deep concern for the future of our University. In the past 10 years, average tuition at UNC System schools has more than doubled, student-to-professor ratios have risen, and entire academic programs have been scaled back or eliminated. The 25% minimum portion of tuition revenues set aside to fund need-based financial aid has been removed. Without financial aid, many working-class students cannot attend this University. In addition to these pressing struggles, The UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions that was recently established to map out the next five years of the UNC system lacks meaningful representation of students, workers, and faculty. As integral members of this University community, we should have a say in the future of our schools.
Because we believe our public education is on the line, because we want a University that welcomes and supports future generations of North Carolinians, regardless of their socio-economic status, and because we want to uplift the voices of those who make our education possible, we are coming together to take a stand. The North Carolina Student Power Union is building a movement to transform the current system into one where our universities are democratic institutions run by those who make them work. We are students, workers, faculty, and community members all across the state mobilizing to ensure that universities within the UNC System become accessible to all North Carolinians - particularly to working-class students and students of color.
1. We demand a voice in the decision-making processes that affect us.
-We ask the BOG to reconsider the process in which the Advisory Committee will be creating the 5-year plan. We ask they follow the model that UNC Tomorrow had, taking a year to get input from the people around North Carolina in Town Hall meetings.
- That all meetings convened at Board of Governors and the Advisory Committee contain a 2 hour public forum open to everyone in the University community.
-That these meetings be held in different areas of the state so that a majority of North Carolina students have an opportunity to access to them, and all convergences of the Advisory Committee abide by open meeting laws.
2. We demand that Art Pope be removed from the Advisory Committee and that a fully representative committee free of private/corporate interests with meaningful student, worker, and community leadership is created.
-Of the 27 members of the UNC Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions, only six are women and only 3 are people of color, this does not adequately reflect the diverse demographics of our schools and state.
-The Committee is packed with corporate leaders like Art Pope, CEO and Board Chairman of Variety Wholesalers Inc. Pope has notably funded a variety of regressive initiatives including the re-segregation of Wake County public schools. Through his known John Pope Foundation, he has a proven track record of working to privatize education.
3. We demand that the state of NC lives up to its constitutional promise to maintain education as “as free as practicable.”
- The Board of Governors must reinstate the 25% minimum of tuition revenues UNC System Schools must set aside to fund need-based financial aid.
We ask that you support us in these demands that will be a step in protecting the accessibility that makes public education in North Carolina great. Thank you again and we look forward to hearing from you.