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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Author Archives: cjmitch

Folt encourages campus-wide participation in Black History Month

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Chancellor Carol L. Folt, center, stands with (from left) Ina McNeil, keynote speaker Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Joseph McNeil and Edward B. Fort, chancellor emeritus of NC A&T State University, the alma mater of the Greensboro Four.

Chancellor Carol L. Folt has urged the campus community to heed the call to “keep the pressure on” in fighting for justice, equality and freedom, as civil rights scholar Hasan Kwame Jeffries advocated during the Feb. 5 program commemorating Black History Month held at the Stone Center.

Folt attended the program in which the Greensboro Four, including Joseph McNeil and the friends and families of Jibreel Khazan, Franklin McCain and David Richmond, were honored and recognized. Also, members of the Carolina faculty spoke.

Professor Reginald Hildebrand from the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies spoke about the power of quiet acts of courage and character, Folt said in a campus email message last week. These actions “resonate with something that is in each of us, something decent and strong, that has integrity…something that says, ‘I will no longer allow my worth and value to be dismissed and discounted. I will not be a silent witness while that happens to others.’”

The Greensboro Four held the 1960 sit-in that catalyzed change in the country as well as on the Carolina campus. Empowered by the movement, African American students together with faculty and staff spoke out and took action, Folt said. Their efforts led to the formation of the Black Student Movement, the realization of the Stone Center and the creation of what is now the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies.

“Carolina is richer for the efforts of those pioneers,” Folt said, “and today’s leaders continue to guide us as we learn from the past, shape the present and prepare our students for the future.”

Folt encouraged the campus to participate in as many Black History Month events as possible and to read the statement from the Carolina Black Caucus. See Folt’s email.

Honors for February 12, 2014

Rebecca Macy, associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Social Work, was one of eight people appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory to serve on the North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission. Macy researches family and interpersonal violence issues and human trafficking, among other areas.

Thava Mahadevan, director of operations for the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health, received a Citizen’s Award from Indy Week. The annual awards honor those who have tirelessly fought for social justice and worked to improve their communities.

The Carolina Population Center’s MEASURE Evaluation project, which addresses global health challenges in resource-poor settings, was awarded two Science and Technology Pioneers Prizes from the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of Science and Technology.

Ashby, Smithies receive alumni faculty service awards

The chair of the chemistry department and a Nobel Prize-winning genetics researcher at Carolina have been honored with the General Alumni Association’s Faculty Service Award.

The association’s board of directors presented the awards to chemistry professor and chair Valerie Ashby and genetics scientist Oliver Smithies. The award was established in 1990 and honors faculty members who have performed outstanding service for the University or the association.

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Valerie Ashby, Chemistry, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ashby grew up in Clayton and earned both a bachelor’s degree in 1988 and a doctorate in 1994 in chemistry at UNC. After postdoctoral work overseas and a faculty position at Iowa State University, Ashby in 2003 returned to UNC as a professor in the chemistry department, where her research focuses on synthesis of biomaterials used for such functions as drug delivery and gene therapy.

She quickly became one of the most popular professors on campus and in 2007 was named the Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Professor for excellence in undergraduate teaching and research. She became department chair in 2012.

Ashby also is director of the UNC National Science Foundation program aimed at promoting underrepresented minorities into doctoral programs in science, technology, engineering and math, which she participated in as a student.

She received the outstanding faculty/staff award from the GAA-sponsored Black Alumni Reunion’s Light on the Hill Society in 2008 and was UNC’s December Commencement speaker that same year. She is the UNC faculty marshal and served on the GAA board of directors as faculty representative for 2010–11.

Smithies

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Smithies, a native of England, is the Weatherspoon Eminent Distinguished Professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He joined the faculty in 1988 after earning a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Oxford and spending more than two decades as a researcher at the University of Wisconsin.

Smithies was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2007 for his work in genetics. The award recognized his contribution to introducing gene modifications to mice using embryonic stem cells, giving the mice human-like characteristics to more accurately predict how treatments might work in humans. His was the first Nobel awarded to a UNC faculty member and his presence has been credited with attracting other prominent genetics and genomics researchers to the University.

Smithies has received numerous other honors for his discoveries, including the North Carolina Award for Science in 1993, the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research in 2001 and the O. Max Gardner Award and the Wolf Prize for Medicine in 2002.

Sociology scholar to lead Carolina Seminars Program

perrin_andrew_400Andrew Perrin, an associate professor of sociology, has been named the new director of the Carolina Seminars Program. He succeeded James Peacock, Kenan Professor of Anthropology, on Feb. 1.

The mission of the Carolina Seminars Program is to assemble scholars from different departments and schools to study complex problems, bridge disciplinary boundaries and enrich academic discourse.

