The Daily Tar Heel

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Friday June 24th

Faculty


Research shows significant inequities in UNC faculty salaries

There are significant racial and gender-based inequities within faculty salaries at the University, recent research shows. The research was based on data from previous studies and was led by Misha Becker, a UNC professor and chairperson of the linguistics department. She presented the work at recent Faculty Council and Faculty Executive Committee meetings. “You have to realize that the situation is bad when a faculty committee has to point this out in a public space,” Deb Aikat, journalism associate professor, said. “I mean this is terrible.”

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'This is '1984'': UNC inquiry on Hussman emails has broader scope than previously known

Recently released records show that the scope of the University's inquiry into the emails of journalism school faculty and staff may have been larger than previously thought. Journalism school associate professor Ryan Thornburg calculated that the inquiry might have targeted up to 22 people — and the records show that UNC officials requested access to emails and hard-drive backups. “It indicates that this was not just a performance for donors," Thornburg said. “It indicates that there was some real effort that was put into going deeper after the surface was scratched. Somebody said, ‘That’s not enough.’”

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Dr. LaSaundra Booth plays piano in the piano lab at Kenan Music Building on Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2022. Dr. Booth was recently featured as the NAfME 2021 All-National Honors Orchestra Conductor.

'I hope to empower': Meet music education lecturer LaSaundra Booth

LaSaundra Booth, a lecturer of music education at UNC, began playing the cello in the fourth grade and fell in love with it. She has since performed in a variety of symphonies and orchestras, and founded the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra, a nonprofit organization that provides instruments and musical training to over 350 children across three counties. “If there’s one word I’m taking into 2022, it’s 'empower,'" Booth said of her work. "I want to empower the next generation of teacher leaders.”

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The Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity poses for a portrait. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Pruitt.

'They see value': Postdoctoral program supports faculty members of color

The Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity aims to set up scholars from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups for possible tenure-track appointments at UNC or other research institutions. Sarah D. Mills, who completed the program in 2021 and is now an assistant professor at UNC, said programs like the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity can’t be the only solution to recruiting and retaining diverse faculty. “These types of programs are really critical to there being change in what faculty at universities look like,” she said. “And I don't think just these programs alone are enough.”

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The Faculty Executive Committee held a special meeting on Dec. 23, 2021 to discuss return-to-campus concerns.

Faculty Executive Committee discusses spring return-to-campus concerns at UNC

The University has no plans to delay the spring semester as of now, Provost Bob Blouin said at a UNC Faculty Executive Committee special meeting Thursday. Any changes to spring semester operations will be announced by Jan. 3, he said. The FEC also discussed concerns about the return to campus amid the rapidly spreading omicron COVID-19 variant, masking protocols and the potential for a vaccine mandate.

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