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Senate | May 25, 2016 | Chamber | Senate Session Higher Education

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[BLANK_AUDIO] Post of that to the campuses and I don't know what that is, how that will be managed And we're just referring that course to the next [INAUDIBLE] of students who will then come in and have to pick up that, whatever we didn't cover like if tuition is fixed in my class for four years then the university staff they have a set revenue stream and it's fixed, and if for whatever reason calls go up or something changes then the [INAUDIBLE] coming in after me would have to bear that burden if they get permission to make an increase, is that what we have in mind or how are we covering the cost versus the revenue in that situation. >> We're hoping that the universities will take a business approach And look and come up with the best estimate for what that four degree is going to cost and include those fees, let me say upfront on the $500 tuition fees these are not included, that is separate so we need to talk about that a little more but we're hoping from planning purposes that they can come up with a Reasonable expectation of what a four year degree will cost and help families plan for that when their child enters college but you know, and I'm sure the board of governors can address if there are some catastrophic short fall or something they would have that authority, thank you. >> Senator Robinson Thank you Mr. chair and thank you senator Apodaca for working with some of us to try to make this something that is good for our kids, we don't know where this is gonna come out so I'm still a little suspect on But anyway first I want to thank you for taking out the naming part cuz that is and has been a serious issue for our constituency across this state, there is a lot of people really sweating to get this University up and running and name is all some of us have left so I really appreciate you taking that out and then working with me on the fees cuz I had an amendment but I'm not gonna do it I'm gonna wait and see what you do with the fees because we recognize that those fees do cover health services Athletics etc and for some universities that's the only way these students will have the programs and services they have. Another concern is the guarantee of the future, how can we, or is there anything constitutionally, anything legislatively That can be done to make sure that with the $ 70 million that future, I know about committing future legislature but is there anything we can do to guarantee that that money will be there in terms of the future Of these institutions. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Senator, as far as I know, we can not obligate another General Assembly. Each General Assembly is separate you can look at that. Now, the best guarantee I can give you at this point is, this came from Present for [INAUDIBLE AUDIO] and with the commitment that that money stays there, but let me if you don't mind, I'm gonna ask staff, is there any way to guarantee because we're open to that discussion. >> Representative Carney/g you want to fiscal? >> Senator One general assembly can't bind a future general assembly by codifying this however, the change would have to be made back in the statute. [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Can she explain that a little bit more? >> Sure, sure >> In terms of codifying in the statutes? If a future general assembly wanted to change the authority to increase the base budget for more than 70 million or less than 70 million they would have to go back and amend the section 3A which puts a new statute in place giving that authority. >> Chairman. [BLANK_AUDIO] Mr. Chairman. >> Senator Tillman. >> Wait a minute I think- >> Oh I'm sorry I got distracted. >> Yeah one more Senator Tillman if you wanna wait a second. Okay. >> Follow-up Senator Senator Robinson. >> Oh yes, a follow up and then I have an amendment to make.

I want to say that for the Cheatham-White Scholarship, a piece of this that I think it is commendable to make sure that research institutions have the opportunity to offer academic scholarships to top students and this is an opportunity. I do have some concern here in terms of the administration of those of those, if want to make them comparable to the park and more here, then the responsibility for administering those lives with the institutions so I've asked staff to look at how we might do that since this is public money, they've explained to me we can't quite do it the same. But I do have an amendment that I'd like to offer that gives both ANT and North Carolina Central administrative Administrative collaborations with GA to do that. Mr Chairman if can offer this amendment. >> Sergeant of arms if you could pass that amendment for us. [BLANK_AUDIO] Senator [INAUDIBLE] [BLANK_AUDIO] Senator Robinson, you're recognized to explain your amendment. >> Okay, thank you, Mr. Chairman. So what the bill does is on page 5, lines 10 through to 14. It It says that the University of North Carolina general administration shall administer the scholarship in consultation and collaboration with North Carolina ENT and North Carolina Central, pursuant to policies adopted by the boards of trustees of both institutions. As part of its administrative responsibilities University of North Carolina GA, in consultation with both universities, shall do all of the following which includes all those things in terms of developing the criteria for the scholarship, selecting students in all