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In his State of the University address on   Sept. 15, Chancellor James Moeser emphasized the importance for the University of playing on a global stage.

Another important message in the same speech was the importance of remaining engaged with the state of North Carolina — a point Moeser emphasized by announcing the creation of the Chancellor’s Task Force on Engagement with North Carolina.

On Oct. 31, during the task force’s first meeting, Moeser emphasized the importance of the work ahead of them, and the connection in a global economy between the University’s ability to help the state be competitive internationally.

The task force’s charge is to develop a plan showing how to better mobilize the University to respond to key needs in the area of education, health and the economy.

Much of the task force’s work will be done in committees that explore each of these three areas. A fourth committee will explore the overlap these three areas have not only with each other but with the University’s three-pronged mission of education, research and engaged service.

It may sound boastful or arrogant, Moeser told task force members, but the University is the most important institution to the state of North Carolina.

“To the extent that we are successful, this state will win,” Moeser said. “If we fail, the stakes are very, very high.”  

The task force
Given the loss of traditional manufacturing jobs to Mexico and now China, some have come to fear globalization, Moeser said. Part of the work of the task force is to show how globalization can be part of the solution to the range of challenges faces the state.

The meeting also served as a foreshadowing of the one-hour discussion the task force will have with new UNC President Erskine Bowles during his Nov. 21 visit to campus.

Focus groups from the task force are expected to meet in December. In January, the full task force will reconvene to begin work on a draft report to be completed in February. In May, University Board of Trustees will be briefed on the report.

The members of the task force, based on committee assignment, are:

Education: Tom James, dean of the School of Education; Bernadette Gray-Little, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Jack Richman, dean of the School of Social Work; and Jose-Marie Griffiths, dean of the School of Information and Library Science.

Health: Chair Bill Roper, vice chancellor for medical affairs; Bob Blouin, dean of the School of Pharmacy; Barbara Rimer, dean of the School of Public Health; John Williams, dean of the School of Dentistry; Linda Cronenwett, dean of the School of Nursing; and Thomas Bacon, director of AHEC.

Economy: Chair Tony Waldrop, vice chancellor for research and economic development; Steve Jones, dean of Kenan-Flagler Business School; Mark Crowell, associate vice chancellor for economic development and technology transfer; Margaret Dardess, associate provost for strategic planning; James H. Johnson, director of the Urban Investment Strategies Center in Kenan-Flagler Business School; John D. “Jack” Kassarda, director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise; and Jesse White, director of economic and business development.

Cross-cutting Issues: Robert Shelton, executive vice chancellor and provost; Associate Provost Stephen Allred; Lynn Blanchard, director of the Carolina Public Service Center; Linda Dykstra, dean of the graduate school; Mike Smith, dean of the School of Government; and Faculty Chair Judith Wegner.

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