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UNC announced Thursday a $5.5 million gift from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and an anonymous donor to support the hiring of young faculty members.Chancellor Holden Thorp told the Board of Trustees that the gift will allow the University to encourage junior faculty members to pursue academic careers, an important task in a time of economic difficulties when jobs available for recent graduates are scarce.“The economy has lowered promising young minds at a time when the job market is poor,” he said. “There is a risk of a lost generation of Ph.D.’s if we don’t do our part.”Thorp said it will benefit the University to bring promising young faculty to campus in addition to supporting a mission important to the future of higher education.“Of course they’ll make their homes in Chapel Hill, which is good for us,” he said.The Kenan Charitable Trust contributed $5 million to UNC, which then encouraged an anonymous donor to contribute an additional $500,000 for the same purpose.The funds are expendable, meaning they can be used by the University immediately rather than going into the general endowment.The gift will support three-year packages for 18 junior faculty members, made up of 14 in the College of Arts and Sciences, two in the Kenan-Flagler Business School and one each in the schools of nursing and education.“This is very exciting,” said Karen Gil, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “It will give us an opportunity to hire junior faculty in several core areas in the College and advance key initiatives.”The Kenan Charitable Trust is named for alumnus William Rand Kenan, Jr., from the class of 1894 and has made significant financial contributions to the University.The trust and members of the Kenan family contributed almost $70 million to the recent Carolina First fundraising campaign.“I think it will make a lot of recent grads feel a lot better,” said Laura Blue, a third-year Ph.D. student and president-elect of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation. “I know we’re concerned about employment when we graduate.”Graduate students said they were pleased the University would be able to support young faculty, many of whom would be unable to find careers in academia given the current job market.“If we’re committed to academics and research, and we’re not producing a market for them upon graduation, we’re going to have a loss of talent and intellect in higher education,” said Keith Lee, president of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation. “This is a good thing to sustain in the market.”Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
UNC announced today a $5.5 million gift from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and an anonymous donor to support the hiring of young faculty members.
When it came time to hire a new provost, UNC did everything by the book.But when another search begins, administrators might need to find a new approach to solve the hiring equation.For this year’s search, UNC followed a well-worn path:
After almost a year of searching, Chancellor Holden Thorp found the person he wanted to be his right-hand man already had the job.
Thorp considered reopening the search when he couldn’t find a match, but administrators are not prepared to call it a failure, primarily because of their confidence in Bruce Carney — a well-respected figure who has worked at the University since 1980.
Carney was named the new executive vice chancellor and provost in a surprise move by Thorp, who bypassed three finalists selected by a search committee to pick Carney, who never applied for the job.
“I can speak for myself that if he had been a candidate in the very beginning, I would have been very pleased,” said Bob Winston, chairman of the Board of Trustees, which must approve the hire next week.
Thorp said the decision did not represent a desire for a specifically internal candidate for UNC’s chief academic officer and No. 2 administrator.
“I wouldn’t have spent all this time if I wasn’t keenly interested in making sure we had the best provost,” he said.
He said finding a perfect match in an administrative hire is one of the most difficult tasks he faces.
“They have to meet with all of the deans and vice chancellors to see if we’re looking at someone who’s a match,” Thorp said. “And after they’re here, if they still want to come, they have to decide if they can move, where their kids are going to go to school, all of those things. It’s not easy.”
Bernadette Gray-Little announced her decision to step down as executive vice chancellor and provost in May 2009 to become the new chancellor at Kansas University. UNC formed a 17-member search committee and hired a private search firm to replace her.
Thorp said he could not specifically comment on the hiring decisions for all of the finalists.
“All those stars have to line up. And we didn’t get that with the three finalists who came,” he said.
Finalists Anthony Monaco from the University of Oxford and Scott Zeger from Johns Hopkins University declined to comment.
Jeffrey Vitter, from Texas A&M University, did not return requests for interviews but was a finalist for another provost search after UNC’s.
Philip Hanlon, originally a finalist, became provost at the University of Michigan, where he already worked, immediately after UNC’s decision.
“You had a very good search consultant working on that search,” said Jean Dowdall, senior vice president at Witt/Kieffer, a search firm that has worked for UNC before. “So I’m going to assume they brought the best candidates who are out there.”
Thorp said he thought about re-opening the search when none of the finalists were a match.
