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Faculty critique ?ve-year plan

As the UNC system’s five-year plan comes to an end and a new one is in the works, the University’s Faculty Executive Committee expressed concerns about possible changes to the plan.

Proposed changes to the new five-year strategic plan dominated discussion at the committee’s Monday meeting.

The committee was responding to a report issued by the system’s Advisory Committee on Strategic Directions, a group that analyzes the UNC system’s progress and creates new goals for the system.
The report outlined goals for the new five-year plan.

At the Monday meeting, UNC-CH faculty members discussed the appropriate path the system should take.

“The next five years will be hard,” committee member Gregory Copenhaver said.

With potential for future budget struggles in mind, committee members realized the chance to influence the next five-year strategic plan is an opportunity that cannot be missed, committee member Jo Anne Earp said.

Committee members discussed suggestions they can make to system’s advisory committee.
The advisory committee, which has not yet solicited faculty input, is working to reach a consensus on recommendations that should be included in the next five-year plan.

The report is a precursor to the final five-year plan, which the advisory committee aims to submit to UNC-system President Thomas Ross in January.

One of the goals outlined in the report involves tailoring degree offerings to the state’s workforce needs.

UNC-CH faculty members emphasized ensuring that the underlying principles defining the University’s curriculum will not be changed in the efforts to achieve this goal.

Several faculty committee members said the University’s liberal arts curriculum — one that fosters critical thinking and problem solving — will be important in meeting the state’s workforce needs.
“The key is the importance of liberal arts,” committee member Joseph Ferrell said.

The lack of diversity within the system’s advisory committee was also discussed during Monday’s Faculty Executive Committee meeting.

With only seven females on the 31-member advisory committee, faculty members questioned if the committee could represent the needs of all the state’s constituents as it works to develop these comprehensive plans.

Laurie Maffly-Kipp, chairwoman of the department of religious studies, said diversity is key in ensuring all perspectives are fairly represented.

“There is value in diversity, in having diverse opinions and voices,” Maffly-Kipp said.

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