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The Daily Tar Heel

Board of Trustees unanimously support Connect NC bond

Andy Kant, speaking at the Board of Trustees meeting on the Commercialization & Economic Development Committee on Jan. 27th.
Andy Kant, speaking at the Board of Trustees meeting on the Commercialization & Economic Development Committee on Jan. 27th.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution to support the bond at their Thursday meeting. North Carolina residents can vote on the bond on March 15.

“We’re really hoping that we can get the support because it will allow us to continue to train more doctors for this state. There is a critical need for more doctors; they need to be outstanding doctors. We’ve got the capacity to do it, and we really need to improve the facility,” Chancellor Carol Folt said.

Faculty Chairperson Bruce Cairns, his daughter Ashley Cairns and Julie Byerley, the medical school’s vice dean for education, gave a presentation about the school to explain why the board should support the bond.

“What I’m hoping to do is give you more content as you talk to your friends and neighbors about this bond issue,” she said.

Byerley told the board 97 percent of graduates are satisfied with their education once they leave the medical school.

Byerley said there is an expected shortage of physicians by 2020, and they hope the new building will attract more top students.

Ashley Cairns, a first-year medical student, said the building also needs to adapt to the school’s new style of medical teaching, which emphasizes clinical practice.

Bruce Cairns said the current building, Berryhill Hall, reflects the time in which it was built, and times have changed. He said teaching is no longer isolated, passive and competitive, but the building still forces that atmosphere.

“Imagine if you’re a patient, and your trainees are sitting in that kind of environment, and all they’re focusing on is, ‘What about me?’” Cairns said.


After a presentation from religious studies professor Bart Ehrman about his research on the spread of Christianity, Folt told reporters she hopes to bring more of a focus on the humanities by having professors come speak for the board.

“We do tend to focus on the immediacy. What’s going on right now in medical care, how is it changing in business. And one really great thing is to go back and talk about some of the basic, the fundamental studies,” she said.


The trustees also reviewed the issues heard in committees the day before and then went into closed session.

Closed session lasted for approximately two hours and 40 minutes.

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