University Planning Council
Minutes for February 20, 2013
Present: Buffy Bagwell, Jessica Dunsmore, Shannon Earle, Jane Fernandes, Catherine Frank, Archer Gravely, Bill Haggard, Julie Heinitsh, Blake Hobby, Gregg Kormanik, Nicole McGaha, Ted Meigs, Dave Peifer, John Pierce, Anne Ponder, Keith Ray, Christine Riley, Leisa Rundquist, Jim Stanton, Christy Williams
Absent: Jeff Brown, Melodie Galloway, Eric Gant, Ann Martin
Guests: Beth Bartlett, Adam Reagan
UPC met from 3:05 to 4:30 in HIG 104
1. Chancellor Ponder began her update by introducing our two new student members, Nicole McGaha and Jim Stanton. She reported that UNC Asheville recently hosted an event on campus to honor the Asheville High School marching band for their Presidential Inaugural Competition Grand Award. The University Singers, directed by UPC member Melodie Galloway, performed for the marching band. Ms. Galloway is also the proud mother of two of the winning band’s members.
The Board of Governors approved our tuition and fee increase request without change or comment. The BOG also submitted to the NC Legislature the UNC budget that mentioned only two schools by name, UNC Asheville and UNC-SA. Special requests for $1M and $.5M in recurring funds were made for UNC-SA and UNC Asheville respectively.
Chancellor Ponder announced that the Communication and Marketing staff won the Grand Award from CASE for the best integrated student recruiting campaign at the recent regional CASE conference. Our video and other publications also received awards of excellence in this peer-reviewed competition among 3,500 schools in our region.
Dr. Jill Moffitt is organizing our homecoming events this weekend, and there is something for everyone: sports, student/alumni projects, and the “Nearly Naked Mile” event.
Chancellor Ponder reported we are nearing the completion of an economic impact study. The first phase calculated the impact of the University’s Division I Athletics program, and she noted the following major findings.
- Through local purchases and visitor spending, the UNC Asheville Athletics Department supports 140 local jobs each year (excluding UNCA employees), adds $4.3 million in local income and raises local output by $11.7 million.
- Through local purchases and visitor spending, the UNC Asheville Athletics Department causes state and local tax revenues to increase by $715 thousand each year and Federal tax revenues by $878 thousand.
- Sporting events held by the UNC Asheville Athletics Department adds $4.3 million in local direct visitor spending each year, which by itself supports 70 local jobs, and raises local output by $5.6 million.
- With future planned capital improvements, the UNC Asheville Athletics Department will support 166 local jobs each year, add $5.2 million in local income and raise local output by $14.1 million.
Chancellor Ponder noted that in recent years, UNC Asheville has raised $2-3M per year on average in private fundraising. This year we have achieved 83% of a $4M goal for University Advancement.
A question was raised about what we are doing to address the loss of faculty positions and enrollment budget discussed in the last Chair and Program Directors meeting. Chancellor Ponder cited the negative effects of the recession on students and families and cuts in staff positions that work with students as factors in the enrollment decline. She indicated that we slowed enrollment growth so we would not have more students that we can teach. Provost Fernandes reported that the economy has hurt student retention, but staff are working hard to make ambitious goals to make up for the loss in 2014-15.
2. Ms. Bartlett gave UPC a detailed report on the “Financial Aid Environment Facing our Students.”She described how recent changes in federal financial aid regulations are challenging both the University and students. Colleges have to prove both student outcome value and affordability. Financial Aid has become more complex for students to understand and for colleges to administer. The federal government is no longer willing to allow a student to take a range of courses and they are limiting the amount of time they will fund for students to graduate. She reported the following time limits on financial aid programs:
- Pell Grants – 12 semesters/6 years
- UNC Need Based Aid – 9 semesters
- North Carolina Lottery – 8 semesters
- Federal Subsidized Loans - 6 years
In the past, students would receive a six-month grace period before making loan payments. Now students must begin payments immediately upon graduation. Due to uncertainty about federal funding, we do not know about the impact on loan interest, Pell grants awards, work study funding, and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. Ms. Bartlett reported that UNC Asheville’s student loan default rate is 3.2% and the national average is about 13%. In comparison to other institutions, our students graduate with lower loan debt but this figure has increased from $15,000 to $17,000 over the last two years for approximately half of our students with loan debt. Chancellor Ponder indicated that UPC would like to get a financial aid update report next Fall after census date.
3. Chancellor Ponder gave an update on the recently released UNC Strategic Direction document: Our Time, Our Future: The UNC Compact With North Carolina. The key elements of the plan provide a framework for budget priorities:
- Setting degree attainment goals responsive to state needs;
- Strengthening academic quality;
- Serving the people of North Carolina;
- Maximizing efficiencies; and
- Ensuring an accessible and financially stable University.
Chancellor Ponder stated that UNC will shine in demonstrating academic quality and cited the Collegiate Learning Assessment results as evidence. She indicated that the clarity of UNC Asheville’s strategic plan and alignment with the UNC strategic directions is a real strength for the University. At this point, she does not know if the plan will be funded and aggressively monitored. She concluded by suggesting that if the plan is not funded, few of the ideas are likely to be implemented.
Return to UPC Minutes