The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday February 1st

Board of Trustees discusses Alert Carolina, renovations and applied sciences

Five different committees gathered. However, the personnel committee was held in closed session.

Chairperson Kelly Hopkins led the External Relations Committee, which heard presentations on the growing UNC Visitors Center.

“Missy Julian Fox, director of UNC Visitors Center, presented with very exciting news of growth of the Visitors Center, pointing out that the increased usage serves 26,000 visitors annually,” Hopkins said.

Joel Curran, vice chancellor of communications and public affairs, gave an update on his team’s work and announced UNC has been ranked the top university for Twitter usage and social media.

The Finance, Infrastructure and Audit Committee approved designers for projects, heard proposals for new projects and began plans for a new security system.

Anna Wu, associate vice chancellor for facilities services, said some of the plans for renovations were an expansion to Finley Fields, including adding fields and a running track, approving an addition to the SECU Family House and adding a surgical tower to UNC Hospitals.

Derek Kemp, associate vice chancellor for campus safety and risk management, presented new plans to increase campus security, which would include modifications to Alert Carolina, the current system. Kemp said the attempted kidnapping in November 2015 partially prompted the changes.

Kemp said his department added five new officers and one new crime prevention and community relations officer. He said his department has also been working on developing a task force between the University and the town of Chapel Hill.

A new system, called “One Button,” Alert Carolina Initial Emergency Notification Automation Project, would use five buttons — armed and dangerous person, fire/hazmat, tornado warning, all clear and test activation — to respond to emergencies on campus.

“Our current notification process, to work through the process takes about 12 to 13 minutes to run through just because of the complexity,” he said. “This technology shortens that down to about a 2 to 3 minute response in terms once we make that decision.”

Kemp said the funding for these changes came from the budget and from a new $30 student fee.

“The campus security fee was implemented by the system because there was a recognition that the universities were paying for growing security requirements out of pocket,” Kemp said.

Kemp said there are plans to put more cameras and lights around campus and Chapel Hill to increase safety, a plan made possible by working with the new mayor of Chapel Hill, Pam Hemminger.

In the University Affairs Committee, the future of the general education curriculum was discussed, along with an admissions update and a proposal for University acknowledgement of Student Stores.

Abigail Panter, senior associate dean for undergraduate education, said the committee is in the process of rethinking the general education curriculum, which could be implemented by Fall 2019.

Stephen Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions, said the incoming class is the largest in UNC history. He said the university received over 35,000 applications and admitted less than one third of the applicants.

Charles Streeter, chairperson of the employee forum, spoke about the recognition of Student Stores employees in this time of transition.

“I think there needs to be some kind of acknowledgment for 100 years of service that’s been done by the Student Stores, that’s been run by staff of the University for a century,” Streeter said.

Streeter said he hopes Barnes and Noble College will offer opportunities for growth and pay increases, not available through the state.

“I have not seen such a large number of employees in one unit separated from the University,” Streeter said. “I think there needs to be some kind of appreciation shown to the current staff, and it really needs to come from the University.”

In the Commercialization and Economic Development Committee, Edward Samulski, chair of the department of applied physical science, said the department faced problems with funding and their location in Kenan Labs.

“We spent 5 million already, and we’ve learned in the last two or three weeks that it’s going to take another 12 million just to take care of the air handling in Kenan, and that’s not a permanent solution,” Samulski said. “It would be 17 million more if we wanted to try and really fix Kenan up.”

“The point is that we have to stop now because we can’t hire, and that wasn’t the plan for this department,” Samulski said.

The full Board of Trustees met May 19 after the committee meetings.

Chancellor Folt announced a new position, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for the Arts, and appointed Emil Kang, executive director for the arts, to the position.

“It’s usually a position that is meant to be a temporary position, so this is a three year position for Emil and then we’ll assess at that point what we’ve been able to create, does it best sit in what’s already here or are we thinking about different sorts of structures going forward,” Folt said.

Student Body President Bradley Opere was also sworn into the Board of Trustees at the meeting.

Marcie Cohen Ferris and Alice Ammerman, co-chairs of the steering committee for Food For All, presented on UNC’s theme of Food For All, which studied food history, accessibility and culture.

Emily Auerbach gave a presentation on her edible garden project, The Edible Campus, which developed land around campus to grow food.

“When I was looking at something I could do with my senior year, a place where I could really focus my energy, I wanted to do something that would have a really physical impact on our campus,” Auerbach said.

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