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UNC Board of Governors begins discussion of budget options

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CHAPEL HILL — The UNC Board of Governors are already discussing the budget process for next year.

The committee on budget and finance reviewed the system's 2010-2011 budget as it prepares to look at the numbers. Representatives say a major impact will most likely come in November.

For UNC's Budget and Finance Committee it is already time to start the budget process.

"We're trying to look ahead and be transparent and get the issues out in front of our Board of Governors so they know what they're tackling and what priorities they want to bring to the legislators in January," said UNC System Chief Operating Officer Charles Perusse.

Wednesday the Board of Governors got a feel for how UNC makes and spends money based on the system's 2010-2011 budget as well as what to expect going forward in terms of federal money and growth.

"We're not at that strong growth period that we were in the mid 2000s where we might have grown six to eight percent a year but we think some stable growth in the three and a half to four and a half percent range is going to happen," said Perusse.

In addition to the money the UNC system receives from the state, from federal grants and from tuition one concern UNC officials have about the budget process is the outcome of the election.

"If you look at the new general assembly who will be elected half of those folks will be either in their first or second term. Many of them didn't attend a UNC institution so it's almost learning about the state's crown jewel for the first time," said UNC System VP Federal Relations Kimery Rhinehardt.

Rhinehardt said working with new legislators will be key to the budget process. But Wednesday was just the beginning of several months of calculating and recalculating the numbers for the UNC system.

In July the UNC Board of Governors approved a $2.5 billion budget for the UNC system which restored more than $9 million in cuts. ClientIP: UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP