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UNC Board of Governors announces faculty public service award honorees

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UNC System President Peter Hans speaks to the Board of Governors during a full board meeting on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

The UNC Board of Governors announced honorees for the faculty public service award and discussed affordable education at its Thursday full board meeting.  

Committee chairpersons provided updates on adult learning program Project Kitty Hawk and delegations of authority between UNC leaders.

In his report, UNC System President Peter Hans spoke about the System's mission and its goals of providing a variety of educational experiences.

"The toolbox for policymakers, teaching research, public service ... that is our mission," Hans said. "The foundations of this (System) have never been stronger shape."

What’s new?

  • The BOG began the meeting with a presentation of the 2021 Governor James E. Holshouser, Jr. Award for Excellence in Public Service to Jane Hoppin, a biological sciences associate professor at N.C. State University, and Arwin Smallwood, chairperson of the Department of History and Political Science at N.C. A&T.
    • The award was established in 2007 and is presented to UNC System faculty who "exemplify the University's commitment to service and community engagement."
    • Hoppin's work focuses on the connection between environmental exposures and health outcomes for communities in North Carolina and beyond.
      • “I'm really committed to training the next generation of researchers,” Hoppin said. “... So I'm hoping that my commitment to clean air and water for everyone will continue, and I'm really honored for this opportunity.”
    • Smallwood's research primarily focuses on the relationships between African Americans, Native Americans and Europeans in Eastern North Carolina during the Colonial and early Antebellum periods.
      • Smallwood said he is a product of the UNC System and is proud of what it has accomplished over the years. The award means a great deal to him, he said.
      • "I'm a North Carolinian,” Smallwood said. “And I think my wife will tell you that — other than her — I don't love anything better than the state of North Carolina.”
    • Chairperson Randy Ramsey said that the UNC System prioritizes public service, and Hoppin and Smallwood are examples of public service in action.
      • "I believe that our system is making a useful difference from the mountains to the coast," he said.
  • Hans emphasized the need for accessible and affordable higher education. 
  • System schools are currently in their sixth year of flat tuition for undergraduate students, Hans said.
    • "A low cost undergraduate education can send a powerful message about who college is for," he said.
    • Because of the focused direction and public investment in the BOG, Hans said tens of thousands of college graduate students can graduate without significant student loan debt.
  • James L. Holmes, a member of the Committee on Budget and Finance, said that the 2022-2023 tuition and fee proposal has been submitted by UNC System institutions.
    • The proposal does not recommend increases for resident student tuition, but several institutions have requested increases to non-resident tuition and established rates for new professional programs, Holmes said.
    • Chairperson of the Committee on University Governance David Powers gave an update on Project Kitty Hawk. The program is an entity within the UNC System that is intended to offer accessible education and degree paths to working adult learners — an underserved market in North Carolina.
      • The project was started with seed money and about $97 million of public money, Powers said.
      • The Board carried Powers' motion to accept Project Kitty Hawk’s conflicts of interest and ethics policy.
  • At the Committee on University Personnel meeting Wednesday, BOG members reviewed the policy on delegation of authority to the UNC System president, as well as the policy to grant maximum flexibility to appoint and fix compensation.
    • “These proposed revisions increase delegations of authority to the president and the boards of trustees for various EHRA compensation actions,” Kellie Hunt Blue, chairperson of the committee, said.
    • At UNC-Chapel Hill, EHRA refers to some non-faculty positions, both part- and full-time, and includes set minimum salary requirements.
    • The proposed revisions were approved by the committee for full board consideration at its April meeting, Blue said. 

Who is on the BOG?

The UNC Board of Governors has 24 voting members and is led by UNC System President Peter Hans. Members are elected by the House of Representatives of the N.C. General Assembly and serve for staggered four-year terms. The president of the UNC Association of Student Governments serves as a nonvoting, ex officio member.

What's next?

The BOG full board will meet again on April 6.

University Desk Co-editor Brianna Atkinson and University Desk Assistant Editor Liv Reilly contributed reporting.  


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