“We could have gone back to the committee or we could have had another search next year,” he said. “But I didn’t think it was fair to Bruce to ask him to be interim for another year.”
A former physics professor whose planned sabbatical and research has been delayed by several interim positions, Carney never applied for the job permanently. But he reconsidered last week at Thorp’s request.
“It was better to have Bruce than the options that we had,” Thorp said. “And in the end, he is our provost.”
Winston said he would have listened to Thorp had the chancellor wanted to re-open the search.
“I do think that if Bruce hadn’t been as strong as he is, I bet you he would have opened it back up,” Winston said. “Part of the decision had to do with the strength of Bruce. It gave Holden comfort.”
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There’s nothing new about UNC’s new executive vice chancellor and provost.
Chancellor Holden Thorp announced Wednesday that Bruce Carney, who serves as interim provost this year, will assume the job permanently pending approval by the Board of Trustees next week.
Thorp’s decision to bypass three external finalists selected by a search committee and hire Carney as the University’s top academic officer and No. 2 administrator was unexpected.
“Ultimately, it was probably a surprise for most of us,” said Student Body President Jasmin Jones, who served on the search committee.
Carney’s pick could indicate that one or more of the candidates turned down an offer from UNC in favor of other schools or opportunities.
The committee initially picked four finalists, but one dropped out when he was selected provost of the University of Michigan, where he was already employed.
This is the third national search for an administrator that has resulted in the hiring of an existing UNC employee and could indicate a growing preference toward administrators with extensive UNC experience, rather than outside perspective.
Thorp was hired as chancellor in 2008 when he was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. UNC paid about $100,000 to R. William Funk & Associates to conduct the search, in which they evaluated several candidates but ultimately picked Thorp.
The University then conducted a national search to replace Thorp and picked Karen Gil, then chairwoman of the psychology department.
Carney’s hire represents at least the sixth time in recent years that UNC has hired an internal candidate for a top administrative job.
The choice to pick Carney concludes an almost year-long search conducted by a 17-member committee. Funk & Associates was paid $72,800 in non-state funds, plus expenses, to facilitate the process.
“The search committee brought three excellent candidates to campus for public lectures and Q&A,” Thorp wrote in an e-mail to the University. “But ultimately, there just wasn’t a match.”
Carney, who made clear at the beginning of the year that he did not want the job permanently and never applied for it, expressed in previous interviews a desire to return to academic work. He said he reconsidered last week at the request of the chancellor.
“He came into my office Monday and asked me if I would take the job on. At some level, it was surprising. Pleasing, but surprising,” he said.
Carney said he could not comment on Thorp’s reasons for not hiring any of the finalists.
“They’re really Holden’s reasons, so it would not be appropriate to speculate,” he said. “But the bottom line is the three people who visited here were not a match for the University.”
Carney has worked at the University since 1980, serving as a professor of physics and holding multiple administrative posts, including interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Shelton Earp, chairman of the search committee, said he was not disappointed in Thorp’s decision.
At a January meeting of the Faculty Council, Thorp said he had received some negative feedback on the lack of diversity among the applicants, all of whom were white males with a science background.
“Shelly and I talked about some of the things we did on this search and some of the things we can do on this in the future to improve the pool for jobs like this,” he said.
Carney said he views the job as a long-term commitment that has already challenged him.
“I won’t say it’s been fun but it’s been stimulating,” he said.
The position of executive vice chancellor and provost was held by Bernadette Gray-Little from 2006-09, when she left to become chancellor at the University of Kansas.
In her last year at UNC, Gray-Little earned $350,000. Carney currently earns $207,000.
