House budget proposal
Trustees approve $18
million Morrison renovation
Task force gives green
light to explore advertising at sports venues
Employee Forum resolution
calls for affordable health insurance coverage
Information best defense
against West Nile virus
Research News: FYI Research:
NIH seeks to speed use of new research
Research News: Seeing
Eye to Eye: Facetop puts partners on the same page
Human Resources: Last
of 2004's Star Heel awarded; more available for 2005
Nominations needed for
Excellence in Management Award
Xiao earns University
Manager Training Grant
Making it official
House budget proposal advances
state House of Representatives approved a spending plan on June
9 that would earmark $64.69 million for enrollment growth throughout
the UNC system.
At the same time, the House budget calls
for permanent cuts of 1.7 percent in the UNC system's operating
budget, or about $26 million.
In both these ways, the House proposal
is similar to Gov. Mike Easley's budget proposal that he presented
House budget highlights
$64.69 million for UNC system enrollment growth
$26 million in permanent cuts to UNC system
$1,000 raise for state employees
The House version of a $15.8 billion state
budget has been sent to the Senate where subcommittees have
already begun crafting their own version. Both chambers want
to see a final budget approved by July 1, the start of the 2004-05
Another issue of particular interest to
the University is a bill passed by the House Education Committee
that would establish a law to limit out-of-state students to
18 percent of all freshman classes except at the N.C. School
of the Arts in Winston-Salem.
The bill follows an initiative begun and
abandoned last year to raise the prescribed cap for out-of-state
students from 18 percent to 22 percent. The UNC Board of Governors
postponed a November vote on the issue in response to opposition
throughout the state against the proposal.
The House budget also offers a flat pay
increase of $1,000 to all state employees, in contrast to Easley's
pay proposal that would offer a 2 percent pay raise, along with
a one-time bonus of $250.
An employee making about $38,000 would
get about the same pay raise under other either plan. An employee
making less than $38,000 would do better under the House plan.
An employee making more than $38,000 would do better with Easley's
Trustees approve $18 million
any angle, the question boiled down to the same thing.
"I don't think, no matter how long
we study this, we'll reach a conclusion that includes tearing
down any of these dorms," Trustee Timothy Burnett said at the
University Board of Trustees' May 27 meeting. "I think the resources
are too precious."
Burnett was referring to the four high-rise
residence halls on the southern fringe of campus. He was the
first to voice that conclusion aloud, but a consensus soon emerged
around that point.
Trustee Rusty Carter had argued earlier
in the meeting that if renovations are authorized for Morrison
Residence Hall -- the first scheduled for an overhaul -- they
should be limited in scope to preserve the future option of
tearing it down and replacing it.
THE DOMINO EFFECT The
work to renovate Morrison Residence Hall -- its lobby
pictured here -- will begin in summer of 2005, just in
time to house its residents in Odum Village before the
student family housing unit is torn down after 2010 to
make way for the construction of medical buildings.
But as each trustee was asked to give his
or her views, a consensus emerged to follow through with the
original staff recommendation to remove asbestos and add air
conditioning along with fire sprinklers and alarms. Rooms and
bathrooms will be upgraded as well.
The work is set to start in summer of
2005 and will take two years to complete. The total cost of
$18 million is a fraction of the estimated costs of replacing
The other high-rise residence halls --
Hinton James, Craige and Ehringhaus -- are set for renovations
in the next few years.
The sequencing of work within these four
buildings is what made the timing nearly as critical as the
money. Too much juggling with existing plans, officials feared,
could interfere with carefully synchronized schedules designed
to avoid displacing students to points off campus. The projects
also fit into the campus master and development plans.
Trustees had to decide what to do with
Morrison at their May meeting in order to seek approval from
the General Assembly this summer for revenue bonds to pay for
the project. Revenues would be generated through students' room
About 3,200 students are housed in the
four high rises, and a key to the strategy of keeping students
on campus is to temporarily house them in Odum Village while
renovations are under way.
The long-term plan for Odum Village, the
home of student family housing, is for it to be torn down after
2010 to make way for the construction of medical buildings.
Odum Village, in turn, is being replaced
by the new apartment complex off Mason Farm Road.
The trustees' decision was made after
six alternatives were presented for their consideration. The
most expensive of them called for spending nearly $180 million
to renovate Craige and Ehringhaus and replace Morrison and Hinton
The trustees decided to forego spending
some $5.4 million for improvements to Morrison's brick facades.
