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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC Board of Trustees creates vice chancellor post

Judith Cone will oversee economic development and commercialization.

Chancellor Carol Folt announced a new position to promote commercialization on campus.

“We received approval from the Board of Governors recently for a cabinet-level position to help our University maximize our potential in economic development and commercialization — a vice chancellor position,” she said.

Judith Cone, who had been a special assistant to the chancellor, will be the interim vice chancellor of commercialization and economic development.

Student Body President Andrew Powell said his administration plans to ensure elected officials in Raleigh understand the University’s economic importance to the state.

“We’d like to see North Carolina continue to make strong state investments in our education. So as the legislature begins its session, we plan to make a number of trips over to Raleigh,” he said.

Folt is also looking forward after the shocking announcement of UNC-system President Tom Ross’s forced resignation.

“University systems go through transitions. Every one in the country does, and every institution needs to find its place in that transition, to be helpful to move it forward, while keeping the momentum going,” she said.

After meeting publicly for nearly three hours, the Board went into closed session for another three hours.

Centers and institutes on display

The Board heard presentations from the Institute of Marine Sciences, the Howard W. Odum Institute for Research in Social Science, the Sonja Haynes Stone Center and the Carolina Women’s Center.

The Stone Center and Carolina Women’s Center both face funding threats from the UNC-system Board of Governors, who will decide on a new budget in February. Folt said the centers are key to connecting different disciplines on UNC’s campus.

“The centers and institutes are very important part of our collaborative culture,” she said. “They fit in the middle, and they bring in people from across the University.”

Folt said she wanted the centers to show student engagement.

“The Stone Center has always been a gathering site for students,” said Stone Center Director Joseph Jordan. “We owe a good deal of our success, and our very existence, to their insistence that we remain an academic resource for them and for the entire campus.”

Carolina Women’s Center Director Christi Hurt said the center is crucial to preventing gender violence as well as providing resources to victims. She said she often receives calls from concerned parents about both issues.

“I was able to tell them about the work of the Carolina Women’s Center and how we would be able to ensure that their children would have what they needed when they were here,” she said.

Contextualized grading

Powell also addressed the contextualized transcripts delay, which his administration encouraged in December because of student concerns.

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Powell strongly supports interactive technology in classrooms and said the primary benefit of such technology is that it helps students work together.

“I’m afraid that through implementing a contextualized grading policy where implicitly students are competing against each other, it may undercut some of the incentive to have this open, collaborative, peer-to-peer learning experience,” he said.