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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Carolina reinvents itself with The Blueprint for Next

In its previous 223 years, Carolina had never had one overarching vision to guide its growth. But that changed last spring when Chancellor Carol L. Folt introduced a new vision – The Blueprint for Next – with University community members.

The Blueprint for Next is a strategic framework that spans across all University schools and departments. It was shaped over the past three years by hundreds of people who shared their ideas about what Carolina is today and what it can become.

The framework responds directly to these ideas by laying out how Carolina plans to respond in the decades ahead to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population and the shifting demands of a constantly changing economy. In this regard, it is consistent with the broader strategic planning process that UNC system President Margaret Spellings and the UNC Board of Governors began over the past year.

This blueprint, Folt said, embodies the same sense of hope and possibility that was present more than 200 years ago when Carolina’s founders created the country’s first public university.

And, perhaps most importantly, she added, it captures an underlying quality about Carolina that may be the most essential of all: its willingness to continually reinvent itself.

The Blueprint for Next stands on two pillars – Of the Public, For the Public; and Innovation Made Fundamental. The first pillar harkens to Carolina’s historic role in service to the state and its people. The latter identifies areas where Carolina must continue to expand and adapt to meet the changing needs of students and society in the decades to come.

Brought to life by an array of pan-University initiatives, grouped around five themes, the purpose of the Blueprint for Next is for the University and extended community to navigate change and accelerate impact.

Following a strong endorsement from the University’s Board of Trustees, students, faculty and staff have moved decisively to execute these plans. Several initiatives, including Arts Everywhere and Three Zeros, have recently launched with campus-wide events.

“We are moving from a blueprint of ideas and dreams to an implementation of significant, real change,” said Provost Bob Blouin.

The University has also published The Blueprint for Next website, where campus community members can engage with this vision throughout the academic year.

“The new website is a great tool to track our progress in the years to come as we move The Blueprint for Next forward,” Blouin said.

“I have witnessed a desire on everyone’s part not to live in the status quo, but to do what it takes to achieve a future that is worthy of the effort and dreams and hopes of people who have come before and to the people of the state who have invested in Carolina for more than 200 years,” Folt said.