of those which according to staff under statutory authority, it has to kinda go through GA since it's public money like the others do but would make sure that North Carolina Central and ENT really are the ones who helping develop criteria and selecting students. So that's really what we really wanna make sure. I would really Really like to have a smooth and go directly there but I understand from staff that because it's public money, we couldn't do that. >> Senator Apodaca, would you like to speak to the amendment? >> Yes Mr. Chairman I wanna thank senator Ransom for this amendment, I think it's a great amendment and I strongly support it. >> Are there any questions from the committee on On the amendment, if not you have the amendment before you is there a motion? Got a motion from Senator Tarte second from Senator Rabin all those in favor say I, >> I >> All those oppose say No, the ayes have it. We're back to the Bill let's see Senator Tillman. >> Senator Robinson that was a good question a while ago about guaranteeing that this will be carried on and carried forward in future General Assemblies and we heard the answer that no we can't bind them but the best thing, the best guarantee that we have Is the bill itself. And the public is going to be very hard to convince that we ought to change this and weaken it and do away with it. It's the right direction for the families that are struggling to educate their kids, and it will help them from graduating with a huge debt. And I think the average now across The nation Is 26000 just for the undergraduate degree, this does not include the lawyer, doctors and all of those. Those depths are very much higher so I think this is a wonderful Bill and I think the best guarantee senator Robinson we have is what it does and how hard it would be for any general assembly who has to answer To the voters, to turn this away. >> Senator Davis. >> Thanks Mr. Chair. Senator Apodaca I wanna commend you, I think we definitely 100% agree on the concept of trying to Examine the best way to educating continued support her education.My question is we've been examining in Roman and I think that maybe

part of the issue that's at hand when we Look in enrollment at certain campuses in our system. I recall, maybe a session or two ago, when we were looking at enrollment and there was a formula that we saw that appeared in a budgetary bill and we were comparing Enrollment rates then my question is if we're looking at enrollment in particular, do we understand and if we understand then what is actually the capacity at these institutions that are identified in the bill? Senator Apodaca. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman, Senator Davis, excellent question. We have been provide some data from the UNC system and what they have here is a low and a high estimate of what is available at these five institutions and at Elizabeth City is between Point 82 and 108% additional capacity and what they are now, I don't know where 108 came from but that's what they've provide us. [INAUDIBLE_AUDIO] State is any from the low estimate of 10% up to an additional 27% capacity Pembroke was 7 to 37% showing WCU, I think it was from 5 to 11% and it's showing West Asylum State anywhere from lowest 30% to 49% And you hit up on a very good point, what we are trying to do is boost up the enrollment at these institutions and get them at near capacity as we possibly can and with that we think the competition for the $500 tuition fees will increase the Caliber of students and the numbers of students wanting to attend those institutions. >> Okay, follow up? >> Follow up, when we were dealing with, again this farm land appropriations before we were specifically I think addressing Elizabeth City State University, At that time if memory serves correctly we kind of charged the Board of Governors to come up with strategies in terms of marketing and addressing recruitment and retention, how would this bill interfere, interact with With the charges/g already been give to the Board of Governors and the last part of that is has there been any report that tours on strategies that has been put in place specifically for Elizabeth City State University? >> So, Davis the short answer to to that is I don't know when Reference to Elizabeth City State. There have been strategies implemented, I know they've had a change in administration within the last year or two. But I think they are trying to get out of the hole they are in and we wanna help them. We think this would be one of the great ways to get the strategy and it would be two fold here, not Only it would be $500 for in state students, it has $2500 set for an out of state student so we're hoping that they could bring in some other folks from the city perhaps Virginia and have them beef up and come in because they would still be less, let me say something else, a clarification Here too. I know this is hard to believe there's been some misrepresentations in the press, I know none of ya'll are responsible for that but it's not only $500 a semester. Senator Robinson was kind enough to point out, even with $500 at Elizabeth City State it's gonna cost a student around what? Was it $10,000 a semester to go so it's not like we're $500 only be great if we could get to that point and when I'm gone I charge ya'll to get to that point but in getting to your question that the board of Governor members I have spoken with see this as a good possible way to incentivize As they get enrollment up and have it become a more viable institution. Okay. Follow up. >> Follow up? I've received a lot of communication and I wanna start this question by saying I see that Western Carolina is included in this Next. But I do want the move and as a community that the university knows so well. But I do wanna move beyond Western Carolina and speak specifically

