Updated, 11:15 a.m.
The State Senate's budget proposal would grant the UNC system authority to furlough its employees.
The university wants this and in recent weeks has lobbied extensively for the authority, a formal mechanism it would need before implementing the unpaid time off.
UNC system President Erskine Bowles has said furloughs, while not ideal, would be far preferable to the level of job cuts he said would occur if Gov. Beverly Perdue's proposed budget was approved.
Under that budget, about 1,200 jobs would be lost within the university system, half of which would be faculty positions, Bowles has said.
The Senate budget, which rolls out today, is said to be somewhat friendlier to education. It proposes a 4 percent budget cut, which is 2 percent less than Perdue's proposal.
"It's a great step forward from the governor's budget for our students," said Ernie Murphrey, the UNC system's vice president for finance.
To help offset that 4 percent cut, the Senate proposal would allow campuses to increase tuition by as much as $750.
It would scrap the law enacted last year that takes tuition revenues away from the campuses and deposits it into the state's general fund.
Murphrey emphasized that tuition won't necessarily go up simply because the university has the authority to raise it.
"We're going to have to analyze it and talk to the campus about what to do," Murphrey said. "We're asking the campuses what they'd do if they had that authority."
Check back here at at www.newsobserver.com for more details as they come out.