Chancellor Carol Folt said she believes it is important for everyone to realize that UNC is a university where people are still getting up every morning, going to class, going to work and doing research.
“I’ve heard amazing stories of faculty that are talking about it in their classrooms and are coming up with wonderful, productive conversations,” Folt said.
Bradley Opere, student body president, said the climate at UNC has reflected that of the rest of the United States in the past week.
“We’ve had some protests on campus,” he said. “I have been very, very concerned about the position we start taking as a school with regards to free speech and being able to provide safe spaces on campus.”
Folt said she believes this election is not any different than previous elections because there will always be people who either rejoice in the results or dislike the results.
“Every time there’s an election, there’s always a period following the election where people are really processing it,” she said. “For students, it’s for many of them, the very first time in their lives they’ve gone through this process and it was a highly contested election.”
Dwight Stone, chairperson of the Board of Trustees, said one of the great things about the University is that there are differing opinions and the ability for us to all come together to work through issues.
“Our University is made up of students, faculty, administrators, Board of Trustees, alumni – all with diverse ideas and opinions,” Stone said. “I think we need to have respectful talk among all of our groups on campus.”
The board also discussed the approved tuition increase. Stone said he was confident the increase would be approved by the Board of Governors.
Folt showed the Board of Trustees a video of the new exhibit in Carolina Hall. She said she has received positive feedback on the exhibit, which is the start of a big effort for the academic building.
“One of my most interesting conversations was talking to faculty members who are in the building and also to some of the task force who have been watching as people came through,” she said. “I think overwhelmingly that opinion has them that it’s moving and they’ve learned something. So, as an educational institution that’s important.”
Haywood Cochrane, chairperson of the Board of Trustees finance committee, said there were 16 fees approved in the meeting Wednesday. One was not approved and one was not implemented because a consensus was not reached.
Cochrane said the Kenan-Flagler Business School fee was the one not implemented, but they will continue to work on resolutions for the program.
“While the fee was not implemented, we recognize the absolute importance of the program and its need to basically allow more acceptances,” he said. “We admitted 47 percent of the applicants last year. So, the demand for this program is high. We will continue to work on satisfactory resolutions on how to fund that.”