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If a new bill passes Student Congress, students might have witnessed in February the last student body president runoff in UNC history.Members of the rules and judiciary committee are tweaking legislation that could change the way students elect the person who serves as their representative to the administration and the voice of the student body.The bill questions whether runoff elections result in a vote that is truly “representative of the intent of the student body” and proposes a new method.Student Body President Jasmin Jones, who won in 2009 in a runoff election, has said she will veto the bill if it comes to her desk.The legislation, which was discussed at Monday’s Congress meeting but sent back to the rules and judiciary committee for further work, would ask voters to rank candidates in order of preference.Computer software will then identify the candidate with the most overall support.The process would occur in one night, eliminating the need for a runoff election a week later.“I think students would like it because it would cut out a week of campaigning,” said Congress Speaker Dakota Williams. “It would take a culture shift to try something new, but I think it would be for the best.”With the proposed system, voters would rank each of the candidates in order of preference.If no candidate won a majority, as is required under student elections law in the Student Code, the votes for the last candidate would be reallocated.If a student’s top choice was the candidate who came in last place, that vote would be thrown out, and the second-ranked candidate would receive the student’s vote instead. This process would continue until one candidate had received a majority of votes.Those who support the bill said it would also save at least $200 that the runoff candidates receive to campaign.A similar voting system was implemented at N.C. State University in 2008.Greg Doucette, president of the UNC-system Association of Student Governments and former N.C. State student body president, said the switch was well-received by the student body.“Other than making sure users were educated, it was very popular and substantially cut down on campaigning time, which was great for everyone,” he said.But Jones, who gained the support of four eliminated candidates in 2009 to overcome a 20 percent deficit in the general election against Thomas Edwards, said she thinks there is value to the runoff process.“Honestly, I disagree with the bill,” she said. “I don’t think it is how we traditionally run elections here.”Edwards, who said he comes to the table with an understandable bias, said he thought the idea would benefit the student body.“If you talk to anyone on campus or the candidates, they would all be happy to have the election be a week shorter,” he said.Williams said he was fairly confident the bill will pass when it comes back to Student Congress on March 23.“I think people would be willing to pass it, but they wanted those little things hammered out in committee so it will be perfect,” Williams said.If Congress passes the bill and Jones vetoes it, a two-thirds vote by Congress would be necessary to override the veto and make it law.“Now that would be an interesting situation,” Williams said. “We’ll have to see how it turns out.”Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CORRECTION 2:30 P.M. Feb. 16: Due to reporting errors, this story originally reported that Student Supreme Court Chief Justice Emma Hodson said that the Student Code provides "adequate guidelines" for technical problems and that Board of Elections Chairman Pete Gillooly followed them. She said neither. Hodson did say the code provides guidelines for technical voting problems, but she gave no opinion on the adequacy of the provision. This story also incorrectly reported that Hodson said students might not have been aware of paper ballots. She said students were not made aware of certain provisions of the Student Code, not paper ballots.
The Board of Elections has been prevented from certifying the results of two races in Tuesday’s election.The Student Supreme Court granted motions for an injunction from juniors Taylor Ann Holgate and Marc Seelinger, who lost bids for Student Congress in Tuesday’s election.The motions, which name board chairman Pete Gillooly, argue that several aspects of the election procedure could have interfered with the validity of the results.Both motions, filed Thursday, state that some students in their districts were unable to vote. Seeligner goes further in a complaint, stating that Gillooly neglected to address the problems effectively. The Board of Elections’ continues to affirm the effectiveness of the vote.But Holgate said she wanted to delay the certification of the results to allow the community a greater chance to evaluate the fairness of the election.“This was not a legitimate election,” Holgate said. “There is no enforcement mechanism to make sure people are doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”The results were supposed to be certified by Saturday, and Gillooly said he had planned to certify them tonight.“It seems like an, ‘I’m mad because I didn’t win,’ thing,” Gillooly said. “I don’t see much validity behind these complaints.”
