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Student Body President Lamar Richards made his final remarks as an ex officio member of the UNC Board of Trustees at the full board meeting on March 24. His successor, Talijiah “Teddy” Vann, will be sworn in as SBP and an ex-officio BOT member in April.

“Remember that you all love this place,” Richards said to the BOT. “No matter your differences or the situation at hand, you must always start and finish on that shared point – your love for this place.” 

The BOT also discussed the tenure clock and heard presentations from the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory and the newly-formed UNC Winston National Center on Technology Use, Brain and Psychological Development.

What’s new? 

  • The board unanimously approved the terms of appointment and compensation for the new Dean of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, Raul Reis, who was appointed to the position earlier this month.
  • The board also passed the 2022-2023 All-Funds budget, which was discussed by the Budget, Finance, and Infrastructure Committee during its Wednesday meeting. 
    • Chairperson David Boliek Jr.  said the new budget provides additional funding to support faculty retention. 
      • “We are committed to providing a world-class education to North Carolina students at an affordable cost,” he said. “In order to provide that world-class education, we need to support a world-class faculty.”
  • Mitch Prinstein and Eva Telzer, the co-directors of the newly-established Winston National Center on Technology Use, Brain and Psychological Development gave a presentation on their research and plans for the center. 
    • The center was officially established last week through a $10 million gift from the Winston Family Foundation. They originally partnered with UNC in 2018 for a similar project – the Winston Family Initiative in Technology and Adolescent Brain Development, also known as WiFi. 
    • The center — as well as the original initiative — focuses on researching the impact of technology use and social media on the brain development of adolescents. 
    • "We're particularly interested in what it is that kids are missing during the times that they are spending on social media," Prinstein said. 
  • Jeff Warren, the executive director of the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory, gave a presentation on the collaboratory’s budget, as well as past and upcoming projects. 
    • Soon to be renamed the N.C. Collaboratory, the center facilitates and funds research related to environmental, economic and public health concerns within the state of North Carolina, using the UNC System Schools. 
    • Warren said that with an upcoming project at the N.C. School of the Arts, the Collaboratory is now completely system-wide, with ongoing or completed projects at all system schools. 
      • The approximately $145 million appropriated to the collaboratory since 2016 has been used for wastewater pilot programs, algae bloom projects and COVID-19 research, Warren said. He said that part of the $74 million allocated to the COVID-19 Research Initiative allowed for the purchase of freezers to hold enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for everyone in the state.
    • Warren said the collaboratory will be housed in the ninth floor of Kenan Laboratories on UNC’s campus starting in fall 2022. 
      • In fall 2022, Warren will be also co-teaching a UNC class called “Science for Hyper-Partisan Times,” based on his recent article of the same title in Issues in Science and Technology.
        • “That discourse is good,” Warren said. “It's healthy. It just needs to be undergirded with respect and understanding.”
  • The board approved the creation of a Personnel Committee to appoint athletics assistant coaches with starting salaries exceeding $250,000 and Tier II senior academic and administrative officers. 
    • The BOT also delegated the authority to appoint athletics assistant coaches with starting salaries not exceeding $250,000 to Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz.
  • The board approved a request from Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Chris Clemens to further extend tenure clock relief – which is a pause on the time before an early-career faculty member is reviewed for tenure or let go – by another 12 months. 
    • The original extension, passed last year, is set to expire on May 22. The proposed second tenure clock extension would allow faculty to apply for a single COVID-related extension between May 22, 2022 and May 23, 2023.  
    • The board also approved 20 promotions conferring tenure, two new appointments conferring tenure, and eight total compensation actions. 
    • The only trustee to vote against both of the above was Trustee Marty Kotis III, who said he is opposed to the concept of tenure because he feels like it “handicaps the University.”

Who is on the BOT?

  • The BOT is comprised of 13 members, including eight elected by the UNC Board of Governors, four appointed by the N.C. General Assembly and the UNC student body president, ex-officio.

What's next?

  • The full board will meet again on May 19.