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The Daily Tar Heel

BOG Approves Hunt Institute

The institute is named for former N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt, who will act as honorary chairman.

The institute will focus on improving teacher and student education in public schools.

UNC-system spokeswoman Joni Worthington said the institute will work with existing university programs, such as the UNC-Chapel Hill Center for School Leadership and Development, which concentrates university resources on improving education in public schools.

Worthington said she hopes the center will "provide an umbrella organization that will draw on the expertise and abilities of schools across the 16 campuses.

"The ultimate objective (of the institute) is stronger public schools, higher student achievement and helping to move North Carolina toward the goal of having the best public schools in the nation," Worthington said.

"The end result is to one, improve schools, and to also explore and advance public policy that is supportive of greater student achievement and school improvement."

Worthington said Hunt's status as a celebrated figurehead of education also will benefit the institution.

"We hope to take advantage of Gov. Hunt's international recognition as someone who has been quite a success (for N.C. education)," Worthington said.

Other BOG members shared Worthington's excitement as they said they were anxious about Hunt's involvement with the center and the actual implementation of the institution.

BOG Vice Chairman John Cecil said he feels honored to have Hunt as an active member in improving education in the state.

"We are extremely lucky he would continue his interest in statewide education," Cecil said.

"We are very fortunate that he would want to work with us."

A spokesman for the former governor said Hunt could not be more thrilled by the honor.

Darren Clark, executive assistant for Hunt at the Raleigh law firm Hunt currently works for, said Hunt is "honored and excited to continue great strides with education."

"Gov. Hunt sees this as an opportunity to use the 16-campus university systems to continue on the progress made with the university," Clark said.

"Since being governor, Hunt has continued to have folks focus and think of ways to improve education."

The State & National Editor can be reached at stntdesk@unc.edu.

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