Trustees site business executive ed center at Meadowmont

The Board of Trustees last month approved Meadowmont as the site for the business executive education center, an architect to renovate and link together Graham and Aycock residence halls and a $36.90 increase in student fees, primarily for education and technology needs.

Trustees also heard reports on graduate student concerns, undergraduate admissions and proposed renovations to campus food services, and an update on land-use planning for the Horace Williams and Mason Farm properties. They also reviewed the preliminary design for additions to Kenan Stadium.

Meadowmont

Having a top flight executive education center is a key element to a top-flight business program and Meadowmont provides an ideal location, said Paul Fulton, dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School.

The plans call for construction of a classroom/administrative building and a residential hall with 56-60 guest rooms to the north of the existing DuBose home. The home will serve as a social hub for executives, housing dining and lounge facilities. Three to five guest-room suites also are proposed for the home.

Graham, Aycock

The Raleigh architectural firm of Pearce, Brinkley, Cease and Lee was chosen to design renovations and additions to Graham and Aycock residence halls. These two dorms are the last ones in the Upper and Lower Quads to be upgraded and modernized.

An elevator needs to be added to meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, said Facilities Planning Director Gordon Rutherford. To maintain bed count and provide lounge areas, the proposal calls for the dorms to be joined together with a 15,000-square-foot addition. The new space also will allow the Housing Department to consolidate operations in one location, which is near the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Bonds would be sold to finance the $6.4 million project.

Boost for campus technology

Trustees approved fee increases for all students of $31 for educational and technology needs and $5 for transit. Undergraduate students will have an additional 90-cent increase for student activities, which they approved for the A.P.P.L.E.S. service learning program.

The fees would be effective for the 1996-97 academic year if approved by the Board of Governors. Carolina's increase is within the 5 percent guideline established by this board.

Student Body President Calvin Cunningham said students were concerned about the education/technology fee increase coming on top of the special $400 tuition increase. Students also don't feel that they have received a 70 percent increase in service for the 70 percent increase in their educational and technology fee in three years, he said during the Finance and Business Committee meeting.

Cunningham questioned whether the University was going to solve its critical technology needs by increasing student fees. He urged the board to look for other means to fund technology needs, including state appropriations.

Chancellor Michael Hooker agreed with Cunningham that funding for technology needs was a problem.

"This campus is as far behind in adopting and adapting technologies as any major university campus in the country," he said. The cost is growing every year, he said, because of the explosion of applications for technology in teaching and communication.

He said students could expect additional increases for technology in the future, but they would be stopgap measures until the University could develop a comprehensive plan concerning its technology needs.

"We cannot continue to build technology on the backs of students with student fee increases," Hooker said. The current proposed increases were justified, he said, and would have been needed under any planning process.

Whatever approach the University takes, he said, funding for technology is going to involve significant reallocation of existing resources.

Cunningham said he appreciated the effort the administration had made to explain the increases to the student body. The decision to have the Student Fee Committee meet during the year instead of just once to vote on the fees was a positive step, he said, and should improve communication and give students a sense of ownership in the fee development process.

Alcohol Abuse

Chairman William Armfield expressed concern about alcohol abuse on campus, while noting that the administration, faculty and students were working on the problem.

Hooker said he had been concerned about student drinking and been talking with faculty and current and former students to try to understand what was occurring. The situation seemed to be different from his student days when going out for a few beers on Saturday was part of the student culture.

"The situation today, I fear, is markedly different--both qualitatively and quantitatively--than the situation when I was a student here," he said. Students engage in excessive drinking for stress reduction and on many more nights than Saturday, he said.

While he was student, he said he immersed himself in many campus activities, including going to Ackland Art Museum and visiting lectures.

"We need to encourage students to sample the intellectual atmosphere of campus in ways that for some reasons today they are not doing and to give them this alternative method for stress reduction," Hooker said.

The administration and faculty will be working on the problem until a solution is found, he said.

Other business

*The Student Affairs and Academic Affairs/Personnel committees heard from graduate student Kim Miller. Committee Chair Angela Bryant said the board already was aware and working on the major concerns regarding the need for increased tuition remissions and graduate health insurance and the impact of tuition/fee increases. Miller also expressed concern about the lack of guidelines and evaluation for teaching assistants.

*Planning consultants from Johnson, Johnson and Roy Inc. discussed land use alternatives for the Mason Farm and Horace Williams properties with the Finance and Business Committee. The presentation was similar to what they gave to the campus and town in late November.

*Cunningham reported that the Food Service Task Force had completed its work and was recommending fundamental changes to improve the student dining experience. This month, students will vote on a 31-cent increase to student fees to fund the changes, which include overhauling Lenoir Hall, increasing available seating and adding more food choices.

*Development Director Matt Kupec reported that the University is running ahead of last year's record-breaking pace in total dollars received. The donor pool is up about 7 percent.

*The Finance and Business Committee reviewed the preliminary design for adding a west end to Kenan Stadium for 9,800 permanent seats and a football center. Also reviewed were plans for additional seating for the north side that will match the press box structure on the south side.

*Undergraduate Admissions Director Jim Walters reported applications were up again this year, which would provide a competitive freshman class but also meant more students would be turned down.

This year's freshman class, he said, had the largest jump in SATs in 10 years from 1128 to 1142, and 73 percent of them were in the top 10 percent of their classes-- compared to 60 percent 10 years ago. Minority enrollment was down slightly, reflecting a less qualified applicant pool and lack of merit-based scholarships, he said.


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