regarding the HBC use. I've received a lot of concerns, a lot of feedback from alumns In my community, across the state, emails, phone calls. It's harder to go too many places these days. My question would simply what efforts have we employed to reach out to HBC used to better Getting understanding regarding if this is indeed the best approach towards addressing the situation as before us. >> Thank you senator Davis, I have met, on the count of call I know I've met with at least three HPC councilors I had the wonderful experience to get to speak to is it Divine Nine.The sororities and the fraternities and I was looking for an invitation to join a fraternity seeing they have a lot of fun than I did in my college experience but I have reached, I've not turned down any meetings, as a matter of fact this afternoon We're gonna have an additional meeting with the five chancellors that are affected by this through the Board of Governors. So, we've been open in trying to have communication and there's been so much miscommunication out there even at my home of Modern Western Carolina. I mean some of the same concerns, well, do you not think $500 Cheapens the reputation of the University? And my answer is no. It's the marketing ploy. Let's be very honest. This is the help,get more students, higher quality students in to the universities so they can sustain themselves and do it on a geographical basis across the state of North Carolina. So We're still talking Senator and this still has a long way to go but they say the first step is always the hardest. >>Follow up>> and just one question. You said the first step is a little tough to go. I appreciate you meeting with the Divine Nine. But certainly welcome to Participate in the upcoming step shell with them. [LAUGH] >> I don't think you want me but thank you. [LAUGH] >> He'll find a scholarship if he does. [LAUGH] >> Yeah, big money upfront. [LAUGH] But my final question here is Obviously you've opened yourself for this line of communication. At this point, can you definitively share anyone who said as of right now, yes we support this. >> I've had members, Boards of Trustees say that they support it. I've had My chancellors have pretty much all said the same thing they wanna keep looking at it and studying it, and realizing the true impact of it, I've had one chancellor come to me and say he needs to be removed from the $500 schools but he needs to get a [UNKNOWN] scholarship program in his institution. Which I think is wonderful and that's the kind of attitude I want and enthusiasm. So, and let me say this, present [UNKNOWN] has been wide open also in taking meetings and talking to folks about this. >> Thanks, I just wanna wind up with the questions but I Do want to finish with a comment. Obviously enrollment has been very important. I'm right here looking at current enrollment trends. It is no surprise to me that Elizabeth city continues to fall off the map. And I wanna I wanna be very clear, I see in this bill a commitment of millions of dollars, but one of the easiest things that we could do that would help us with recruitment and retention is be very mindful of what we do and say up here. The truth of the matter is when we come to add Items in the Appropriations bill and make comments to the newspaper is it results in a lot of anxiety, and I can tell you that I've heard students who were originally planning to got to Elizabeth City but when they hear of a governing authority they are talking about Closing,then they're diverting in other places and the issue I would explain is simple, who would really want to send their child to a school that the governing authority is talking about closing all the time in the media? I think that in itself could be a simple fix that wouldn't cause millions of dollars . But again I do commend you for the concept. >> Mr. Chairman if might? >> Yes senator Apodaca >> Senator Davis, I appreciate that and I totally understand where you're coming from and there was a rumor

they got starting, it got attributed to me a couple of years ago about closing Elizabeth City State and I believe they wanted, Perpetuated that was Tillman but it wasn't one of those things, but the honest thing actually is we had no desire to close any of our universities in our system, we are proud of the University of North Carolina system and I think is second to none in the United States and our goal is to keep it that way In order to do that we got to build our own institutions ups to add or is near capacities as we can possibly get them, so they're self-sustaining and keep moving forward and then we can justify monies we spent with private colleges and universities but that's for another day. >> I might add that as an Education Appropriations Chairman Senator Apodaca, myself, Senator Tillman, we've continued to put funds into Elizabeth City State specifically for their furtherance and what this represents is more of a plan than just dollars. Senator Wade. >>Thank you Mr. Chairman. Actually Senator Davis touched on what I was gonna talk On capacity but first Senator Apodaca I would like to thank you for making this education for children more affordable for families and that's what it's about for me, making an education available to almost anyone now in our colleges and universities and if the Capacity increases