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UNC-system happenings for Feb. 16, 2015

Charlotte hosts veterans event

UNC-Charlotte is holding a conference aimed at assisting veterans with the transition back into civilian life on Feb. 24.

“The conference is focused on raising awareness and attending to the needs of service members and their families,” said Christine Elnitsky, chairwoman of the school’s Academy for Veteran and Military Health. “There are over two million veterans coming back from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many will need help returning to normalcy as well as getting an education.”

It is a free public event open to the community. The event is funded by the Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund at UNC-C.

There will be a poster section and art exhibit, which includes work from students, as well as two keynote speakers: Ilario Pantano, director of the N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs, and Maj. Gen. Marianne Mathewson-Chapman. Both are veterans.

“North Carolina has the third largest active military force in the nation,” said Elnitsky. “This is about helping our veterans who may become students in the UNC system be successful in their academic endeavors.”

ECU medical school at risk

Due to budget cuts, the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University — one of just two medical schools in the state — is facing financial woes. 

ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard made comments to WNCT suggesting that the medical school could close in the next five years, though he clarified his comments on Tuesday. 

Paul Cunningham, dean of the medical school, said he doesn’t see the school closing. 

“Over time the budget derived from the state has been diminishing,” Cunningham said. “For our mission to remain viable we would recommend that we have more of an investment from our state partners.”

In 2007, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine found that, without a significant increase in the number of physicians, the state is likely to face a severe shortage of doctors in the next 20 years.

“We train doctors and have an enormous track record for keeping them in the state,” he said. “It is a formula we have always used.”

“We remain optimistic,” he added. “We are also running a business, so we need to seek support, partnership and investment.”

Appalachian efficiency lauded

U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Appalachian State University as the most efficient among regional schools in the southeast — meaning that it achieved a solid academic experience while spending relatively less. 

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“The inclusion in their list of efficient universities is just another indication of the quality education the university provides to students,” said Jane Nicholson, director of university news at Appalachian. 

Appalachian has been able to maintain relatively small class sizes, Nicholson said, as well as provide access to updated science labs and equipment and facilities. It also has a healthy freshman-to-sophomore retention rate and strong four- and five-year graduation rates. 

“This is just one of many measures of the value of an Appalachian degree,” Nicholson said.

 The university is also succeeding on the donor front — it recently concluded a fundraising campaign that generated more than $203 million to support academics, arts and athletics. 

Juicy J coming to Western

Last Minute Productions has booked rapper Juicy J to perform at Western Carolina University on Thursday. 

Last Minute Productions is the school’s student-run entertainment provider. 

Student tickets are $11 and non-student tickets are $21. 

“We looked at our demographics of campus and decided we needed more diversity,” said Temi Adeleye, vice president of programming for Last Minute Productions. “We have had a lot of country in the past so we wanted to reach out to the hip-hop side.” 

The concert will be held at the Ramsey Center at 7 p.m. The group has already sold about 1,000 tickets but expects to sell many more, since the concert isn’t for another week and a half, Adeleye said. 

“Students have been helping the marketing side without us even asking,” she said. “We have gone as far as Asheville and Waynesville to post fliers.

 “It’s going to be a great show.”

 The Carolina Union Activities Board hosted Juicy J for its spring concert in 2012