Perrin is a cultural and political sociologist who has published on a broad range of topics, including recent articles on public opinion research, the Tea Party Movement and obesity-related behaviors and stigma in children’s movies.

He teaches courses in sociological theory and cultural sociology as well as first-year seminars on democratic citizenship in the United States. He is also a member of the Faculty Athletics Committee and the Student-Athlete Initiative Working Group.

“Professor Perrin is an accomplished interdisciplinary scholar and well prepared to build on the remarkable history and success of the Carolina Seminars Program and extend its reach to all corners of the campus,” said Carol Tresolini, vice provost for academic initiatives. “We are deeply grateful to the Massey and Weatherspoon families for making this program possible and, in so doing, enriching the life of the University.”

Perrin is in charge of providing intellectual and administrative leadership to the program by encouraging interdisciplinary examination of critical issues. He will solicit proposals for new seminars, assess their value and contributions, and align them with the goals of the Academic Plan. He will also administer the Douglass Hunt Lecture series.

A graduate of Swarthmore College, Perrin earned his doctorate in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. He was an assistant professor of sociology at UNC from 2001 to 2007, when he became an associate professor of sociology. He is the author or co-author of five books, including “Citizen Speak: The Democratic Imagination in American Life” and the forthcoming “American Democracy: From Tocqueville to Town Halls to Twitter.”

Employee Forum speakers review campus safety, health insurance

Howard Kallem, a recognized expert in Title IX compliance, was recruited to serve as Carolina’s new Title IX compliance coordinator because of his experience and expertise.

After a month on the job, Kallem spoke to the Employee Forum at its Feb. 5 meeting to explain what drew him here. The short answer, he said, was Carolina’s commitment not simply to meet the minimum requirements of the federal law, but to designate the resources necessary to create a safe learning and working environment for all students and employees.

Kallem said Chancellor Carol L. Folt has demonstrated a staunch commitment to make campus safety a top priority.

Hilary Delbridge has already been hired to fill the new position of Title IX public communication specialist. Another Title IX investigator position to work with Jayne Grandes is in the process of being filled, he said.

“That level of resources is unprecedented, and quite frankly, what convinced me to take the job here,” Kallem said. “Chapel Hill is really serious about taking on this issue.”

Kallem had been the chief regional attorney of the District of Columbia Enforcement Office for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR is responsible for ensuring civil rights enforcement and compliance with Title IX, as well as other federal nondiscrimination legislation. Kallem has more than 15 years of experience with OCR, as well as 14 years of experience with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

As Title IX compliance coordinator, Kallem coordinates the University’s compliance with federal guidelines and oversees campus training, education and outreach on Title IX issues.

Even before he arrived, Kallem said Carolina had a network of support in place to provide resources for people who have been sexually assaulted. In the months ahead, the Title IX office will take a look at those resources to assess “what things we are doing well, what we could be doing, and finding where there are gaps,” he said.

“We will be pulling together existing resources for support so that we have a uniform, consistent process in place,” Kallem said. “We want everyone to get the same message and we want a victim to be able to go to any number of places and be directed to the resources they need.”

Forum members also heard a report on state health insurance from Chuck Stone, a lobbyist with the State Employee’s Association of North Carolina (SEANC).

Stone said state employees should not expect to see significant changes to the current health-care plan in 2015 and encouraged employees to buy the best health-care plan they could afford because health-care expenses are a leading cause of bankruptcy. He advocated that employees enroll in the Enhanced PPO 80/20 plan.

Felicia A. Washington, who became the University’s new Vice Chancellor for Workforce Strategy, Equity and Engagement on Feb. 1, also introduced herself to forum members.

Washington said she knew that she had “big shoes to fill” in replacing Brenda Malone, but that she has a wonderful team with the Office of Human Resources to support her.

“I am excited to be at Carolina, and I am happy to be here today to see what topics are important to this group,” she said.

Testing under way for ConnectCarolina finance, HR, payroll functions

When the University’s administrative software system ConnectCarolina expands to include finance, human resources and payroll functions this October, thousands of University employees will count on the new system as they do their work daily.

ConnectCarolina is an all-in-one, web-based tool that is replacing older software systems in these areas, just as it replaced the old student services system in 2010.

To ensure that the system will support all University functions related to finance, human resources and payroll at go-live, the project team is working with the people across campus who own these different business functions to put ConnectCarolina through rigorous testing.

Every day, this group converges on “testing central” in the ITS Manning building to ensure that all the pieces of ConnectCarolina will work well together.

An essential part of the ConnectCarolina project has been engaging the employees who have an intimate knowledge of how the University does business. These business owners have been involved in testing by creating and executing test scenarios that are unique to the University.

