Regarding the Feb. 27 news article “Closing centers, tuition hike moves forward”: The UNC Board of Governors approved a 4.3 percent tuition hike across UNC campuses and closed important research centers. While raises for faculty are welcome, the message is clear. The university, a public good, a space of independent inquiry, an incubator for the next generation of engaged residents, is under attack.
The Board of Governors doesn’t need more tuition to pay instructors fairly. Instead, it should reprioritize teaching and learning systemwide by dedicating a higher percentage of funds to instruction.
As a teaching assistant at UNC, I am part of a group of employees working for an unlivable wage. In fact, I received food stamps until I could find part-time work in addition to my teaching, coursework and research.
My story isn’t unique. More than 100 faculty and students gathered at Wilson Library recently to protest UNC’s low pay rate. According to Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, UNC spent only 26 percent of its revenue on instruction last year, a 20 percent decrease from 10 years ago.
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We must have the courage to stand against attacks against our public institutions. We must reinvest in the workers struggling to make ends meet, who make these institutions great.
C. Martin Caver