as more students enroll in this universities and pay the tuition will that help with the offset of 63 to 80 million dollars? >> It should but we're still willing to pay that if it doesn't. >> Right but [CROSSTALK] so we could see some more revenue coming into this These universities and personally I just comment I would think we would like to see more capacity filled and people will realize at that point especially families what a quality education they can get at all our universities having been taking courses and having gone to Tuskegee Institution in Alabama, I can tell you it's really a quality education there, and I think the public should be made more aware of the education they can get at historically black colleges and universities. >>Senator [INAUDIBLE] >> Mr. Chairman, if I may get on another subject similar to this. I had a lot of concern, Senator Davis, you were asking about concerns. I've had many concerns from the community college system and I'd just like to say to them up front, they are gonna be an important part of our higher education system as they always had been and this in no way is intended to hurt or damage our community college systems because we truly believe as these enrollments go go up so can the enrollments of the community college systems, I wanted to have that on record also. >> Thank you Senator Smith. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman. And I just wanted to sorta make a comment at first. You UNC Pembroke is in my district and I've had a number of conversations with those at the university and with the Chancellor as well and just to mention some concerns, with the idea of increasing enrollment, they are at record enrollments right now. Their enrollment has increased, I know, for last three years, they expect record enrollment again next fall, so that really is not a problem at UNCP. And the cost issue, they are right now, the four least expensive in the university system and have their students, upon graduation, have the least debt of any university system so they are not sure that That it's not really necessary so much for UNCP. The other issue that was lot of concern and I've heard from constituents as well is the issue that's already been brought up about. It doesn't wanna seem like this the $500 diploma that's not worth this much how rather. One suggestion might be to sort of worded or put in a provision in the bill that you have $500 tuition and then say at Pembroke it's 3500 now tuition, that we have a North Carolina incentive scholarship for $3000 or something that would kind of make it seem, we don't want it to look like we're getting a bargain basement diploma basically and maybe there's a way to put a wording in there that may make it sound like it's an incentive scholarship or some other kind of way to make it kind of leave some of the concerns for the folks on that. >> Senator Smith, I totally agree with you and Senator Robin and I have been working on this for two weeks to come up with a way

to accomplish this and so far in my incorrect way we're hit on our heads against the wall because if we come up with a particular scholarship name, it could hurt the students getting particular financial aid packages and different type grants and we definitely don't want to do that, so we are open to that, one thing that's been coming out is, Senator Davis has come up with a pretty good name we like, he's got promise UNC and I think that's what we're doing here and I think that's a good name, hopefully it will catch on, maybe promise NC something like that and we're still looking to find a way to do that, you're right and we would love to. So there are some, University of Texas Had a program where they gave a credit if a student made certain grade point average towards their next tuition, and that is something else we can look at towards the next semester. So if tuition is $2500 and they made a 2.8, 3.0 they could get a credit of $2,000 [INAUDIBLE]semester so it would only be 500, we're working on that but so far we haven't been able to come up with a legal way to do it. >> Thank you, I hope something can be worked out. >> [INAUDIBLE] the committee I just had a flood of hands go up and we have about 10 minutes left, Senator Daniel, you're recognized. Thank Mr. Chairman, figuring how exactly to ask this, I see Senator Apodaca in the bill, we understand that there's a problem with the schools that continually raise fees beyond what we think is reasonable so you've put a reasonable cap in there of 3%, is there a concern I just don't really know what restrictions may be in place on raising tuition agreement board, is there a concern that we should also cap premium board increases or tuition increases or that's something that we just leave to the board of governors? >> Senator I think we do leave that to the board of governors I think there's some stipulations out there and how that's figured out and passed on to the student. So I don't necessarily know it but, and let me say this upfront. These five institutions in no way have been identified as the major abusers of fees. There are some more we could talk About that with some other institutions. >> Follow up Mr. Chairman. >> Follow up. >> So, Senator Apodaca, this question is specific to the $500 tuition, if this is set as statute as the anticipation that that will and for ten years it will be $500 for everybody coming in Coming in or will that increase and it will be $505 next year and $510 the next year, what's the intent, is intent to keep it at $500 in perpetuity? >> Well, at this point is $500 and I think