UNC System

Kristy Dactyl

As colleges across the nation deliberate over whether to continue holding classes remotely in the fall, UNC system schools — including North Carolina A&T State University, NC State University, UNC-Greensboro, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — have already announced their tentative plans for campus reopening.

Courtesy of UNC System

The University of North Carolina System is tightening its belt in anticipated billions of lost state tax revenue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nchole Yeo / Flickr

 

Vanessa Barnes has helped students navigate college admissions as a high school guidance counselor for 20 years. She knows all the ins and outs of applications, but her goal is simple.

“My passion is I want kids to be able to go to school,” Barnes said.

Barnes is a member of the North Carolina School Counselor Association, and has worked in both urban and rural schools. She says especially for less advantaged students, college can make all the difference.

The Statue of Minerva on the campus of UNC Greensboro
Courtesy of UNC Greensboro

While colleges and universities across North Carolina move classes online, administrators are also dealing with the complications that come with reducing on-campus operations.

Silent Sam
Gerry Broome / AP Photo

A group of high-profile UNC-Chapel Hill alumni are joining the fight against the UNC System Board of Governors' settlement with the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

NC School of Science and Math-Morganton

The North Carolina School of Science and Math has been aiming to open a residential campus in western North Carolina for fall of 2021, but it could be delayed by a year due to the state budget stalemate.

Amy Townsend / WUNC

North Carolina students face a new roadblock when it comes to participating in the next U.S. election. Most of the state’s public universities have until Nov. 15 to re-apply for their student identification to be used as valid photo ID at polling places. Nearly half of N.C. higher education institutions missed the initial March deadline and had to scramble to meet a new deadline on Oct. 26.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

More trouble in the UNC System this week with a chancellor suspended after being caught on film at a bar with co-eds. 

A former congressman and North Carolina GOP chairman pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during an investigation of a bribery scheme.

And state lawmakers ressurected a controversial bill, backed by Duke Energy, that would, among other things, give the energy company more autonomy to set rates. 

Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch discuss all that and whether the General Assembly will adjourn before Halloween. 


Randy Ramsey, left, and Wendy Murphy are now chairman and vice chairwoman of the University of North Carolina board of governors.
UNC System

The governing board that oversees the 17-campus University of North Carolina System appointed two new top officers on Tuesday.

The UNC Board of Governors promoted Randy Ramsey from vice chairman to chairman, and Wendy Murphy to take Ramsey's vacated role. The chairman seat came empty when Harry Smith said last week that he would step down, though he remains on the board.

WUNCPolitics Podcast
WUNC

Democrats have filed another lawsuit challenging North Carolina's political boundaries, this time charging that the congressional map is too partisan. Could it make tensions between state Republicans and Democrats worse? This week the finger-pointing between lawmakers in the General Assembly included calls for lie detector tests.

Meanwhile, more resignations made us wonder who would want to be president of the UNC System. And video of a drunk driver raised questions about whether Blue Cross NC properly reported the arrest of its CEO. 

Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch synthesize the week's political news.

File photo of a family meeting a new baby.
Scott Sherrill-Mix / flickr, creative commons, https://flic.kr/p/KP8gps

Employees across North Carolina's public university system will soon receive paid time off to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.

The University of North Carolina System Board of Governors, which oversees the 17-campus public university system, approved a new family leave policy that will give eight weeks of paid time off to birth mothers, and four weeks of paid time off to new fathers or other non-birth parents.

Raja Sambasivan / Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/tracerbullet999/5825323478/

Twenty-one states extend in-state tuition to either undocumented immigrants or beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Legislation proposed by state Democrats would make North Carolina the 22nd state to offer that tuition rate, but Republican support is an unlikely prospect.

North Carolina legislative building
Wikimedia Commons

It was a controversial week in the University of North Carolina system. As the chancellor at East Carolina stepped away, a sitting member of the Board of Governors criticized the chair of that body, and legislators voted on future BOG members.

The 'Silent Sam' memorial on UNC's Chapel Hill campus is fenced off on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 in advance of a planned rally at the site.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

The UNC-Chapel Hill trustees have a little more time to figure out a plan for Silent Sam. Their proposal for the Confederate monument was originally due to the UNC Board of Governors on Nov. 15, but the trustees requested and were granted a later deadline.

Lisa Philip / WUNC

Dr. Bill Roper, CEO of the UNC Health Care, will replace outgoing UNC System President Margaret Spellings on an interim basis starting in the new year. The UNC Board of Governors voted unanimously to appoint him to the position Thursday.

Jason deBruyn / UNC System

Graduations rates are slowly rising in North Carolina's public universities, but disparities remain among each school and their racial demographics. 

About 72 percent of freshmen who started at a UNC System school in 2011 got their degrees within six years, but graduation rates are still significantly lower at institutions with more low-income students and people of color.

