The UNC Board of Governors met for the first time this semester on Thursday and discussed the UNC System's five-year strategic plan, which is in its final year.
UNC System President Peter Hans proposed that the BOG revise and extend the framework of the plan by preserving the original foundation and adjusting where needed.
The board also discussed the recently proposed funding model and Project Kitty Hawk, an online learning initiative for working adults.
- The UNC System five-year plan, which has been in place since 2017, comes to a close this year.
- The current core goals of the plan are access, affordability and efficiency, student success, economic impact and community engagement, and excellent and diverse institutions.
- The proposed changes to the plan include addressing on-time graduation, new ways to manage student debt and life outcomes for graduates, goals surrounding student mental health and wellbeing, and new opportunities for adult learners and veterans.
- “When I talk to students and families about what they want from college, I don’t really hear much about revolutionary transformation,” Hans said. “I hear about affordability, about making sure the right courses are available at the right time and about connecting their degree to a promising career. The basics, the fundamentals. Again, I think that’s what’s made (the current) plan such a success, we are delivering on those core promises.”
- J. Alex Mitchell, vice chairperson of the BOG Committee on Budget and Finance, gave an update report including the 2022 fiscal year budget, 2022-23 tuition proposals and athletic fees and proposed funding model changes.
- The Budget and Finance Committee held a special meeting on Jan. 18, where they discussed proposed funding model changes. The System office staff is collecting campus feedback to refine the proposal and the final vote is expected at the February BOG meeting.
- On Jan. 19, the committee held its regular meeting where they discussed a preview of the 2022-23 tuition proposals, which will also be considered for vote in February.
- David Powers, chairperson of the Committee on University Governance, gave an update on Project Kitty Hawk, an online initiative to help more working adults earn their college degrees.
- The Budget and Finance Committee proposed delegating authority of setting the program's tuition rates to the Project Kitty Hawk board of directors.
- To meet the goals of the budget provision, Project Kitty Hawk programs will need to be established and begin enrolling students on a timeline that is more flexible than the traditional academic calendar, Mitchell said. This policy will be voted on in the February meeting.
- In the 2021 budget, the General Assembly called for the creation of a nonprofit organization to develop the necessary programs to serve the unique needs of adult learners — which led to the creation of Project Kitty Hawk.
- “In the 2021 budget, the General Assembly called on us to create such a nonprofit with a $97 million and one-time funding," Carolyn Coward, chairperson of the BOG Committee on Strategic initiatives, said. "The funding will be used to stand up Project Kitty Hawk, a nonprofit ed-tech start-up that is affiliated with the UNC system that will support universities in their efforts to build innovative and online degree programs.”
- The board also share that they recently approved a new lab school, Appalachian State Academy at Elkin for grades two through four. The lab school is one of nine that fall under the UNC System's Lab School initiative, which was also established by the N.C. General Assembly.
- The board also recently approved five new academic degree programs and the discontinuation and consolidation of two academic degree programs.
- The UNC Press Board of Governors has two partial vacancies, with one term ending June 30, 2024, and one ending on June 30, 2026.
- This group is responsible for directing the work of the UNC Press, a nonprofit publisher charged with distributing scholarly and general interest work from the UNC System.
- The board nominated Osamudia James, a professor at the UNC School of Law, to fill the partial vacancy ending June 30, 2026, and Angela K. Miles, associate professor and chairperson of business administration at North Carolina Central University to fill the vacancy ending June 30, 2024.
- The BOG unanimously approved the new appointments.
- The BOG will meet again from Feb. 23 to Feb. 24 to vote on the proposed funding model, 2022-23 tuition proposals, Project Kitty Hawk policies and more.
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