CULLOWHEE – North Carolina’s recently enacted state budget means historic Moore Building, a landmark for Western Carolina University and the community, will be renovated and reopen after sitting dormant for more than decade.
In addition to that $35.5 million appropriation, the budget, signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper on Nov. 18, provides another $12 million for WCU critical infrastructure and capital needs, and gives faculty and staff a 5% biennial salary increase and bonuses of up to $1,500.
“Western Carolina University is well served and very grateful for this budget, which allows us to address critical infrastructure needs and to fairly compensate our faculty and staff who have done tremendous work throughout the enormously challenging circumstances of the past 18 months,” said Chancellor Kelli Brown. “The heart of Western Carolina University is our people and the pay raises included in the budget recognize the efforts of our faculty and staff who work every day to ensure that this university continues to offer a high-quality education that is at once affordable and attainable. I appreciate our legislators working diligently on this and being receptive to the needs of public higher education. We pledge to do our part and continue doing excellent work on behalf of our students, to stay engaged in regional initiatives and serve a meaningful role in the state’s future.”
University of North Carolina System President Peter Hans said the state budget “is a remarkable start on a new era in which we will lift up our faculty and staff, broaden our educational reach, revamp our campus facilities and make education more affordable to more North Carolinians. All our budget priorities – and more – were met with this historic legislation.”
Another $3 million is included in recurring funds to support operations and maintenance of WCU’s recently opened Apodaca Science Building, a state-of-the art facility that is home to the Department of Biology, Department of Chemistry and Physics and the interdisciplinary program in Forensic Science.
The budget also fully funds and expands NC Promise, which sets WCU tuition at $500 per semester for in-state undergraduate students and $2,500 per semester for out-of-state undergraduate students, including all new and returning students, transfer students, students in online programs and international students enrolled in fall and spring terms. Fayetteville State will now join WCU as an NC Promise institution, along with Elizabeth City State University and UNC Pembroke.