Members from the UNC Board of Governors met on Oct. 22 to discuss incorporating equity and accessibility in higher education as well as how to best consolidate budget needs.
- Mark West, an English professor at UNC-Charlotte, and Martin Posey, director of the Center for Marine Science at UNC-Wilmington, were each awarded the 2019 James E. Holshouser award for excellence in public service.
- Both were awarded for their activity in research and dedication to the state.
- Members reiterated the need to fund the fundamentals.
- Because of this, the Board is not accepting new applications for projects — emphasizing that the goal is to focus on maintaining promises already made.
- UNC System President Peter Hans spoke about the need to make transferring from community colleges to UNC System schools easier, or from one four-year university to another.
- He said he plans to continue urging a more clear path to graduation for students, and providing more support for all students in the months to come.
- “There is no pausing people’s lives, which means we must be resilient and resolute in providing a life-changing education,” Hans said. “Which means we’ve had to adapt to do our part in keeping people safe.”
- The board will be hosting its first Virtual Open House for the entire UNC System on Oct. 26. There will be eight sessions throughout the week, with each session providing introductions to the universities across the state as well virtual tours.
- Members spoke about a report from the Committee of Budget and Finance, which met the day before. The report recommends focusing on four core needs for the 2021-2023 cycle, including: “full funding of enrollment, the North Carolina Promise program, building reserves as well as compensation funding to recognize system faculty and staff.”
- There was also mention of the saving of contingency funds, due to significant costs brought on by the coronavirus.
- The committee will hold a tuition and fee update the Tuesday before the BOG’s next meeting to formally begin discussions regarding future financial changes in the System.
- Vice Chairperson Anna Spangler Nelson gave the report for the Committee of Educational Planning, Policies and Programs.
- At its meeting on Oct. 21, the committee reviewed and approved the annual comprehensive arts installation agreement between the UNC System and the North Carolina Community College System.
- Chairperson of the Committee on University Governance David Powers gave a report on the Committee of University and Governance.
- The committee proposed a revision regarding section 200.7 of the UNC Policy Manual, regarding the duties and expectations of board members, which was written in regard to concerns brought up at the previous meeting, such as involvement with constituent institutions and their role as board representatives.
- The revisions passed without discussion.
- This committee introduced a series of presentations that will take place regarding free speech and free expression on UNC’s campus.
- The presentations will be led by UNC professors and provide an opportunity to showcase how the university system campuses have protected and promoted these rights on campus.
- Members of the Committee on Audit, Risk Management and Compliance discussed how campus law enforcement is planning for the upcoming election, and the risks involved. The training center has focused on the de-escalation training of police officers, including a course that will be held in December.
- The meeting wrapped up with a report from Leo Daughtry, the chairperson for the Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs. The current goals are to evaluate current veteran suicide prevention strategies and provide a formal recommendation to improve resources and access to proper care.
What’s next for the BOG?
- Multiple topics that were reported will be voted on at the next meeting in November.
- Originally set to take place on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, the next meeting will be held Nov. 18-19.