In the end, trustees argued, that money
could be put to better use elsewhere.
Task force gives green light
to explore advertising at sports venues
Task Force on Signage in Athletic Facilities approved May 27
a carefully crafted resolution that raises the possibility of
advertising in Kenan Stadium and the Dean E. Smith Center.
The resolution will be forwarded for consideration
to Chancellor James Moeser and the University Board of Trustees.
If trustees approve the idea, another committee would likely
be formed to work out the details.
The issue is sensitive because of the
University's longstanding tradition to keep Kenan Stadium and
the Smith Center free of fixed commercial advertising. That
has meant signage has not been used in these facilities to help
fund athletic programs.
Task force members acknowledged this sensitivity
at the outset of the meeting, but there was also an inescapable
fact they had to confront: The Department of Athletics needs
The trustees created the task force in
response to Athletic Director Dick Baddour's warning back in
October that for the first time the Educational Foundation may
not be able to fund fully the scholarship program for student
In the fall, the shortfall looked to be
as much as $300,000. For the upcoming year, the shortfall is
expected to increase to $500,000.
In recent years, the Department of Athletics
has struggled to balance its budget, in part because of the
rising costs of athletic scholarships tied to tuition increases.
The department also needs funds to cover
facilities costs and sport-by-sport operating budgets. Carolina
fields 28 teams.
In light of all this, the task force resolution
calls for the campus "to explore signage and other related partnerships"
in athletic venues.
The resolution also lays out guidelines
for any such measures, stating they "should only be introduced
in a limited and tasteful way, with a small number of companies
that have strong integrity and national impact."
John G.B. Ellison Jr., a trustee who served
on the task force, captured the dominant sentiment on the task
force when he said, "We want the most money for the least amount
He added, "We'd love to not need this
Baddour, too, said he would prefer not
to have any advertising, but he had to balance his reservations
with his overriding responsibility to make sure the scholarship
program remains strong and Olympic sports programs are not put
Baddour also emphasized the open process
by which the issue had been explored by the task force, which
included faculty, staff and students, as well as trustees and
alumni. The issue had been aired with campus constituency groups
throughout campus, too, he said.
Frank Craighill, a sports marketing consultant
who helped the task force, had urged the panel to seize more
fully upon the opportunities that may be unique to this campus.
"Carolina has a national basketball
program," Craighill said. "We have an opportunity that very
few programs in America have. We have a tremendous opportunity
to do a `less is more' program."
But task force members backed away from
Craighill's call to take a broader look at corporate relationships
on the academic side of the University because of concerns about
Business Professor Jack Evans, for instance,
recounted a 1999 controversy over Wachovia's contract with the
University that allowed the bank to open a service center in
With such concerns in mind, the resolution
calls for limiting relationships to those that "would make a
significant financial impact within the athletic department;
and the partnerships protect insofar as possible the environment
and tradition of the institution."
Faculty Chair Judith Wegner attended the
meeting and had sent an e-mail to some task force members outlining
her concerns about how advertising might lead to excessive corporate
influence in campus affairs.
Trustee Rusty Carter, who served on the
task force, asked Wegner how she felt about the resolution after
it was passed.
"I'm happier than when I walked
in," Wegner said.
Employee Forum resolution calls
for affordable health insurance coverage
Employee Forum has approved a resolution calling for affordable
health care insurance for UNC system employees.
Approved at the forum's June 2 meeting,
the resolution also asks that employees be able to choose from
a menu of health care options as well as have access to the
process behind how health insurance benefits are decided.
UNC system employees -- who include Carolina
personnel -- now contribute $427.48 per month toward the cost
of their premiums for family coverage; $178.22 per month for
employee/child(ren) coverage. The state picks up the tab for
Gift funds loan program
A new emergency loan program will be
available to employees, thanks to an anonymous gift of
Laurie Charest, associate vice chancellor
for Human Resources, announced the news at the June 2
Employee Forum meeting.
The program was one of the recommendations
included in the report of the Chancellor's Task Force
for a Better Workplace. Charest told forum members that
proposals have been received for all of the task force's
recommendations and that those not needing funding are
moving ahead. A consolidated budget will be requested
in July for those that do need money, she said.
Premiums will not change for the State
Health Plan's upcoming plan year, which begins Oct. 1, but the
forum felt it was important to pass the resolution so that lawmakers
in Raleigh could consider it as they plan their agendas for
future legislative sessions.
