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The Daily Tar Heel

Board of Trustees still worry over donations

The Board of Trustees had a private viewing of the “I Have A Dream UNC Exhibit” in the Student Union Art Gallery Wednesday.

The Board of Trustees had a private viewing of the “I Have A Dream UNC Exhibit” in the Student Union Art Gallery Wednesday.

As of Jan. 12, monetary gifts to UNC have increased one percent from the same time period in 2014.

“I don’t know that I could paint a picture of a more challenging fundraising environment,” said David Routh, vice chancellor for university development, on the difficulties his office faced following the release of the Wainstein report.

“I’m extremely proud of the development team,” he said.

The group discussed Fred Eshelman’s $100 million gift to the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. The gift was the largest ever given to a North Carolina university, and one of the largest gifts of its kind given to any university in the country.

Although UNC has a large donor pool, Routh said the University has not been effective in reaching out to them, especially compared to other schools.

“We have significantly underinvested in development at UNC compared to our peers,” Routh said.

To promote transparency, the University established the Carolina Commitment website in October. From Oct. 22 to Jan. 12, the site had 49,689 unique visitors, along with 132,744 page views. Not including tablet users, 5,100 people have downloaded the Wainstein report.

UNC-system President Tom Ross, who was forced to step down Friday, said the number of visitors is “a drop in the bucket” compared to the number he had hoped would read the full report.

The trustees voted to approve a plan to renovate the pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular access in Porthole Alley, which runs from Franklin Street to Cameron Avenue and is located next to Carolina Coffee Shop.

The goal is to make Porthole Alley a safe and attractive pedestrian and bicycle pathway into campus. By the end of the multi-phase construction project, a total of 16 parking spaces will be eliminated from the current 173 parking spaces. The project will cost $1.2 million and will be paid for by the University.

“We heard a general concern about parking loss in the area,” said Anna Wu, assistant vice chancellor for facilities operations, planning and design.

“We wanted to retain as many spaces as we could because they’re a valuable asset. The goal would be to not exceed more than a 10 percent parking spot loss by the end of all the phases.”

Senior writer Caroline Leland contributed reporting.

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