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Board of Governors give service award, discuss equitable enrollment

The Old Well and the South Building are pictured on campus on Nov. 17, 2021.

The UNC Board of Governors full board meeting on Thursday approved appointments of numerous Board of Trustee members for universities within the UNC System.

The governors recognized an honoree for the faculty service award and discussed equitable enrollment of low-income and rural students. In his last official report, UNC student and Governor Raymond Palma highlighted some of the UNC Association of Student Governments' achievements this year. 

The BOG also discussed yesterday’s meeting of the Committee on Budget and Finance.

What’s new?

  • Cherry Beasley, professor, interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNC-Pembroke, was honored for receiving the 2022 Governor James E. Holshouser, Jr. Award for Excellence in Public Service.
    • Beasley is the first member of the North Carolina Lumbee tribe that has earned a baccalaureate, master's and doctorate in nursing. 
    • She said she was “surprised” when she learned that she was a recipient of the award because “commitment to service and community engagement is ontological – it is simply who I am.” 
  • The BOG discussed having a plan focusing on more equitable enrollment of low-income and rural students that tracks graduation rates by subgroup. 
    • UNC System President Peter Hans said this would place a premium on reducing student debt which disproportionately burdens low-income and minority students. 
    • “If you look across our campuses today, you'll see a range of initiatives and support programs and recruitment strategies being deployed to welcome and guide students who were not always well represented,” Hans said. 
    • Hans also said that the UNC System’s embrace of pluralism must accompany a "bedrock commitment" to academic freedom and freedom of thought. 
    • “I’ve heard the argument recently that our ideals of inclusion and free expression are in tension somehow with one another and that free speech or free inquiry must sometimes yield in order to make the university a welcoming place for all,” Hans said. “I respectfully disagree with that. Diversity and free expression enhance one another." 
  • Palma attended his last official meeting as a member of the BOG and gave a report on ASG’s achievements over the past year. 
    • ASG held its first in-person legislative tenancy day in the N.C. General Assembly since the pandemic. 
    • “Fifteen of the 17 campuses were presented in Raleigh, and over 55 meetings were held between campus delegations and their respective leaders,” Palma said. 
    • He also said that ASG’s department of campus outreach conducted a system-wide survey to evaluate the direct needs of students. 
    • The data was used to create digital resources that delegations could return to their respective campuses and distribute amongst students.    
    • “I hope that I have been ever so slightly successful representing students in the past few years,” Palma said. “And why I humbly ask that as the current and future students invest in themselves, you continue to invest everything in them.”  
  • Governor Lee Roberts gave his report on yesterday’s Committee on Budget and Finance meeting, comparing the budget passed by the N.C. House to the Board’s budget priorities. 
    • “The House budget included funding for many of our requests, including funding for our performance-weighted enrollment funding change, completion assistance programs and cybersecurity,” Roberts said. 
    • The House budget also included funding for a 7.5 percent salary increase for state employees.
    • “Finally, the system office, with the committee's encouragement, has begun a process to study the costs and benefits of upgrading many of our campuses to a modern cloud-based ERP (Enterprise resource planning),” Roberts said. 
  • Governor Kirk Bradley gave his report on affordable education planning policies and programs.
    • Yesterday, the Committee on Educational Planning, Policies, and Programs approved three academic degree program establishments. 
    • The Committee also heard an update on the faculty policy initiatives project. 
    • Bradley said over 50 individuals representing the UNC System have worked to evaluate existing policies that oversee faculty career opportunities. These policies also include teaching evaluation practices, award and recognition programs, post tenure review policies and faculty workload expectations.
    • “This is important work to make our university system more effective for the students, faculty and staff and as importantly, efficient for the taxpayers,” Bradley said.  

The Board of Governors is scheduled to meet next on May 24 and 25.


Editor's note: Raymond Palma is the former president of The DTH Media Corp. Board of Directors.

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