(The State)

Gov. Pat McCrory’s budget plan would increase tuition at the state’s community colleges, give veterans in-state tuition rates and force the UNC system to find cuts of 2 percent, or about $50 million.

But the budget also provides new spending and $49 million for expected enrollment growth in the UNC system, so the overall university budget cut is 1.2 percent.

The “efficiency” reductions are left up to UNC system leaders, but they are barred from cutting financial aid. Five campuses are also exempt from the budget knife — Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State, UNC Asheville, UNC School of the Arts and the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics in Durham.

New university spending includes $8 million for East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, which is fighting for its survival. Elizabeth City State University, which has struggled with a decline in students, would get an additional $1.9 million for technology upgrades.

McCrory emphasized that he’s putting new money into funds aimed at startups and commercialization of university research. A proposed Venture Multiplier Fund would spend $15 million a year, and a university commercialization program would spend $7.5 million in the next two years to help move discoveries to market. read more…