The popular male frontrunner gets more than 40 percent of the vote. His large campaign staff is thrilled to head into a runoff against the female candidate who won a much smaller portion of the vote. The eliminated candidates begin to throw their support behind her campaign, with the hope of upsetting the frontrunner.It’s 2009 all over again.Tuesday’s student body president election saw Hogan Medlin take 44 percent of the vote. He is the frontrunner heading into the runoff with Shruti Shah, who gathered 16 percent of the vote.It’s reminiscent of last year’s election, when Thomas Edwards took 41 percent of the initial vote in a six-candidate field.But whether Shah will be able to gather the endorsements and support of the four eliminated candidates and use that momentum to overcome the frontrunner, as current Student Body President Jasmin Jones did last year in a runoff against Edwards, remains to be seen.“It a whole new race,” Shah said of the runoff. “It’s a new game, and it’s just the two of us. Either of us could win.”Eliminated candidates Joe Levin-Manning and Greg Strompolos have decided to endorse Shah. Nash Kuene said he will support her candidacy, although he’s not sure if he would consider it an endorsement.But Monique Hardin — the third-place finisher who could hold a lot of sway over the outcome of the runoff — is still deciding which candidate, if any, she will endorse. She received 1,034 votes in the general election, only 167 votes away from Shah and the chance to participate in the runoff.Whichever remaining candidate gets the support of Hardin, who won the support of the Black Student Movement and the Out-of-State Students Association during the regular election, could see a significant bump in support.Hardin said she has not made up her mind about where to throw her support — or if to throw it at all — but will talk with both candidates.Shah said she hopes to receive the support of the eliminated candidates in her campaign over the next week, as she understands what a strong factor it played in Jones’ victory over Edwards.“I mean, that’s why she won the election,” Shah said.Jones pointed out that it will take more than simply a statement of support from the eliminated candidates to encourage hundreds of voters to cast ballots for a new individual in the runoff.This year, the eliminated candidates took 2,917 votes, slightly more than the difference of 2,036 votes that separated Shah from Medlin.Edwards who, like Medlin, took a clear plurality of the vote in last year’s election but lost in the general election, said he understands why eliminated candidates feel compelled to throw their support in a runoff, but questioned their effect on the election.He added that he understands that the losing candidates might be qualified to give their opinion, but is unsure if this is how the election process should work.“It takes away a little bit of the democratic nature of the process but that’s their decision,” he said.Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
Clarification (Feb. 12 1:02 a.m.): This story stated that Information Technology Services experienced communication problems. Those problems were between databases, not staff members.
When freshman Rachel Cole logged on to Student Central to cast her vote in the student body elections Tuesday, she was surprised to discover she was able to vote only in Student Congress districts she does not live in. After trying to vote in a random district, Cole received a notice that this could be considered an Honor Code violation. She couldn’t figure out how to vote for some offices and not others.So rather than pursuing the matter further or contacting the Board of Elections, Cole gave up.“I was a little bit confused,” she said. “So I just didn’t vote.” Several students reported to The Daily Tar Heel and the Board of Elections that they experienced difficulties voting in Tuesday’s election, calling into question the validity of the election if some students were confused by the process and dissuaded from voting.But the Board of Elections did not invalidate the election, saying it was a minor problem that only a few students experienced.Based on the complaints, some students were provided with options to vote in Student Congress districts they do not live in. Others were allowed to vote for senior class president despite not being seniors next year.It’s unclear how widespread the problem was. Board of Elections Chairman Pete Gillooly said he had received a small number of complaints but was not concerned by the problem. Gillooly added that students could fill out paper ballots and slip them under the door at the Board of Elections office. But this was not widely publicized information.On Tuesday night, Gillooly said he had no plans to invalidate the election and that he had filed a complaint with Information Technology Services, which is responsible for controlling the voting technology.“It’s out of my control,” Gillooly said. “I have nothing to do with it.” Jerri Bland, ITS executive director for enterprise applications, said the Board of Elections is responsible for ensuring the elections go as planned and ITS could not fix any problems immediately.Gillooly said the problem has happened in the past, a fact confirmed by Ryan Morgan, the 2008-09 chairman of the Board of Elections.Morgan said the registrar’s office sometimes incorrectly lists a student’s residence or registration information, leading to problems, but the chairman can override this.Contact the University Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 p.m. UPDATE — Board of Elections Chairman Pete Gillooly has advised students who have trouble voting on Student Central to fill out a paper ballot at the BOE's office.
Popping up on Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter posts all weekend, it’s the article men and women are talking about.
