Assistant University Editor
When Chancellor James Moeser takes the stage in the Great Hall today to give the first official State of the University Address, he will be speaking to a campus with a diverse agenda.
With concerns ranging from suitable pay for housekeepers to corporate presence at UNC, members of the UNC community are all waiting to hear different things when Moeser speaks at 3 p.m.
UNC News Services Director Mike McFarland said Tuesday that Moeser was not available to comment on his speech.
But Sue Estroff, Faculty Council chairwoman, said she hopes the chancellor will address a broad range of academic issues. "I think we would like to hear more from (Moeser) about the academic side of the University other than genomics," she said.
Estroff also said she would like Moeser to tackle the role of athletics at UNC and the corporate presence on campus. But she said she doubts that will happen. "I have a feeling he's going to announce some major donations or contributions."
Provost Robert Shelton also said Moeser will discuss the Carolina First campaign, which will publicly launch Oct. 12, University Day. The campaign aims to triple UNC's portion of the $3.1 billion bond referendum with private donations.
But Student Body President Justin Young said he hopes Moeser will address more than how to add money to the University's till. "He's been on the defensive on what some feel is the corporatization of the University and this push for money, money, money," Young said. "I'd like to see his response to that."
Off campus, Moeser's interaction with Chapel Hill officials has been closely scrutinized. Jonathan Howes, special assistant to the chancellor, said Moeser will also address town-gown relations in his speech.
But Moeser's communication on campus also is watched carefully by some. Young said he wants to see the chancellor interact more with students and faculty. And one issue that impacts all students is a recent 9 percent across-the-board tuition increase. "The one thing we hope more than anything in student government is that (Moeser) will make a strong statement on the legislature's decision to increase tuition -- hopefully against it," said Rudy Kleysteuber, student body vice president.
Kleysteuber also said he hopes Moeser will address UNC's efforts to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. Another issue involving minority students is the On the Wake of the Emancipation Campaign. OWEC presented its demands, which included disclosing the racist acts of some whose names are on campus buildings and recruitment and retention of minority students, to UNC officials last April.
"I'm really hoping (Moeser) will talk about his feelings on the demands presented by the O-campaign and the strides it's made during the summer," said Kristi Booker, president of the Black Student Movement. "We really haven't heard much from him on that."
But Kleysteuber said the State of the University address deals more with the image the chancellor wishes to project. "I expect him to talk about a lot of things we don't really care about," he said. "Like the $1 billion campaign, which is not an immediate pressing student concern."
Estroff also acknowledged the importance of Moeser's address. "I'm not sure the faculty morale is really high right now," she said. "I'm looking for some hot rhetoric and some inspiration."
The University Editor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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