An hour or so before sixth grade student Tucker composed a metaphor poem in his language arts class, he started his school day off with soccer. Much of the learning at The Catamount School happens through creating and experiences.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

On a recent spring morning, kids at the Catamount School in Sylva kick soccer balls into multiple goals on a field outside their school. The day has just begun at the school, which is nestled in the mountains of Jackson County in western North Carolina.

headshot of chancellor cummings
Courtesy of UNCP

Retired surgeon and former state Medicaid Director Robin Gary Cummings took office as chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 2015. Cummings is a Pembroke native and member of the Lumbee Tribe. His tenure has been marked by efforts to expand economic and educational opportunities for residents of Robeson County, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the country.

Lisa Philip / WUNC

Tensions on the UNC Board of Governors remain high, a month after the board's chairman wrote an op-ed calling for the board to be united.

In the December op-ed, Chairman Louis Bissette called on the board to unite while allowing UNC system leaders to 'do their job.'

The Old Well and flowers on the campus of UNC- Chapel Hill.
Brian Batista / For WUNC

Updated Dec. 15 | 3:53 p.m. 

On Friday the University of North Carolina Board of Governors heard from a conservative scholar advocating against 'campus illiberalism,' and also voted to approve a controversial free speech policy.

Members of a new Board of Governors task force discussed a survey meant to collect feedback from stakeholders at the system's 17 campuses during a meeting On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.
Lisa Philip / WUNC

The UNC Board of Governors is taking a closer look at what President Margaret Spellings and her staff do. Its mostly Republican members want to identify inefficiencies. And now they want university stakeholders to weigh in.

NCCU, Debra Saunders-White, UNC System
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Flowers and other memorials are being placed around the North Carolina Central University campus in Durham as students and staff remember their late chancellor, Debra Saunders-White.

Margaret Spellings on The State of Things
Charlie Shelton for WUNC

 

Four months after her controversial selection, Margaret Spellings takes the helm of the UNC system today. The former U.S. Secretary of Education faces a broad range of competing priorities.

The Board of Governors hired Spellings on the heels of the forced resignation of her predecessor Tom Ross. As the new leader of the system, she will address issues ranging from budget matters to concerns about academic freedom. 

UNC-Chapel Hill senior Jailen Wallis (center) loves the idea of teaching, but the pay and the working conditions loomed too large as drawbacks to the profession.
Courtesy of Jailen Wallis

 UNC-Chapel Hill senior Jailen Wallis has always been tempted to become a high school English teacher.

Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education under George W. Bush, has been tabbed as the next UNC system president.
LBJ Foundation / Flickr Creative Commons

The controversial hiring of Margaret Spellings as the new UNC system president has received national attention for its political implications.

Some professors say her background as Secretary of Education under the George W. Bush administration is a signal of more divestment in higher education.

But some of Spellings' former colleagues say she is just what the UNC system needs to connect with a Republican legislature.

Margaret Spellings
Dave DeWitt

Margaret Spellings has spent her professional life in the eye of the political storm. She served President George W. Bush as Education Secretary and political advisor. And now that she’s the choice of the UNC Board of Governors to be the new UNC system president, it’s not going to get any less windy.

First, let’s start with those who believe they have hired a quote “game-changer.”

UNC Board of Governors
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

The UNC Board of Governors is deeply divided over how to elect a new leader.

Some board members have called for the resignation of chair John Fennebresque after he called an emergency closed-door meeting to interview a candidate.

Emails reveal several board members accused Fennebresque of botching the hiring process which started after President Tom Ross was forced to resign earlier this year. 

The division represents a split within the Republican members of the board.

Protesters disrupt UNC board debate about poverty center.
https://twitter.com/adv_project

Over the protests of students, the UNC Board of Governors moved forward with tuition and fee increases, as well as the controversial decision to close three academic centers in UNC system.

Guest host Phoebe Judge talks with WUNC reporter Dave Dewitt about the decisions and the outcries from faculty and students about the Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity at UNC Chapel Hill; the Center for Biodiversity at East Carolina; and the Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change at North Carolina Central.

Tom Ross
University of North Carolina

University of North Carolina System President Tom Ross will retire from his position, effective January 2016.  Ross has led the 17-school university system since 2011. 

In a joint statement with Ross, the Board of Governors said it "decided to begin the process of leadership transition."  

Debra Saunders-White
NCCU

Debra Saunders-White was officially installed Friday as the 11th chancellor at North Carolina Central University.  She has been serving as the school's leader since last June.  She is the university's first female chancellor and only the second woman to lead one of the five historically black colleges in the UNC System.

Saunders-White encouraged NCCU students to be fearless in choosing their career paths..and promised the school's best efforts to help them reach their goals.

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