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Students, Faculty, Staff React to `Great Issues'

In that time, Moeser said the University had the responsibility to provide moral leadership on what he called "the great issues of our day."

"I was very pleased with his comments at the end on the moral role of the University," said Jonathan Howes, special assistant to the chancellor. "Those would have been easy to leave out, but he addressed them and addressed them in a forceful way."

Moeser spoke on such issues as capital punishment, racism and discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Student Body Vice President Rudy Kleysteuber said he was pleased that the chancellor spoke about UNC's nondiscrimination policy.

"It was just one sentence, but the fact that it was mentioned shows we're moving toward a climate where issues of sexual orientation can be openly discussed," he said.

Kleysteuber also lauded the attention the chancellor's speech paid to the importance of service on campus. Moeser specifically praised the APPLES service-learning program.

"I was very pleased with his focus on service," Kleysteuber said. "It wasn't something I was expecting."

But some said they wished Moeser had given more in-depth attention to certain topics.

"He mentioned how the University was leading the South and embracing diversity, but I wish he'd said more about how he wants to alleviate these problems if he sees them as problems," said Carmen Scott, the Black Student Movement's executive assistant.

"He mentioned sticking to your convictions, and if his conviction is to create a diverse culture, I wish he'd follow through with it."

Sue Estroff, Faculty Council chairwoman, said she also wishes the chancellor had been more explicit about these issues. "I would have liked to have heard more about the race talk," she said. "But the good part is this starts conversations."

Moeser addressed many issues, including research, the Carolina First fund-raising campaign, a pending state budget crisis and UNC's Development Plan, an eight-year outline of campus growth.

Estroff said she admired the way the chancellor was able to move between concrete issues and abstract concepts.

"I think this is a snapshot of his character -- someone who can go from the ins and outs of the capital campaign to the morals of what's right and good," she said. "He can keep his feet in both places. That's why he's chancellor."

In addition to touching on the leadership role of the University, the chancellor outlined the goal and challenges facing UNC, one of which included the Development Plan and the school's relationship with the town of Chapel Hill.

Moeser expressed concern about additional stipulations proposed by the town that he said could place an unfair burden on the University. "I was especially interested in his comments on the town-gown (relations) and the development plan," Howes said. "I thought he was very straightforward in our dealings without being heavy-handed."

Moeser also discussed the academic goals of the University, linking them to other aspects such as fund raising and research.

"I liked the way he tied the academic and financial concerns together," said Provost Robert Shelton. "I thought the content was very substantial, and the delivery was superb. And I'm not just saying that because he's my boss."

Shelton added that Moeser's method of threading different topics enabled him to acknowledge the concerns of all the different groups on campus.

But some students felt their concerns were not adequately addressed.

"I'd like to see him talk more about the student experience," said Student Body President Justin Young.

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"He would touch the brim, the cusp of student experience, but it was in relation to these bigger plans."

Senior Erica Lee, a member of BSM, said Moeser focused more on faculty than students. "He talked a lot about fund raising, which I've heard he's good at, but where are the funds going?" Lee said. "Not to academic advising. I don't feel he's listening to student concerns."

Lee said Moeser could improve his communication with students by actually going to the students.

She mentioned former Chancellor Michael Hooker as an example.

"I'd like to see him out more, not just shaking hands at fund-raisers," she said.

Young said in earlier interviews that he would have liked Moeser to address the corporate presence on campus.

He said Wednesday that he was pleased with the delicate way the chancellor handled the money issue.

"The reason he's going out to do this is to make Carolina the best university it can be," he said. "I think (Moeser's) focus and heart are in the right place. I know deep down that the focus for those (fund-raising) drives has the best interests of the University at heart."

Young said he was generally pleased with the speech and the plan the chancellor had laid out before the University.

"Overall, it's hard to sit there and not be reinvigorated about the vision of the University," he said. "I think Chancellor Moeser has a lot going for the growth of the University and the direction it takes."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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