The UNC Board of Governors approved a $140 athletic fee increase on Thursday, according to UNC System Spokesman Joni Worthington. The vote was unanimous.
The increase, which brings the athletic fees to $255 a year, will be imposed on full-time students starting in the fall.
"The board was very careful to clarify that their vote was not for whether UNCP should have a football team," Worthington said. "It was strictly for the increase in fees. It is up to the university to decide which programs to offer."
Roger Brown, UNCP provost and vice chancellor, said the university plans to use the fee increase along with private donations to raise the $1 million needed to begin the season in 2007.
The fee vote first came up in March but was tabled until UNC officials could visit the Pembroke campus.
"One of the committee members ... thought this was too large of an fee increase in a year when the system was holding tuition frozen," Brown said. "Chancellor Meadors explained that even after the increase UNCP would be the fourth lowest in cost of tuition and fees in the system."
Worthington said the UNCP staff did a convincing job.
"The board felt the campus had justified its case and that the amount was appropriate," she said.
Brown said the university will now begin its private fundraising campaign. He said they hope to raise enough money in two years to expand the soccer stadium and add the necessary facilities, equipment and scholarships to field a team.
UNCP's board of trustees voted in December to revitalize the school's football program 54 years after it disbanded. The school fielded a team from 1946 to 1951.
A feasibility study projects the season to begin in August 2008, but school officials are more optimistic, saying the first game could be in 2007.