a future General Assembly and the Board of Governors when these institutions get towards capacity it Probably wise to take a look in pricing according to the market. >> Senator Woodard. >> Thank you Mr. Chair. A number of my questions have already been asked. What I did, if I could spend a minute understanding the Cheatham-White Scholarships just a little bit, making the context of this bill And some other things happening. If I'm reading this correctly, we're allocating 300000 dollars for the upcoming fiscal year, that would be for one class of scholars. In subsequent years then we'd have to have an allocation for the next incoming classes and so on and so on so that when we would eventually have four years roughly Cohorts of these scholarships so by my math that'd be about 1.2 million, am I reading that. >> I think- >> Cost administer that - >> I think the original blind item on the scholarship was 3.2 million annually being allocated I'm I correct on that. >> Let me recognize As Mark Bondo from fiscal. >> Mark Bondo fiscal research. The $300,000 sir is for the administration of the program, and then once the fall of 2018 semester, they enter in the fall 2018 semester. Senator Apodaca's correct is about $3.2 million in total for one year is worth the cost Follow-up. >> Follow-up. >> Senator Apodaca you mentioned the [UNKNOWN] scholarships. And of course those are private. Those fund come from private foundations. There's some status there for out of state recipients of those scholarships. Would you share with us given the ongoing demand for need based aid at North Carolina Central ANT/g, and the board of governors action to cap tuition based aid at 15% which would ANT is over that.

North Carolina Central's approaching That 15% cap. The rationale for spending $3.2 million a year on merit only scholarships versus providing increased need based aid for working class families, whose son or daughter might wanna attend North Carolina Central or A&T They may not qualify for a Cheatham-White Scholarship but need they stay would be an important factor in their ability to attend that school. >> Great question, and let me say right up front, myself, no one in my family have ever been into running for a [UNKNOWN] scholarship, so and I know you find that And that's surprising but I agree with you. But I also think we've gotta do something to bring up our best and brightest and I think that these two institutions, during conversations, believe me they're excited about having that I agree with the additional . I'm more of a need base guy but we still need to raise the bar and bring the best and the brightest I think this is one way to do that and I think it would be a good thing. We can argue it, would it be better spent in the financial aid packet, I don't know but I think this is good for those universities and something they can use. >> Follow up. One [INAUDIBLE] >> Follow up? >> How would we attract The best and brightest as you call them to [INAUDIBLE] wherever it may be. >> Well I'm talking about the Cheatham-White Scholarships and ANT central, now at the other places I think the market itself when a family sits And they analyze what they have to pay for an education and their children they'll say why don't you look at [INAUDIBLE], why don't you look at [INAUDIBLE] the family will make that decision based on market and the availability to pay, and I think that will naturally raise the base applying there and Take it up. >> [INAUDIBLE] This is to me one point of contention with the scheme is the use of this money versus expanding need based states - >> Well I take issue with the word scheme And I think this is a legitimate program to help people but if you want to call it a scheme- >> No, I don't mean it in the pejorative sense, it's just that you've put together a series of things. >> So far, I've been called for doing this the cult brothers and then someone called me Bernie Sander so I have been all over the Spectrum/g on this >> [LAUGH] [SOUND] >> [INAUDIBLE senator Apodaca >> Senator Barringer >> Thank you Mr. Chair. This is really as much as comment /g now as it is a question. I agree with you about the best and the brightest and it's not just the Morehead. It's not just the White Cheatham Scholarships .It's all of our North Carolina students As a mother of three public school trained students, just last year, we sat down and had this conversation and we had better offers financially from Arizona State University, The University of South Carolina and also the university of Road Island. We're not competing for our Students an hour labor, an hour brain thrust, just with North Carolina or even just with South Carolina. But these colleges all over the country want our students and I say this is a way for us to keep not just the Parks scholars, not just the Morehead scholars but all these students that have such an important part Part of the economy of North Carolina to stay here as a mom who's son went to Arizona State University, as a result of that I know how those meetings go, and I commend you for this bill, making college education affordable for everyone. I'm a first generation college student as are all three of my sisters And I'm so glad that I had decent tuition when I went off the school and this helps to make that happen, thank you Senator Apodaca. >> Next is Senator Clark. >> Thank you Mr. Chairman. If you don't mind Senator Apodaca, I'd like to shift to the other 11 universities which spend a lot of time talking about the five For now. Okay, you indicated about the constant tuition over four years. Like any business we know what they are going to do, they're going to determine what the cost are, and essentially they are gonna amortize those costs over eight payments for four years. So really, the cost of a parent that's going to send their kid to one of those institutions We're not going to go down and as we've also indicated, the room in board is not covered in this particular field so for those families that is sending their kids to those other 11 universities, how can we say to them that we really are going to put you in this