"If we want to be heard, we have
to get this out today," said Delita Wright, chair of the forum's
Personnel Issues Committee, which drafted the resolution.
The resolution does not define "affordable"
health care insurance, but after the meeting Wright said it
would be coverage that would have both affordable premiums and
deductibles for trips to the doctor.
The resolution comes against the backdrop
of a recent Office of Human Resources analysis that showed that
among nine southeastern states, North Carolina employees paid
the most for family coverage premiums. The $427.48/month rate
here was $71.48 more than the state with the next highest amount,
Mississippi, and $328.48 more than the lowest, Virginia.
North Carolina workers who opt for employee-only
coverage fared better, because the state covers their monthly
premium costs. Two other states in the comparison -- Mississippi
and Kentucky -- also cover these costs for their employees.
At the other end of the spectrum is Louisiana, where workers
pay $97.02 each month.
Along with affordability, the forum's
resolution calls for the state to provide a "cafeteria plan"
that would allow employees to choose and tailor benefits according
to their health care needs.
It also asks that state employees be represented
on "all boards and committees all boards and committees related
to the State Health Plan and other state employee health benefits.
Last, the resolution says that all information
about the plan and benefits should be "made open and available
to state employees and the public."
The forum has asked Chancellor James Moeser
to support the resolution and for staff organizations at the
other 16 UNC system campuses to adopt similar resolutions.
Information best defense against
West Nile virus
has created a plan to fend off the West Nile virus, and the
wider use of mosquito repellant and the vigilance of staff who
work outdoors are the front lines of defense.
Transmitted by mosquito bites, West Nile
virus is most harmful to birds but also can infect other animals,
The disease typically shows up in humans
as flu-like symptoms. And while these cases of fever tend to
last a few days and don't appear to have long-term health effects,
the disease can be fatal. From 1999 to 2003, 457 people in the
United States died from West Nile virus. Two North Carolina
deaths have been reported, both in 2003.
"Health officials have reported
that this year's West Nile virus season could be early and severe.
We need to take steps to reduce this risk," said Peter A. Reinhardt,
director Department of Environment, Health & Safety (EHS).
"This plan focuses on West Nile virus, but these practices will
also protect us from the risk of other mosquito-borne diseases
that occur in North Carolina, such as LaCrosse Encephalitis
and Eastern Equine Encephalitis."
The most effective ways to prevent these
diseases are to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate mosquito
breeding grounds, Reinhardt said.
Carolina's "West Nile Virus Action Plan"
calls for both measures. The plan, developed by EHS and based
on recommendations from local and state health officials, was
approved June 10 by the University Safety and Security Committee.
It calls for:
EHS to encourage people who work in or
frequent outdoor areas to use a DEET-based mosquito repellant.
Student Health Service will provide this advice to students
who spend time outdoors.
EHS to provide a checklist that departmental
building contacts can use to identify potential mosquito breeding
areas that could lead to West Nile virus risks.
Grounds and Facilities staff to identify
and eliminate mosquito breeding sites such as empty containers,
puddles at construction sites and areas with poor drainage.
When breeding sites can't be eliminated, Grounds and Facilities
staff will consider other methods to further control mosquitoes
and their breeding areas.
EHS and the Student Health Service to
disseminate educational materials to the University community
via the web and other means, as well as to provide public awareness
training and critical updates.
To a degree, Reinhardt said, the plan
reinforces practices already in place. Grounds now provides
repellent to employees as needed, and its staff are very attentive
to water that has been standing for three days or more. Facilities
performs scheduled preventive maintenance on gutters and downspouts.
Plus, Reinhardt said, Carolina's policy
of not managing stormwater through surface collection -- such
as retention ponds -- minimizes mosquito breeding areas.
But the new plan builds on current practices
by raising awareness among people on campus. "All faculty, staff
and students should learn about these risks and use DEET to
prevent mosquito bites," he said. "If you are going to spend
time outdoors and be exposed to mosquitoes, you should use a
For more information about Carolina's
West Nile Virus Action Plan, see ehs.unc.edu.
NIH seeks to speed use of new
research discoveries sometimes follow a slow path from the lab
bench to the bedside. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
would like to change that.
The NIH Roadmap for Medical Research is
a nationwide strategy to accelerate the progress of medical
exploration by identifying the most pressing problems facing
medical research today, including knowledge gaps and other roadblocks
that are too big for any single NIH institute to confront alone.
The roadmap will also unite researchers and institutions all
across the nation to transform scientific knowledge into tangible
benefits for people.
