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   A D M I N I S T R A T I O N

* *Academic Plan points the way to Carolina’s highest aspirations
* *Public is invited to celebration in honor of William Friday’s 90th birthday on July 13
* *New Kenan Stadium addition will be privately financed
* *Greek life study pinpoints key areas to be addressed

Academic Plan points the way to Carolina’s highest aspirations

The Academic Plan is the roadmap to help guide strategic thinking about the University’s future.

Last month, Executive Associate Provost Ron Strauss emphasized in a presentation to the Board of Trustees that the document is more of a map quest – a document to point the way to the University’s highest aspirations and dreams.

Strauss reviewed the six broad themes the Academic Plan seeks to attain:

* *Transformative academic experiences, including using large lecture-format topical courses for graduate and professional faculty to teach undergraduates;

* *Faculty prominence, recruitment, development and scholarship, focusing on improving faculty benefits to enhance faculty recruitment and retention;

* *Interdisciplinary teaching, research and public service, spurring an interdisciplinary campus culture;

* *Campus inclusivity and diversity, going beyond race and ethnicity to include such things as socioeconomic background and political ideology;

* *Engagement, seeking to confront and solve the persistent, profound challenges of state, national and global communities; and

* *Building the University’s global presence in research and teaching, expanding upon its current strategic partners in London, Singapore, Beijing, Ecuador/Galapagos, Cuba and Malawi.

Bill Andrews, senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Sue Estroff, professor of social medicine in the School of Medicine, are co-chairing the effort to update the plan. The steering committee is working to complete its report in the fall.

“This is clearly a time when other universities are saying, ‘These are tough times, fall back,’” Strauss said. “What this campus has been saying is this is the time to pull together by taking on new ideas and putting energy out for the future.”

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Public is invited to celebration in honor of William Friday’s 90th birthday on July 13


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William C. Friday, the man whose name is synonymous with North Carolina higher education during much of the 20th century, marks his 90th birthday next month.

The University and General Alumni Association are hosting an open house in Friday’s honor on July 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Hill Alumni Center’s Alumni Hall. The public is invited.

Friday, who grew up in Gaston County, earned a bachelor’s degree in textile engineering from N.C. State in 1941, married Ida Howell the following year and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1942 until 1946. He received his law degree from Carolina in 1948.

Before becoming president of the UNC system in 1956, a post he held for three decades, Friday worked in several different leadership positions. From 1948 until 1951 he served as assistant dean of students at Carolina before he was named assistant to Gordon Gray, president of the consolidated university system (which then included Carolina, N.C. State and UNC-Greensboro).

In 1955, Friday became secretary of the university system and was named acting president the following year. He was chosen to take the position permanently later that year and remained until 1986, becoming the longest-serving president of the 20th century. That same year, a Council of Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) study named Friday the most effective public university president in the nation.

During his tenure as UNC system president, Friday was a staunch supporter of academic freedom, fairness and integrity. During the civil rights movement, he often served as mediator between student activists and a conservative legislature, and he worked tirelessly for five years to muster support to repeal the 1963 Speaker Ban Law, which made it illegal for critics of the government to appear on campus.

Friday’s sphere of influence also led to the development of Research Triangle Park, the sponsorship of North Carolina public television and the formation of the expanded UNC system, which now includes 17 campuses.

His involvement in the Carnegie Commission on the Future of Higher Education led to North Carolina’s gains in federal funding for student aid in Pell Grants and the establishment of the Area Health Education Centers.

With Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, president of Notre Dame, Friday served as founding co-chair of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, which worked to reform college athletics. He was chair for 15 years.

When he retired as UNC president, Friday was named the first executive director of the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, a post he held for 10 years.

Throughout his rich career, Friday received numerous awards including the American Council on Education’s National Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement, the National Humanities Medal, the American Academy for Liberal Education’s Jacques Barzun Award and the John Hope Franklin Award. In 2004, the N.C. General Assembly held a special joint session to honor Friday’s life and works. The legislature and then-Gov. Mike Easley presented William and Ida Friday with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award for service to North Carolina.

Read more:

John F. Kennedy Jr.

William Friday (left) is part of the platform party during Pres. John F. Kennedy’s University Day speech, delivered to a crowd of 32,000 people in Kenan Stadium on Oct. 12, 1961. (Photo is from the Hugh Morton Collection, part of the University Library’s North Carolina Collection.)

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New Kenan Stadium addition will be privately financed

The Board of Trustees on May 27 approved the financing plan for a five-story addition in Kenan Stadium’s eastern end zone that will feature academic support services for student-athletes and suites and club seating for fans.

Named the Carolina Student-Athlete Center for Excellence, the addition will replace Kenan Field House, which was built in 1927.

The board’s approval of the $70 million project, which will be privately financed, cleared the way for construction to begin this month and to be completed for the start of the 2011 football season.

No public money to be used
One key to the project’s approval was a funding formula that guarantees that no public money will be used for the project.

