From an editorial Friday in the (Durham) Herald-Sun:
Neither the University of North Carolina system and its campuses, nor the Durham Public Schools, are any strangers to budgetary pressures. For both institutions, wages have risen slowly if at all, positions have gone unfilled or even been eliminated, and belt-tightening has been the order of the day.
But coincidentally, this spring both of those institutions face the likelihood, if not the certainty, of the budget knife cutting more deeply at the very center of their operations.
Last week, the UNC administration received a report it commissioned, in conjunction with the arrival of new system President Margaret Spellings, from the Boston Consulting Group. And a key recommendation was that the system could run quite well with 250 positions in General Administration, the system headquarters – only, to be sure, about five percent fewer than now.
From the outside, it’s easy to issue the call for “trimming the fat,” although the line between fat and muscle is subject to interpretation.
In the end, disruption will be real and there will be real pain. But the adjustments do acknowledge a financial picture that wasn’t going to be wished away, but which requires hard decisions like these.