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Press Release

Employees at 17 institutions remained dedicated and diligent during COVID-19 pandemic

The University of North Carolina System has launched #EssentialUNC, a social media campaign that celebrates hardworking faculty and staff across the 17-campus system. 

The System has collected stories about professors, facilities workers, medical staff, campus safety workers, and myriad other employees who’ve been on the job every day since COVID-19 swept into North Carolina in early 2020. These stories are published in a series on the System website and will be promoted via social media over the next several weeks.

“So many of our employees fade to the background of everyday campus operations, but it’s those very employees who are so essential to making our universities succeed,” said UNC System President Peter Hans. “This campaign is an opportunity for us to say ‘thank you’ to the many faculty and staff members who’ve not only kept our campuses open, but also kept our students safe and on track for academic progress.” 

To read the faculty and staff stories, go to northcarolina.edu/essential-unc/


The University of North Carolina System enrolls more than 240,000 students at 17 campuses, including the state’s 16 public universities and the nation’s first public residential high school for academically gifted students. The UNC System is among the strongest and most diverse higher education systems in the country, with more than $1.5 billion in research expenditures and universities that serve every region of the state. Affiliate organizations include UNC Health and PBS North Carolina, with its 12-station broadcast network.