The additional seating also will create new revenue to help support the University’s highly successful 28-sport program, said Athletic Director Dick Baddour. Men’s basketball and football generate revenue that can be used to support the remaining 26 sports.

The plan calls for private donors to raise half of the money needed, with the other half funded through sales of the additional seating and suites.

Before trustees approved the project, Chancellor Holden Thorp reiterated that the Rams Club had pledged to raise additional money, if needed, to pay for the center if projected ticket sales fall short.

“The sales and the fundraising are sufficiently positive that I think that risk is minimal,” Thorp said.

Improved academic support
The academic support center will be a 30,000-square-foot facility that will triple the size of the center that opened in 1986. It will include classrooms, computer labs, a writing center, auditorium, individual and group tutorial/conference rooms and offices for the academic support staff, career services, community outreach, life skills and the Carolina Leadership Academy.

Baddour said the expanded center would support Carolina’s nearly 800 student-athletes.

“Carolina offers student-athlete opportunities to one of the largest groups of young men and women in the country, but the current academic support facility is inadequate,” Baddour said. “Each of our student-athletes will see direct benefits from the Center for Excellence that will help them reach their academic goals.”

Karen Shelton, head coach of the field hockey team, said Carolina was able to recruit top student-athletes because of its commitment to academics and the support of the Carolina Leadership Academy, which aims to develop world-class leaders for a lifetime of success.

“Every day our coaches see the benefits of the programs taught in the leadership academy,” Shelton said. “It’s a real plus to all of our teams. Unfortunately, support programs like that have outgrown the current academic center. The Center for Excellence demonstrates again the University’s commitment to its students, including those in Olympic sports and the women’s program.”

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Greek life study pinpoints key areas to be addressed

The three goals that emerged from a four-month study of Greek life on campus were as straightforward as they were bold.

The University should have the best Greek system in the country. Greeks should have the best Carolina experience possible. And the Greek system should promote excellence across student life.

Jordan Whichard, a 1979 alumnus who was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, led the study at the request of Board of Trustees Chair Bob Winston. Whichard outlined these goals as a result of an analysis of the Greek system he presented to the board last month.

Whichard said he spent nearly 300 hours working on the project and spoke to some 150 people, including students, faculty, parents, alumni, administrators and national Greek organizations. The common theme from those discussions, he said, was that the system had room for improvement.

Common topics of concern included too many risky social behaviors, not enough adult engagement and supervision, and the need for greater emphasis on academic achievement, campus and community engagement, and leadership development.

Such studies of the Greek system at Carolina – along with many of the same concerns prompting them – are nothing new, Alston Gardner, chair of the University Affairs Committee, pointed out at the end of Whichard’s presentation.

The University has put the Greek system under study for reform four times since 1996, Gardner said.

“There seem to be lots of wonderful comments and a mixed record of action, and I would like to be able to say a year from now that we either succeeded or did not succeed,” he said.

One way to succeed, Gardner added, was to make recommendations that were smart, specific and measurable.

Whichard agreed and said a task force would develop a matrix of measurable goals for the Greek system for the start of the fall semester.

He said Carolina’s Greeks were largely self-governed by four separate organizations: the Interfraternity Council (the umbrella group for fraternities); the Panhellenic Council (the umbrella group for sororities); the Greek Alliance Council (the umbrella group for religious, multicultural fraternities and sororities); and the National Panhellenic Council (the umbrella group for eight African-American fraternities and sororities).

Feedback led to a focus on the Interfraternity Council, where there is the “greatest opportunity for improvement,” Whichard said.

To add the missing layer of adult engagement, Whichard recommended that a new Fraternity Alumni Association be created with an executive director who would provide formal oversight to the Interfraternity Council.

Other recommendations included a restructuring of the judicial process, a reward system for good grades, and tutoring and mentoring of new fraternity members.

Winston also asked Gardner to form and lead a committee to study the rush process, including whether it should be done in the fall or spring, as well as broader questions about the recruitment process among fraternities and sororities. Winston asked that the report be completed by January.

The University enlisted Whichard to conduct the study last January after a fall semester that included several events.

Courtland Smith, Delta Kappa Epsilon’s president, was shot and killed by Archdale police who believed he had a gun after stopping him during a high-speed trek down I-85. He had left a party at the fraternity several hours earlier. (The fraternity was later sanctioned by the Fraternity and Sorority Standards Review Board for violations of alcohol and other policies in connection with that party.)

Those violations followed several other incidents, reports and violations over a two-year period. Soon after Smith’s death, four University students with Greek ties were among seven local people arrested by area police on cocaine charges.

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June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010 PDF of the Gazette

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June 16 issue as a pdf


* *The call of duty supersedes astronomer’s search of the stars

* *New forum chair combines passion for employees with down-to-business style

* *Carolina home page redesign will showcase the University’s rich stories

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2009 - 2010

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