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Board of Governors discusses FASFA delays, potential D&I policy changes

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The UNC Board of Governors watches NCSU Professor Bonnie Fusarelli give her acceptance speech after receiving the Holshouser Award during the UNC Board of Governors meeting at the UNC System Office on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.

At the UNC Board of Governors meeting on Thursday, board members discussed the revision of the UNC System’s DEI policy, the impact of FAFSA delays on enrollment and the success of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts

What's New?

  • The board heard a report from the Committee on Educational Planning, Policies, and Programs regarding the impact of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid delays on enrollment. 
    • UNC Board of Governors Chair Randall Ramsey said these delays are likely to hurt enrollment in the coming year, and it may be necessary to develop additional resources to aid campuses.
    • “Due to delays and access and delivery of data, applications for FAFSA are down significantly, and institutions are delayed in awarding aid to admitted and continuing students,” UNC System Governor Kirk Bradley said.
    • Additionally, the Board discussed an approved revision to Sect. 700.1.1 of the UNC policy members, which established the minimum academic standards for students at any UNC System University.
      • The revisions will be discussed at the next BOG meeting in May. 
  • The UNC Board of Governors discussed a motion passed on Apr. 17 that would repeal and revise UNC System’s Diversity and Inclusion policies.
    • On Wednesday, April 17, the BOG passed a motion which would allow for the board to repeal regulation 300.8.5, “Regulation on Diversity and Inclusion Within the University of North Carolina," and replace it with a new policy called “Equality Within the University of North Carolina." 
    • “This new policy ensures that diverse persons of any background from North Carolina and beyond are invited, included, and treated equally,” Kellie Blue, vice president of the UNC School of Government Foundation Board of Directors, said
    • Blue said this new regulation would further align UNC policy with recent statutory enactments and current jurisprudence.
      • The policy change will be voted upon as a part of the full board’s consent agenda at the BOG meeting in May. 
  • Chair Ramsey applauded the UNCSA and acknowledged the value of those educated in the arts in the workforce. 
    • “While we build a workforce, let's not overlook the value of the arts and developing strong, creative and resilient and adaptive people. People who are filled with imagination and have used that to build bridges and form meaningful connections in their communities,” Ramsey said
    • Ramsey said UNCSA produces skilled and disciplined mindsets that focus on finding what is possible, even in the face of the impossible. 
  • The board also heard a report from the Association of Student Governments about the accomplishments of the association this calendar year.
    • Estefany Gordillo-Rivas, the president of ASG, discussed the accomplishments of the organization this year, including grants given to assist with on-campus programming and the “Be Kind” Campaign. 
      • Gordillo-Rivas discussed the campaign’s initiative to teach students on and off line about being good people. 
      • “It's not just enough to be a good human being, but it's also important to be able to navigate difficult conversations with people you may not agree with and still treat them with human dignity,” Gordillo-Rivas said.
  • On Wednesday, April 17, the Committee on Strategic Initiatives met with the Committee on Educational Planning, Policies, and Programs to discuss the return on investment of higher education. 
    • A new approach for academic planning and programs includes a revision of policy 400.1 of academic program planning which will require campuses to engage in consistent review of academic programs to ensure that return on investment metrics are included in the campus-based assessments, Mark Holton, Chair of Committee on Strategic Initiatives, said
    • “It also bolsters the system's biannual program productivity review to include measures of value, thereby holding programs accountable for the extent to which they leave graduates better off than when they started the program,” Holton said.
      • The BOG will vote on this policy change during its May meeting.

What’s next?

The UNC System Board of Governors will reconvene on May 23.

@dailytarheel | university@dailytarheel.com

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