Chances are, even after election day, students won’t really know who they elected to be the next student body president.It won’t be because the votes won’t be counted correctly or because the name won’t be announced, but because the nature of the election process does not always present great insight into the type of leader the candidate will be, students and voting experts said. If national research on voting is any indicator, only a small number of students will base their vote on issues outlined in platforms. Most will fill out a ballot based on their perceptions of candidate personalities and likability, said psychology professor Melanie Green. Similar to politicians in national elections, student body president candidates face difficulties conveying their true personality to students, and are subject to the whims of fickle voters and word-of-mouth opinions that shape public perception, she said.As a result, most voters tend to cast their votes on the limited portrait created by signs, personal connections and word-of-mouth characterizations.“There are not a whole lot of issues that play into this, and in an election without issues, students tend to rely on easily accessible information they don’t have to research,” said political science graduate student Patrick Miller, who studies voting. “So things like the sex or race of the candidate will probably matter. How they perceive personalities relates to how they use these kinds of easily accessible cues about the candidates.”Sophomore Todd Lewis, like many others, said the personal connection he feels with a candidate is the primary factor in how he will cast his vote.“I only vote for a candidate if I know them personally, because a written platform is not enough to sway my vote. I go by who I know,” he said.So for the candidates, telling voters like Lewis who they are is one of the biggest challenges they face.“It’s a difficult thing for candidates, whether you’re running for president of the United States or student body president of UNC, to get your real personality out there,” Miller said.This relative information vacuum places greater importance on public forums and personal conversations, which let voters form their own impressions of the candidates, rather than relying on other people’s characterizations.Green said she suspects students vote based on sometimes shallow perceptions of the candidates.“The personal qualities of the people really play a pretty big role, — if they’re outgoing or if they make a good impression,” she said. “But you could argue that this is important to their role as student body president, and that it’s not necessarily a bad way to vote.”Thomas Edwards, last year’s runner-up, said he believes the number of students who read platforms is quite small, despite his hopes otherwise.“As a candidate, you obviously want people to look at you as the potential next SBP, and the job you would do and how you would carry yourself and the level of dedication you would have,” he said.“But the majority don’t vote based off the platform, but rather the externalities of the campaign.”Edwards said he thinks people make split-second decisions in characterizing the candidates.“You have campaign signs representing you, and you have two-sentence quotes in the paper getting your personality across, and it’s hard for people to get a sense of who you really are in those information outlets you have.” Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
Winston Crisp was named the next vice chancellor for student affairs during Thursday’s meeting of the Board of Trustees, ending an almost 10-month hiring process to select the primary liaison between students and the University’s administration.In his new role, Crisp will oversee 360 University employees, more than 28,000 students and a budget of more than $80 million.He will replace Margaret Jablonski, who announced in March her plans to step down. Her most recent salary was $236,000.
Winston Crisp was named the new vice chancellor for student affairs at today’s Board of Trustees meeting, ending an almost 10-month hiring process to select the administrator who serves as the primary liaison between students and the University’s high-level administration.
Correction (Jan. 28 12:45 a.m.): Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly described the narwhal, an aquatic animal mentioned in candidate Nash Keune’s platform. The adult narwhal weighs 3,500 pounds on average. The story has been changed to reflect the correction. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
1:40 p.m. Jan. 27: Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this interactive program included an incorrect platform for student body president candidate Nash Keune. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
Nash Keune, Joe Levin-Manning and Greg Strompolos joined three others Monday morning as official candidates for student body president, after gathering the required number of signatures to get on the ballot.
Juniors Caroline Fish and Chase Jones have been named the recipients of the Eve Marie Carson Scholarship for the 2010-11 school year.
The two in-state students were selected by a committee for their commitment to academic excellence, leadership and public service. They will receive funding to cover half the estimated cost of attendance at UNC, as well as $5,000 for a summer project.
The scholarship was created to commemorate the life of former Student Body President Eve Carson, who was killed in March 2008. Carson was committed to the idea of creating a merit scholarship for juniors.
The scholarship is funded by more than 1,700 private donations to an endowment managed by the UNC development office.
Senior Elinor Benami focused on environmental issues as the first Carson scholar this year.
Thomas Edwards, director of the scholarship, said the selection committee awarded two individuals to increase impact and decrease the pressure on the recipient.
“We thought that awarding two would decrease that level of, or burden of, carrying on Eve’s legacy,” he said. “It’s a good burden in some sense, but it can also be a lot for one person.”
Fish has devoted herself to solving issues of domestic violence and sexual abuse and working to promote women’s empowerment, both while studying abroad in France and on campus with the organization Project Dinah.
Jones, a varsity baseball player at UNC, impressed the selection committee with his perseverance in overcoming brain cancer as a freshman and working with patients at the N.C. Children’s Hospital.
Both Fish and Jones said they were thrilled to receive the award.
“All I want to do is make a positive impact and personify Eve Carson’s image in the best way possible,” Jones said. “Because I know this award is not about me. It’s about carrying on her legacy and making an impact.”
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