situation where your calls will be significantly reduced to the point that you will not Accumulate large debts as you may have been doing thus far. >> Senate Clark I appreciate that questioning. Let me say right up front. We're not guaranteeing those folks, going to those 11 other institutions that their calls will go down. All we're gonna guarantee them is that, they'll know what their cost is going to be When they enter and I'm not gonna give any misconception that those costs are gonna go down. So, they'll just have a better budgeting opportunity to know what they're gonna be faced with for four years. >> Senate [UNKNOWN] >> Yes I certainly do thank you for this time and I certainly do Senator Apodaca for the conversations. I've gotten inner dated in the last 72 hours, I've got more messages from 336 area code, when some say, [UNKNOWN] students, faculty, then I can never answer. There's a lot of real real concerns with this and one of the questions I ask is has there been any discussion or any thought to some kind of pilot program? [BLANK_AUDIO] >> Short answer no. Just rolling out this program and this would kinda be the pilot, we could look at other institutions but no, it has not. >> Follow up. >> Follow up. One of the reasons I say that, when I look at this particular bill there are so many moving parts and it would Will affect our education and system for a long time to come and a lot of us are very, very concerned about that which I know you are as aware or not know where your heart is as it relates to this bill. >> And thank you for that, and this kinda turns in with the Five institutions to the question Senator Wade had earlier about need based scholarships. We feel like these $500 is a different another scholarship to these kids to go to this institutions and further their education. And we've cut down on college debt. We picked them out geographically I know where you are coming from, I've received a lot of calls from the 336 area code and 910, and 828 so, and Senator Berger would like us to run this out and put it out there and see how it helps our students. So I haven't Discussed any further on a palate /g >> Senator Cook[BLANK_AUDIO] >> Elizabeth City State University in my district and I wanna thank you for bringing this bill. I've been worried about the enrollment there for some time now and I think this is a great step In the right direction. Let me ask you though if you would to better explain, the intent of this bill is mainly to work on the problem of enrollment. To get enrollment up Lower the price hopefully more folks come. But there's other aspects of this too I believe. If you lower the price you get more folks coming. But how does that impact the quality of student and perhaps the diversity of the institution. Can you speak of those ideas Those ideas. >> Well as a free market guy. My belief is if you set price it will incentivise additional customers for lack of a better term, to come to your institution. So with more enrollment and more students, I think you'll naturally see a progression Of everything else raising as they say a rising tide lifts all boats. And that's the basic belief from a business standpoint. If we incentivise and get more folks it will have the continuation and keep building upon that. That's the short answer. Thank you. >> You know I think I think the diversity is there, I mean it'll carry forward along with it a lot of that depends on the area in which one comes from and I think they'll be able to retain the diversity they have and maybe expand it with folks from the Latino community like myself we don't have a school yet but we're working on it Members of the committee we're already five minutes past our committee time here and there's still a few more hands going up I also know that there might be some members of the public that came here to speak and what I would encourage you to do is this bill will also be sent to the appropriations base budget committee this afternoon

and we'll talk about taking public comment at that point and helping to answer some more of the senator's questions I would also instruct you to walk with Senator [UNKNOWN] the next couple of hours to see if you can get those answered and I'll just close with a comment and then I'm gonna be looking for a motion and that is to say that I think this bill both balances some of the financial needs that our students have along with rewarding some of our highest achievers in North Carolina, and I think that's what we need to focus on rather than other things, so with that the Chair is looking for a motion. I have a motion from From Senator Buck Newton to adopt the PCSs amended and a second from Senator Wade. All those in favor say aye. >> Aye. >> All those opposed say no. The motion is favorable to the proposed committee, substitutes amended, welled into a new proposed committee substitute with a favorable report to the new committee substitute and an unfavorable report to the original bill, with a serial referral to the appropriations. This meeting is adjourned [SOUND]