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One of the most significant advantages of consolidating North Carolina’s public higher education institutions into one system has been diversity. North Carolinians can choose from 16 public universities across the state—each with its own unique identity and distinct offerings. The UNC System is dedicated to strengthening and promoting the “areas of distinction” that make the constituent institutions individually remarkable and collectively extraordinary.

In this spirit, the UNC System Board of Governors created a special Committee on Historically Minority-Serving Institutions in 2018 to study and assess six institutions’ unique challenges and promising opportunities. The UNC System is home to five historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs): Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University, and Winston-Salem State University. It is also home to the state’s only designated historically American Indian university – The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. The goal of the committee is to create strategies that will ensure these institutions’ future growth by promoting investments, opportunities, and awareness throughout the state.

This fall, the committee and these six universities partnered with affiliate UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina to host a special program, Focus on the Future: Innovations at NC's Historically Minority-Serving Institutions, which premieres Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 8 pm. This hour-long segment represents an important milestone in the committee’s work and showcases the economic impact the institutions have in their communities and across the state.


Watch here beginning at 8 pm.


“We’ve never been more certain of the crucial role these historically minority-serving institutions play in strengthening our state and our System,” said William Roper, UNC System interim president. “This show brings into focus the innovation and excellence at each of these institutions and puts the spotlight on their many accomplishments.”

UNC-TV hosts Shannon Vickery and Deborah Noel lead an engaging roundtable discussion with UNC Board members Harry Smith and Darrell Allison, UNC System Interim President Bill Roper, and the six chancellors: Dr. Karrie G. Dixon, Elizabeth City State University; Dr. Peggy Valentine, Fayetteville State University; Dr. Harold L. Martin, Sr., North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye, North Carolina Central University; Dr. Robin Gary Cummings, UNC Pembroke; and Dr. Elwood L. Robinson, Winston-Salem State University.

Roundtable guests, faculty, and students share their experiences and delve into a rich conversation exploring the educational opportunities at each institution and the institutions’ research-driven innovations and partnerships with communities and industries across the state.

“The UNC Board of Governors is leading the way in supporting our historically minority-serving institutions. This committee was created to not only find new ways to highlight their uniqueness and strengths, but to also explore ways to make strategic investments where our schools continue to be beacons of light in their communities and economic engines in their respective regions,” Allison said.


UNC System Leadership

Board Member and HMSI Committee Chair Darrell Allison

Board Member Harry Smith

UNC System Interim President Bill Roper


Six Chancellors. One Goal.

Preparing students for tomorrow’s workforce. Impacting communities, regions and the state of North Carolina.

Karrie G. Dixon, ECSU

Peggy Valentine, FSU

Harold L. Martin, Sr, NC A&T

Johnson O. Akinleye, NCCU

Robin G. Cummings, UNCP

Elwood L. Robinson, WSSU




Historically Minority-Serving Institutions

Visit Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, N.C. A&T State University, NC Central University, UNC Pembroke, and Winston-Salem State University to explore academic offerings, affordability options, return on investment, partnerships and business collaborations, and programming for student success.




Tune In

Tune in to UNC-TV Public Media NC on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 8 p.m. for Focus on the Future: Innovations at NC’s Historically Minority-Serving Institutions.


Watch Parties

Find a location near you to watch on October 22.

UNC System and UNC-TV Watch Party

7:30 p.m. doors open, 8:00 p.m. show time
10 UNC TV Drive, Research Triangle, NC

Fayetteville State University Bronco Watch Party

8:00 p.m. show time
On campus in the Bronco Cinema, Rudolph Jones Center

North Carolina A&T State University Aggie Watch Party

8:00 p.m. show time
On campus in the Academic Classroom Building, room 101

North Carolina Central University Eagle Watch Party

7:30 p.m. doors open
On campus at the A.E. Student Union, Game Room

WSSU Watch Party

7:30 p.m.
Campus Hall, Donald J. Reaves Student Activities Center

Elizabeth City State University &
UNC Pembroke BraveNation

ECSU and UNCP will each host a Virtual Watch Party.


Missed It?

The show will re-air on the following dates:


Thursday, October 24, at 10 p.m.

North Carolina Channel

Wednesday, October 23, at 9 p.m.
Sunday, October 27, at 7 p.m.
Monday, October 28, at 1 p.m.

Watch Anytime Online at



Behind the Scenes Photos




UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina

On air, online and in person, UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina connects North Carolinians to each other, the world and endless possibilities. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the statewide network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery, and four over-the-air channels—UNC-TV PBS & More, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS KIDS Channel and the Explorer Channel. Additionally, it provides emergency services support for the state and free educational services and resources for teachers.

Visit to learn more and join the conversation by following @publicmedianc on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.



In 2018, the UNC Board of Governors established the Committee on Historically Minority-Serving Institutions to (1) examine, assess, and report on the challenges facing these institutions and (2) outline the most promising strategies to respond to these challenges, providing direction for future growth within the changing marketplace of higher education.

The HMSI Committee members are:



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