UNC-system President Margaret Spellings began the morning with remarks on the state of North Carolina’s higher education.
“Our future as a state, and our future as a country, depends on our need and our demand to educate more students to higher levels than ever before,” she said.
Spellings said higher education has never been as necessary for the community as it is now.
“We are truly in a global knowledge economy,” she said.
Spellings focused her speech on poor, minority and rural students who face limited options in pursuing higher education.
She said she is keeping her eye on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy under the Trump administration. She also said she hopes to clarify the issue of sexual assault on college campuses by determining what the role of local law enforcement is compared to the University’s role.
Spellings addressed the strategic plan adopted by the UNC Board of Governors and said that while the UNC system is not perfect, they are looking forward to the new plan.
This plan is focused on retention and graduation rates. Spellings said an increase in higher education credentials would act as an economic boost for the state.