With their joint meeting on Wednesday night, the Boards of Trustees of UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State demonstrated that they are committed to streamlining the two universities’ programs and making the most of the state’s limited education funds in the current economic climate.
The two boards convened to start a conversation about how both universities can optimize their proximity and forge partnerships from which both schools can benefit.
Each school has a distinct set of resources and opportunities to offer, and their Boards of Trustees are wise to recognize how fruitful increased collaboration and communication could be. We see opportunity for bridging curriculum options.
For instance, though UNC has a strong liberal arts curriculum and an abundance of research opportunities, it lacks an engineering program. N.C. State, on the other hand, doesn’t have accesses to the resources of a law school.
And though students presumably choose between the schools based on how each one better fits their particular interests, there are numerous cases in which students at each school could still benefit from what the other has to offer.
For instance, a public policy major at UNC might discover that he has an interest in agricultural policy. N.C. State could offer classes that would be a perfect supplement to such a focus.
Likewise, an agricultural studies major at N.C. State might discover a passion for agricultural policy and could work with faculty at our law school to do research.
In any case, given the closeness of the two Universities and the diversity of their academic climates, it would be nothing short of wasteful for their leaders not to take advantage of every possibility for collaboration, especially in these trying economic times.
Hopefully the Trustees’ collaboration will maximize the quality of education for students at both schools.