Technology Transfer Update
The Office of Technology Development
helps Carolina faculty, students and staff develop and
commercialize patentable inventions resulting from their
research. In May 2004, the University executed two license
agreements and had two U.S. patents issued.
A patent is a legal document granting
inventors the exclusive right to prevent others from making,
using or selling an invention for a number of years. A
license agreement is a written contract granting permission
for a person or company to use an invention under certain
terms. For more information about OTD, go to research.unc.edu/otd.
"We have made remarkable progress
in medical research in recent decades, and NIH-led research
has changed the landscape of many diseases," said NIH Director
Elias Zerhouni. "However, very real -- and very urgent -- needs
remain. NIH is now drawing all fields of science together in
a concerted effort to meet these challenges head-on."
The roadmap identifies three main themes
of research. The theme "new pathways of discovery" attempts
to understand complex biological systems and learn more about
the combination of molecular events that lead to health or disease.
The focus is on molecular libraries and imaging, bioinformatics,
nanomedicine and other high-tech approaches.
The second theme, "research teams of the
future," seeks to encourage scientists to break down the barriers
between their disciplines and to combine their skills in pursuit
of answers to some of biomedicine's biggest questions. "We need
to find even more innovative and effective ways of doing biomedical
research and converting that into cures," said Lawrence Tabak,
director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial
With the third theme, "re-engineering
clinical research," NIH hopes to make it easier to transform
basic clinical research into diagnostics, drugs, treatments
or prevention methods. NIH is stressing new partnerships among
organized patient communities, community-based physicians and
academic researchers as a starting point for revamping the way
clinical research is carried out.
Carolina wants to be ready to get in on
the action, said Rudy Juliano, professor of pharmacology and
chair of the NIH Roadmap Executive Committee on campus. "We
already have many very talented interdisciplinary groups and
investigators who are working together very effectively," Juliano
said. "But we can identify other nascent areas where we can
match up with the roadmap plans and get folks talking to each
"In the future, I think this is
the way science in general will be going," Juliano said. "You're
going to see more emphasis on collaboration, more emphasis on
Juliano's committee will steer Carolina's
efforts to create research teams and partnerships, to share
information and to coordinate the development of roadmap proposals.
And much like researchers will be expected to do, offices within
Research and Economic Development will team with the College
of Arts & Sciences and the schools of medicine, dentistry
and public health to help coordinate Carolina's Roadmap response.
"In my view, this new campuswide
effort, drawing on our established strengths, will ensure that
Carolina is well-positioned for leadership in the next generation
of biomedical research," said Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor
for research and economic development.
Provided by Research and Economic Development.
Editor: Neil Caudle
Writer: Jason Smith
Seeing eye to eye
Facetop puts partners on the same page
Editor's note: The following story is
reprinted from the Spring 2004 issue of "Endeavors," a magazine
highlighting research at Carolina. It is published three times
a year by the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. Neil
Caudle, who wrote this piece, serves as editor. Employees who
would like a free subscription to "Endeavors" should send their
name, job title, department and campus address to the "Endeavors"
office via campus mail (Endeavors, CB 4106), e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)
or the subscription form at the magazine's web site (research.unc.edu/endeavors).
Stotts, computing needs a new face: yours. He'd like to hook
you up to a partner miles or continents away, pipe live video
of each of you onto the same computer desktop, and let you hash
out your ideas, pointing to work on the screen, hearing each
other's voices, and watching each other react.
The invention that could make all this
possible is Facetop, software that adds some smoke and mirrors
to a standard Macintosh computer. The key is transparency, which
is wired into today's high-performance graphics hardware. By
tapping that capacity and the human brain's ability to organize
visual patterns, Stotts and his team found a way to let you
peer through transparent images of yourself and your partner
at the same time you're watching your work on the screen. (If
you've ever looked through your reflection in a pond and noticed
a fish swimming under the surface, you'll have the idea.)
The breakthrough occurred, as it often
does in science, because of a student.
Jason Smith, who is working on a Ph.D.
in software semantics, walked into Stotts' office in Sitterson
Hall one day to talk about a project. Stotts, associate professor
of computer science, had been fiddling with a new video camera,
pointing it at himself so that it cast a mirror-image view.
As they worked, Stotts loaded Smith's work onto the computer
and projected it onto the wall. They began to talk.
