April 2016 Board Meeting Summary

The summary below highlights selected actions taken by the UNC Board of Governors during the April meeting.

For a full account of board proceedings and meeting materials, please check the board meeting archive.

Read President Spellings’ April Report to the Board of Governors.

2016-17 Budget Priorities

The board is required to present to the Governor and to the General Assembly a unified recommended budget for UNC’s 17 constituent institutions. The board approved the 2016-17 budget priorities that include:

  • Retaining top talent through merit-based performance compensation and investments in the faculty recruitment and retention fund.
  • Increasing education attainment and growing NC’s economy by improving completion rates, building data-centric systems for success and accountability, leveraging technology and learning innovations to get part-way students home, and a STEM and health degree merit scholarship program.
  • Technical adjustments including fully funding enrollment change and eliminating the private fundraising cap. 

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2016 Short Session Policy Agenda

At the March 2016 BOG meeting, the Board approved four policy items for the UNC Policy Agenda. The Board amended the 2016-17 priorities to include two additional items. 

  • Postpone Implementation of NC Guaranteed Admissions Program (NC GAP) until at least 2018 or modify to ensure program meets stated goals of the legislature. The joint North Carolina Community College System and University of North Carolina report highlighted the potential impacts of various implementation strategies; however, the identified strategies likely would not meet all of the goals laid out by the legislature. While reforms have been undertaken at both the community college and university level to improve student outcomes, no data exists that can show how much those changes will improve outcomes for students. 

  • UNC-CH and NCSU are requesting authorization to issue Century Bonds, taxable fixed rate bonds issued with a 100-year bullet maturity. A century bond program for UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University would enable both highly rated institutions to make significant, very long-term borrowings at historically low rates to make game-changing impacts to their significant deferred maintenance backlogs without requesting additional appropriations from the State. Addressing these backlogs in the near term will result in significant long-term capital savings by improving space utilization and reducing the need for new facilities. 

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UNC Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Report

The UNC 2014-2015 Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Report was presented to the Committee on Educational Planning, Policies and Programs for information only. The report presents important measures of student success including first-time freshman retention rates, 4-, 5-, and 6- year graduation rates, and graduation rates for transfer students. UNC institutions exceed the national average in retention, as well as 4-year, 5-year, and 6-year graduation rates. Two of these four measures increased over the prior academic year, with the retention rate and 6-year graduation rate remaining relatively flat. System-wide, baccalaureate attainment gaps exist between underrepresented minorities and other races, between low-income and high-income students, and between men and women.
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Debt Affordability Study

The University of North Carolina is required to prepare and submit a Debt Affordability Study to the General Assembly detailing the University’s current debt load and capacity to borrow. First Tryon Advisors of Charlotte has worked with the constituent institutions and General Administration to develop the first UNC System Debt Affordability Study.
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2016 Update: Primary Care Medical Education Plans

The General Assembly mandated that each of North Carolina’s four medical schools develop a plan setting goals for expanding its percentage of medical school graduates choosing residency positions in primary care. Each school has since implemented initiatives, building upon relationships with AHEC programs in order to conduct increased medical student and primary care residency training in community settings. The board approved a report that presents a 2016 update on these primary care medical education plans for submission to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee.
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UNC Exchange Program

UNC Exchange programs functioned between 1997 and 2015 as a shared service, providing for exchange of students between UNC institutions and international partners. In 2015, responding to a decline in need for a system-coordinated program, the University Council of International Programs and the Education Planning Committee’s Subcommittee on International Programs recommended sun-setting UNC-EP and establishing a new international student recruiting effort for institutions interested in diversifying their student bodies. The board voted to approve the recommendations.
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UNC Degree Program Establishments

The Board voted to approve Appalachian State University’s request to establish the following degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Supply Chain Management
  • Master of Science in Applied Data Analytics

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UNC Degree Program Discontinuations

The Board approved the following:

  • East Carolina University’s request to discontinue its Bachelor of Arts in Physics and Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics.
  • UNC-Chapel Hill’s request to discontinue its Master of Science in Cell and Developmental Biology and Doctor of Philosophy in Cell and Development in Biology.
  • UNC Greensboro’s request to discontinue its Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Secondary Education.

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North Carolina A&T State University Academic Reorganization

N.C. A&T State University completed an academic reorganization and program analysis aimed at enhancing programs and research productivity and fostering sustainable enrollment growth. The process resulted in eight recommendations approved by its Board of Trustees. The Board of Governors approved the following related outcomes:

  • Establish the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
  • Establish the College of Health and Human Sciences
  • Establish the College of Science and Technology
  • Renamed the School of Business and Economics as the College of Business and Economics
  • Rename the School of Education as the College of Education
  • Rename the Graduate School as the Graduate College
  • Rename the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences as the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

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The YouTube URL is:  https://youtu.be/A-EwsXuylFA 


The UNC Board of Governors is the policy-making body charged with “the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance” of the University of North Carolina. Its 32 voting members are elected by the NC General Assembly for four-year terms.  The Board of Governors has a dual role—maintaining the overall strength of the UNC system, while also addressing individual campus needs.

Friday, April 29, 2016

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