This study is not a comprehensive blueprint for reform in the system of higher education in North Carolina. Its purpose is to present factual evidence suggesting that the system of universities is deserving of greater public scrutiny. The evidence also shows areas where reform is needed the most -- cost containment, for example.And we will make some suggestions of areas where cost containment might legitimately occur. And while the system has many defects, we are the first to acknowledge that it is possible to have a wonderful collegiate experience in North Carolina and that some very fine research is conducted in the state that has had positive social benefits. Yet the issue is: can North Carolina use its resources in a better way, one that will improve the quality and affordability of its higher educational services?