Chancellor Carol Folt addressed changes in the University over the past year in her annual State of University address at the Undergraduate Senate meeting Tuesday.
“You’re not living in the last century,” Folt said. “You have new interests, new areas and when (the new curricula are) launched it’s going to be exciting.”
Folt spoke on divisive issues that have come up on campus this semester. She said the administration is working on a policy on sexual assault that allows students to both come forward to report harassment and be treated fairly.
Folt also stressed her concern about Silent Sam. She agrees that the statue has been divisive on campus and causes fear in some students. She said the School of Government is analyzing what a 2015 state law that prohibits movement of monuments allows the University to do.
"I think it's very difficult for our University for (Silent Sam) to be sitting there, for something that fosters not discourse but real fear," Folt said. "It's in the hands of the historic commission."
Senators questioned the controversial free speech policy, which stated students could be expelled if they hindered free speech. Folt said she supports student protests and said, while UNC students are respectful when they protest, she is concerned with potential violence.
“I would much rather have me deal with (student protests) than be told how to deal with it,” Folt said. "There is a lot of debate over who gets to decide what the punishments are.”
Folt said her goals for the year included revamping the global programs, with the intention of eventually having every student participate in an international experience. She also stressed the Campaign for Carolina, which aims to raise $4.25 billion, and said over $300 million has been raised for student aid and scholarships.
“Sometimes I’m pretty close to tears when (donors) tell me their stories of why they want to give,” Folt said.