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The Daily Tar Heel

Board of Governors discusses new required learning outcomes, reinstating ACT and SAT scores

UNC Board of Govenors
UNC Board of Governors Chair Randall Ramsey and President Peter Hans converse during a Board of Governors meeting on Sept. 22, 2022.

At the UNC Board of Governors meeting on Jan. 25, board members reviewed 2023 achievements and spoke about the possibility of two required learning outcomes for UNC System schools and the possible renewal of ACT and SAT requirements for undergraduate admissions. 

  • UNC Board of Governors Chair Randall Ramsey began the meeting with an overview of the college affordability initiatives the board passed last year.
    • Ramsey spoke about efforts the board has made towards college affordability, citing a September motion to keep state resident tuition rates unchanged for an eighth consecutive year. He also mentioned work the board has done to limit student fees, repair existing buildings on campuses and the NC Promise Tuition Plan, which aims to reduce in-state tuition to $500 at four UNC system schools. 
      • “A student's first question about college often is, 'Can I pay for this?'” Ramsey said. “The next question is, 'Will my degree be worth it?' Public universities in North Carolina can answer both of these questions with a resounding yes.” 
    • Looking to 2024, Ramsey introduced some of the goals of this year. The board plans to develop policies centered around their Strategic Plan, including effort to expand rural health care, fill critical workforce needs and work on the UNC System's study on return on investment.
  • UNC System President Peter Hans introduced a proposal for two new required learning outcomes in the UNC school system, which will teach undergraduate students about the foundations of American democracy.
    • Hans cited surveys showing that civic faith is eroding with young Americans, and said many students feel dissatisfied with the current state of American democracy. He said the new required learning outcomes can be a way for public universities to “support and defend democracy.” 
      • “These learning outcomes invite professors across the system to teach the core concepts of American democracy in rigorous and creative ways, using their expertise to prepare our students for citizenship in a diverse society,” Hans said
    • The proposed policy will be brought to the committee for further consideration during the meeting in February.
  • Kirk Bradley, the chair of the Committee on Education Planning, Policies and Programs, said the committee “engaged in a robust discussion” about the renewal of the requirement for undergraduate applicants to provide an ACT or SAT score when applying to a UNC system school.
    • “That requirement was waived for the students applying in the spring 2021 – fall 2024 semesters due to disruptions caused by the COVID pandemic,” he said.
    • Bradley said the committee will consider policy action during the BOG meeting in February.
  • Kellie Blue, the chair of the Committee on University Governance, said the committee approved proposed amendments to the UNC policy manual on intercollegiate athletics.
    • With these amendments, chancellors of UNC institutions will be required to provide the president of the BOG notice of any plan to leave an Athletic Conference Association. They will also be required to include a financial plan for said agreements.
    • “The purpose of this notice is to provide the president the opportunity to weigh in on the potential impacts of the agreement, including those that impact the financial health of the athletic program,” Blue said
    • These initiatives come after Florida State University sued the Atlantic Coast Conference in an attempt to leave it in December. Blue said the topic will be on the consent agenda during the meeting in February.

The board will meet again on Feb. 28 or 29, if business warrants.

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