News

Molly and Bob Broad Honored for Service to Higher Education

November 10, 2006

For more information contact:
Joni Worthington at (919) 962-4629 or worthj@northcarolina.edu.

Friday, November 10, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Molly and Bob Broad Honored for Service to Higher Education

CHAPEL HILL -- UNC President Emerita Molly Corbett Broad and her husband, Robert W. “Bob” Broad, are the 2006 recipients of the University Award, the highest honor given by the Board of Governors of the 16-campus University of North Carolina. UNC President Erskine Bowles and awards committee chairman Brent Barringer of Cary presented the awards, which recognize illustrious service to higher education in North Carolina, during a banquet Thursday evening (Nov. 9) on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. The awards acknowledged the visionary leadership of President Emerita Broad, who retired in December 2005 after more than eight years as the University’s chief administrator, as well as the valuable but uncompensated service Bob Broad provided to the University throughout her tenure.

By 1997, when she succeeded C.D. Spangler, Jr., as UNC President, Molly Broad had already built an enviable record of achievement in university administration. Earlier in her career, she served in a variety of key administrative posts at her alma mater, Syracuse University, including director of institutional research and vice president for government and corporate relations. She also served as deputy director of the New York State Commission on the Future of Postsecondary Education. In 1985, she was named executive director and CEO of the Arizona Board of Regents. She served as the top administrator for Arizona’s three-campus university system until 1992, when she recruited to the 23-campus California State University System as executive vice chancellor and chief operating officer.

As UNC president from 1997-2005, Molly Broad led the University through a period of unprecedented enrollment growth. In large part due to the success of the University’s Focused Growth Initiative, minority enrollment grew at more than double the rate of the overall student body during her tenure, and special state funding allowed for significant academic and operating improvements at the historically minority campuses. A staunch advocate for raising North Carolina’s college-going rate and keeping UNC campuses accessible and affordable, she championed the creation of a need-based financial aid program for in-state undergraduates, the creation of the College Foundation of North Carolina, and the dramatic expansion of distance-education offerings.

President Broad also worked to expand collaborations with the state’s community colleges and to focus and align University resources on the needs of the public schools. She encouraged all UNC campuses to take a global perspective and a larger role in statewide economic development, and she sought to expand the financial resources, technological tools, and managerial flexibility available to them. She enlarged UNC role in shaping national education policy through her leadership of such organizations as the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, Internet 2, and the International Council for Distance Education, and her service on national and international boards and commissions.

In 2000, President Broad helped spearhead the landslide passage of a $3.1-billion bond issue to finance $2.5 billion in capital construction and renovation on UNC campuses, along with $600 million at the statues’ community colleges. This was the largest bond referendum in the history of American higher education. During her tenure, the University’s annual state operating budget grew by nearly 60 percent, to $2.2 billion, and UNC campuses received more than $3.6 billion in state funding for capital construction, repairs, and renovations. Also under her leadership, external funding for research and other sponsored programs nearly doubled, exceeding $1 billion annually for the first time ever.

A fellow graduate of Syracuse University, Bob Broad is a retired businessman who founded and built a successful marketing firm serving the hotel and restaurant industry. Throughout President Broad’s tenure, he provided quiet but crucial behind-the-scenes support in managing the President’s House and gardens, and in planning and executing the numerous social and public functions held at the residence—all without compensation. He also hosted and represented the President and University to various civic and community organizations, as well as numerous University and other higher education groups.

During the evening, a tribute to the Broads was offered by former North Carolina Governor James B. Holshouser, Jr., an emeritus member of the Board of Governors and a close family friend.