Anniversary Edition in the #Friday5 Series

I spent the week with high school students, board members, chancellors, and members of the media while hitting the first anniversary mark of my tenure. It’s my #Friday5 for March.

For high school seniors, access and affordability are as top of mind as those issues are with me and my colleagues. I spent time with college-bound seniors at Graham High School talking with them about their hopes for college and dreams for the future. We were joined by Verónica Trujilla-Cuadrado (Ms. T.) of the Carolina Advising Corps who serves as their college advisor, helping many of these first-generation students navigate the complex issues of college applications and financial aid. The students praised both Ms. T. and several teachers who pushed them hard in the direction of higher education. Again and again, they noted that the “pushing” built up their confidence in a mix of support, tough talk, and the affirmation that they could achieve. Read about the visit in the Burlington Times.

On the day I begin this job, I visited one of our affiliates, UNC-TV to have an interview with Shannon Vickery. We talked about what plans I had as president, and UNC-TV has helped to keep the public informed about progress through their statewide network of broadcasting. A year later, to begin the anniversary celebration, I returned to interview with Mitchell Lewis. We talked about the events of the year: visiting each of our institutions, working with the legislature on innovative tuition programs, and the UNC strategic plan.

I sat down with journalists from several media outlets to talk about my first year and where we plan to take UNC in the future following the unanimous approval of the UNC strategic plan. As the face of media changes to meet public consumption patterns, our largest local paper, the News & Observer, brought video cameras as well to tape the interview. Read reporter Jane Stancill’s article and watch the 10 Questions video interview.

Higher Ed Works helps keep the focus on all educational institutions in our state – public and private. In President Brodhead’s interview this week with Higher Ed Works, he compliments the UNC system and explains why private institutions like Duke need a strong public education system. We’re not just rivals on the court, but we’re partners in research with Duke University. I agree with President Brodhead that we all benefit from both strong public and private universities in our state through increased attainment of post-secondary education, economic development, and ground breaking research. Thanks, President Brodhead for your leadership and important partnerships with our Triangle-area institutions.

Last, but certainly not least, read my remarks to the UNC Board of Governors. The Board met in committee on Thursday and in regular session on Friday. This meeting saw the passage of the lowest tuition increase on record for incoming freshmen, and because of the Fixed Tuition Program, current students who continue consecutively for four years have their first-semester tuition rate locked in.

We welcomed special guests Dale Coleman and Stefanie Sanford from the College Board. I’m proud that we’ve been able to leverage the expertise of UNC-TV to broadcast, livestream, and archive these meetings. Watch both the archive of the presentations and meetings.


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