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Partnerships at UNC fostered by Folt will outlive her tenure


After nearly six years of creating and fostering relationships with sponsors, Chancellor Carol Folt will be concluding her tenure as the University's primary liaison to outside financial and educational partners.

Under Folt's leadership, the university created partnerships with Burt's Bees, Deerfield Capital Management, United Health Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline and many more. These relationships have fostered a steady influx of donations and fundraising contributions to UNC for the growing development and progression of education. 

Under Folt, UNC's medical departments have worked with the support of Deerfield Capital Management to form Pinnacle Hill, LLC, which provides drug development expertise through administering funding to therapeutic areas. The $65 million from this hedge fund allows for innovative drug research with University researchers. Usually investing in the health care sector, Deerfield sees a promising future for drug development with UNC. 

The Three Zeros Environmental Initiative started by Folt in 2016 aims to reduce emission, minimize water usage and increase recycling. From using non-potable water in more effective ways to getting rid of straws in the stadium and handing out recycling bags at tailgates, strides have been taken across campus to minimize UNC’s environmental impact. 

Under Folt, UNC partnered with the United Health Foundation to increase diversity in health care. Over a three year period, $1.6 million will be used to create an education and training program for people interested in health care careers. The support is targeted toward African-American, Latinx and other minority students, due to that fact that they are underrepresented within the health care field. 

Following the devastation from Hurricane Florence, Folt partnered with UNC Student Stores to establish a $2 million Florence Student Emergency Fund for students who were affected by the hurricane, whether it be academically or financially. A Student Success Hub for Florence Recovery was also created, with advisors for students to speak with about the impact the hurricane had on the fall semester and create "success plans."

Folt's largest campaign is For all Kind: The Campaign for Carolina, which is the largest campaign in Carolina history. The goal of the campaign is to raise $4.25 billion by the end of 2022. As part of the campaign, The Carolina Edge aimed to raise $1 billion for student scholarships. By the end of the 2018 fiscal year, UNC had raised $2.23 billion.

The campaign includes funding for arts and science programs, including the Arts Everywhere initiative, which aims to increase the visibility of arts of campus, and the Institute of Convergent Science, which Folt said plans to expand University research beyond the lab. As part of Arts Everywhere, Folt brought "Crouching Spider" and "Eye Benches I" by contemporary artist and sculptor Louise Bourgeois to campus. 

Under Folt, the College of Arts and Science received an $18 million donation to more than double the size of the entrepreneurship program. This donation also created more opportunities for faculty and students to have a more hands-on experience. 

Folt has also helped to grow funding for students in middle-income families. In 2018, the Blue Sky Scholars program was started with a $5 million donation to support students ineligible for programs like the Carolina Covenant, which assists low-income students.

In her email sent Monday evening announcing her resignation, Folt said she will continue to "focus on our core mission" and "push forward with Carolina's campaign." Folt also said that she intended to step down following graduation in the spring; however, the UNC-system Board of Governor's voted Tuesday to make Folt's resignation effective Jan. 31.

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