"I lifted my hand so that the image
of me on the screen was pointing at the thing I thought he was
talking about," Stotts says. "And Jason looks at me and says,
That was the moment David Stotts and Jason
Smith became inventors. They even had a market in mind. For
a couple of years, Stotts had been studying ways to improve
pair programming -- the increasingly popular method of using
two people working side-by-side to write computer code. Stotts
says that studies have shown that this system is faster and
less error prone than working solo. Stotts had been experimenting
with a form of pair programming in which the programmers work
together over the Internet.
"When we'd interview these people,
invariably they would say, `This works well, I enjoyed it, but
I really want to point at stuff, and I really miss seeing facial
expressions of the person I'm working with,'" Stotts says.
So when Smith and Stotts had their eureka
moment, they knew that pair programmers were potential users.
But then all kinds of people began taking notice -- architects
who wanted to meet over drawings, chemists developing new compounds
in distant laboratories and doctors inspecting medical images.
The team is working with Carolina's Office
of Technology Development to protect the invention and investigate
its business potential. Meanwhile, Stotts and the team, including
Carl Gilstrom in the lab, are fine-tuning the software and waiting
for the next generation of Microsoft Windows, which may include
code that will enable Facetop to run on PCs as well as on Macs.
If all goes well, you may soon find a
partner gazing back from your desktop -- far away but facing
Last of 2004's Star Heels awarded;
more available for 2005
Employee Services Department has announced that all of the available
Star Heels awards for the 2004 year have been awarded to deserving
With continued sponsorship from TIAA-CREF,
employees who have gone the extra mile and contributed to the
University are able to be honored through this campuswide recognition
program. In its fourth year, the program rewards staff and faculty
with a gift certificate to one of four local vendors -- Lowe's,
Student Stores, A Southern Season or The Streets of SouthPoint
-- and a certificate noting their accomplishment.
For the upcoming program year, TIAA-CREF
will increase the sponsorship amount, allowing more employees
to receive Star Heels awards.
"The Office of Human Resources is
very appreciative of TIAA-CREF for their increased support of
this very popular and vital recognition program," said Shelly
Green, who oversees the Star Heels program for the Employee
Services Department. "We congratulate all of the 2004 Star Heels
winners. You contribute in many unique ways to make Carolina
the special place that it is, and for this, we thank you."
HR Facilitators will receive their department's
new allocations in September via e-mail from the Employee Services
Department. There will be a Star Heels Kick-off event in the
fall to begin the new program year. For questions regarding
this program, e-mail Green at email@example.com.
Nominations needed for Excellence
in Management Award
Excellence in Management Award recognizes meritorious and distinguished
accomplishments in management at Carolina. The program began
For the purposes of this award, "management"
includes managing employee or student resources, financial resources,
facilities and/or coordinating special projects or efforts such
as leading a task force or an ad hoc committee of a sizable
All permanent employees serving in this
managerial capacity are eligible for nomination. This includes
SPA, EPA non-faculty and faculty employees.
All University employees -- including
temporaries -- and students are eligible to submit nominations
for eligible employees.
Nomination forms are available at hr.unc.edu/formfinder/forms-recognition/eim.doc.
Completed nominations must be received
by the Employee Services Department (CB# 1045) no later than
5 p.m. on July 2.
Two awards are given annually. Each award
recipient will receive a monetary award of $500 and a framed
certificate. The awards will be presented, along with the Chancellor's
Awards, at a luncheon in August.
For more information, call the Employee
Services Department at 962-1483.
Xiao earns University Manager
Xiao, accounting manager from the Department of Genetics, has
received the University Manager Training Grant. This $250 award
is given annually to recognize significant contributions that
many managers make to their departments. The recipient may use
the grant toward the cost of a development program that will
benefit both the employee and his/her work unit, department
or the University. Both SPA and EPA managers at the University
are eligible to apply.
Funding for the University Manager Training
Grant was made possible by an anonymous donor. The grant will
be made annually until the fund is depleted. The Training and
Development Department in the Office of Human Resources administers
Making it official
James Moeser (left) and Duke University President Nan
Keohane (right) watch as Julian Robertson signs the articles
of incorporation for the establishment of the Robertson
Scholars Program. In June of 2002, Julian and Josie Robertson
entered into an agreement with Duke and Carolina to fund
the Robertson Scholars Program with a gift of $12 million
to each institution. After a successful external evaluation
of the program completed in 2003, the Robertson Foundation,
Carolina and Duke have joined together to create a support
organization, the Robertson Scholars Program, to allow
for the continuation and long-term extension of the program.