“It’s important to understand what is there, what history is told,” Duckett said. “It is a vital history of not only that building, but of the time of post-civil war era up to the civil rights era, and Carolina’s involvement in that, and it’s very enlightening.”
As he introduced the task force’s progress on Phase 1 of their plans, Jim Leloudis, history professor and the associate dean for Honors Carolina, said last year they focused on contextualizing the name change of Carolina Hall.
Leloudis said they are now working to develop a broad and comprehensive plan for McCorkle Place. They are using a digital platform to allow visitors to use their mobile devices to dive into UNC history surrounding locations on campus.
“The idea is to use that space, and in some ways as an outdoor classroom, as a place of teaching and learning,” Leloudis said. “To develop a curatorial plan that allows visitors and members of this community to come into that space.”
Phase 1’s goals include making McCorkle Place a gateway to the University and a site of memory, telling the history of native peoples who resided in this area prior to European colonization and sharing the stories of the enslaved who labored on this campus in the Civil War era. Leloudis said much of this will be accomplished through the Unsung Founders Memorial.
Leloudis teaches a history seminar where students uncover the archives of UNC’s history. Relating this class to the history task force, he said the goal is to develop a product that is grounded in research and archival research in the factual and historical record.
The committee had no questions on the course of action, but members praised the task force’s work.
“I find it incredibly fascinating, some of the things that you’ve talked about today that I simply didn’t know about,” said Bill Keyes, member of the committee, to the task force.
Bob Blouin, the new provost of the University, introduces plans to increase research investment and improve faculty environment
Bob Blouin, former dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, was selected as the next provost for the University in August. Wednesday's meeting was Blouin’s first as provost, where he shared his vision for the University.
“We see what he has done in the School of Pharmacy,” Duckett said. “And where he’s taken it to heights unsurpassed in the world. We look forward to him taking those kinds of actions as provost of the University.”
Blouin said he is taking this position during a unique time, but wants to use the many things he has learned to take the University to a new level. He said he wants to work with Chancellor Carol Folt to and bring their offices together.
“For us to achieve our aspirational goals of being truly a great public research university, of the people, for the people of North Carolina, we must really think very differently in terms of how we work and how we invest in our programs of excellence,” Blouin said.
Blouin said he brings the skills of implementation and execution. He wants to invest in UNC’s research enterprise and has a goal of going from $900 million to $2 billion in research funding.
He said this goal begins with the faculty and recruiting the best faculty within their disciplines.
“What really keeps a great faculty is the environment, being in a place where they have a chance to reach their full potential,” Boulin said. “Part of the quality of that environment is being around other great faculty.”
Graduate and Professional Student Federation asks for funding to continue taking steps forward in their work
Madelyn Percy, fourth-year Ph.D. student and president of GPSF, extended her thanks to members of the GPSF executive branch and senate who spend time to ensure that graduate and professional students are well represented.
As of this year, Percy said the organization has hosted a platelet drive and is working with League of Women Voters to host a candidate’s forum in Carrboro. GPSF is working with the Undergraduate Student Senate to craft legislation regarding DACA, the UNC Center for Civil Rights and the general student government structure.
“We’re just now getting started,” Percy said.
Percy said there are steps that can be taken to impact the lives of graduate and professional students without marginalizing other groups on campus. She said graduate students are the backbone of numerous labs and rely on funding for their work.
“We really need your help in advocating for the continued research funding from federal and state governments,” Percy said.