The UNC Board of Trustees discussed plans to resume all in-person instruction during its full board meeting Thursday — the same day the University announced that all classes would resume in-person instruction.
With the majority of courses already taught in person, Board Chairperson David Boliek said he believes the University’s COVID-19 response has been strong, giving the Board the ability to focus on other school priorities.
The Board also heard from University researchers about the medical and environmental work they are conducting on campus, and trustees from various committees gave presentations before moving into closed session.
- Boliek also spoke about the recent announcement that the Campaign for Carolina, a fundraising initiative launched in 2017, has surpassed its goal of raising $4.25 billion. The money will go toward scholarships, medical advancements, fellowship programs and infrastructure improvements.
- “With that announcement being reached, Carolina is positioned to take advantage of the future,” he said. “We are positioned to support all corners of the University’s mission for the years and decades ahead.”
- The campaign will continue through the end of the year and focus on funding for scholarships and professorships, Boliek said.
- During his remarks, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz welcomed Chris Clemens, the University’s new executive vice chancellor and provost. Clemens will officially begin his role on Feb. 1.
- The Board heard from Trustee Marty Kotis III, who is serving as the chairperson for the Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee, which formed in November.
- Kotis said the committee is designed “to prevent bad things from happening.” He reported that during its inaugural meeting Wednesday, the committee was updated on the University’s COVID-19 response and the search for a new police chief. Former Chief David Perry resigned from the position effective June 30.
- The newly formed committee's responsibilities include approving UNC's internal audit plans and advising the chancellor on risk management and compliance activities.
- Guskiewicz recommended the creation of the Audit, Compliance and Risk Management Committee to Boliek as a separate entity from the Finance, Infrastructure and Audit Committee, which will be renamed the Budget, Finance and Infrastructure Committee.
- The Board approved a series of proposals for infrastructure projects around campus presented by Trustee John Preyer, chairperson of the Budget, Finance and Infrastructure Committee.
- The committee approved the spending authority requests and site plans for the Porthole Alley redevelopment project, which will strengthen the infrastructure connecting portions of Franklin Street and UNC’s campus.
- In his earlier remarks, Boliek said this project is “a game-changing capital project that will transform the 100-block of Franklin Street.”
- The committee also approved design plans for the renovation and expansion of Kenan Football Center. The Board previously approved the budget for the $500,000 project in May.
Who is on the Board?
- The Board is comprised of 13 members, including eight elected by the UNC Board of Governors, four appointed by the N.C. General Assembly and the student body president, ex officio.
Who else attended the meeting?
- Assistant professor Lindsey Ingerman James is the director of chemical biology for the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She presented research being done at the University to create drugs to treat multiple myeloma, a form of cancer seen in plasma cells.
- Chemistry professor Gerald Meyer, director of the Center for Hybrid Approaches in Solar Energy to Liquid Fuels, gave a presentation on research funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. CHASE is looking to wield solar technology to create liquid energy sources.
The Board will meet again on March 23 and 24. Additional coverage can be found here.
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