As 2022 comes to a close, the University has celebrated victories and handled unprecedented challenges over the past twelve months. DTH University Desk Editor, Liv Reilly sat down with Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz to talk about some of the main events in University news that happened this year.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
The Daily Tar Heel: This is the first semester since spring 2020 coming back without masks. As the chancellor, have you seen any changes on campus and staff and faculty, and if you have, what have those changes been?
Kevin Guskiewicz: It's been great. And it's not without challenges still, but I’m really proud of the way that campus has responded. We certainly learned to adapt during those challenging two or three semesters, but I’m really proud of the way that campus has responded. And when I say that, I mean our students, our faculty and our staff. Our staff have been critical to keeping our campus safe, and we're grateful.
DTH: If there's one thing you could tell students about the recent Supreme Court case, what would it be?
KG: It's about really protecting our democracy and the types of decisions that your generation will be out there participating in that democracy. And being able to be part of decision-making, we'll be made better and in a more informed way, having sat in our classrooms and had conversations around whatever the topic might be in the classroom alongside students with different lived experiences. That to me is critically important for protecting our democracy.
DTH: We've welcomed quite a few new deans this past year and quite few new leaders. How are they all doing during this transitional period for a lot of departments?
KG: It's an exciting time with the number of new leaders coming on board. I will say that I could not be happier with the five new deans that we have on boarded over the past six, seven months. We have two more searches that we're in the process of wrapping up and we have some new vice chancellor positions.
DTH: There have been over 65 buildings with lead found in the water. Do you plan on approaching this issue and how to tell students that it's going to be okay in the future? And what does that plan look like?