As they develop an understanding of how ConnectCarolina handles their particular business needs (such as hiring employees or paying the University’s bills), the business owners can see what their operations will be like with the new system, and they can plan accordingly.

While the team in ITS Manning tests how the system’s processes work, another technical team in ITS Franklin is focusing on fine-tuning the system so it works quickly and reliably.

Later this spring, the team will use special software to simulate heavy traffic on ConnectCarolina to make sure that even during times of peak use – such as during course registration, payroll processing or fiscal year-end reporting – the system will perform to expectations.

Testing will continue through the summer, with even more campus users participating in June and July, and will conclude when the business owners sign off that ConnectCarolina is ready to go live.

Find out more about the testing process and the progress of the ConnectCarolina project at ccinfo.unc.edu. There, you can sign up for the bi-weekly email newsletter to stay abreast of the latest project news. Send questions and comments to connectcarolina@unc.edu.

Afro-Brazilian filmmaker Araújo returns to campus as scholar-in-residence

Award winning Afro-Brazilian filmmaker and scholar Joel Zito Araújo has returned to Carolina as scholar-in-residence at the Stone Center during February.

Araújo previously visited the Stone Center in 2004 as a visiting artist. Throughout February, he will visit classes at UNC and other area universities to participate in lectures and discussions, and host screenings of his films. UNC’s Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Office of the Provost are also providing support for Araújo’s residency, which began Feb. 6.

Araújo is an acclaimed filmmaker, director, writer and producer of films and TV programs, with 24 documentaries, 22 shorts and three full-length features to his name. Most notable of his efforts is the award-winning full-length documentary “Denying Brazil,” the saga of black actors’ images as they are portrayed in Brazil’s famed soap operas, or novellas.

The film received the script award prize in the Ministry of Culture’s 1999 National Documentary Competition, among others.

On Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., the Stone Center will screen Araújo’s first narrative feature, “Filhas do Vento” (Daughters of the Wind), in the Hitchcock Room, followed by a discussion with the scholar-in-residence.

The film won eight top awards, including best film and best director at the 32nd Gramado Film Festival, Brazil’s equivalent of the Oscars. It premiered in the U.S. at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in June 2004 and four months later at the Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film at the Stone Center.

His most recent release, “Raça,” follows three Afro-Brazilian protagonists whose lives demonstrate the profound and historic changes Brazil is experiencing. The film is part of an innovative campaign that will bring the filmmakers together with grassroots organizers to push for concrete social change. The filmmakers will donate their box office proceeds to the newly created Baobá Fund for Racial Equity.

For information about campus events related to his visit, call 919-962-9001.

Carolina offers first-deadline admission to 6,036

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More than 6,000 candidates from a record first-deadline pool of 16,987 were offered admission to Carolina’s incoming class at the end of January. The pool was 12 percent larger than last year, marking the second year in a row that Carolina has set a record for the number of first-deadline applicants.

A total of 31,209 students met the first and second application deadlines for first-year admission, marking the ninth consecutive record number of first-year applications. Decisions for second-deadline applicants will be released by the end of March. The University expects 3,990 new first-year students to enroll in August.

The admitted students’ personal qualities are as impressive as their academic credentials, said Stephen Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions.

“Although we’ve paid careful attention to grades and test scores, we’ve also tried hard to go beyond them. These students are more than their numbers, and we haven’t admitted or denied anyone on the basis of a single score or grade,” he said.

“The students we’ve admitted are capable and talented, and they’ve already made a difference in their schools, their communities and beyond.”

They are as active in their communities as they are accomplished in the classroom, on the playing field, on stage and in science labs.

Emergency sirens to be tested Feb. 11

alertcarolina-fav-outlines-colorThe University will test the emergency sirens and text messages on Feb. 11, between noon and 1 p. m. The sirens are tested each semester to make sure the equipment works.

During the test, anyone outside on or near campus likely will hear the sirens. (They are not designed to be heard inside or while you are in a vehicle.) The sirens will sound an alert tone along with a brief pre-recorded voice message. When testing is complete, a different siren tone and voice message will signal “All clear. Resume regular activities.”

The sirens sound only for a major emergency or an immediate safety or health threat such as:

  • An armed and dangerous person on or near campus;
  • A major chemical spill or hazard;
  • A tornado warning for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area issued by the National Weather Service; or
  • A different emergency, as determined by the Department of Public Safety.

The University also sends a text message to cell phone users who registered their numbers in the online campus directory. In an emergency, the University will post safety-related announcements on the Alert Carolina website, alertcarolina.unc.edu, along with updates.

No action is required during the siren test. Information about what to do if the sirens sound is outlined in the poster “What You Should Do For An Emergency Warning,” posted in all campus classrooms and accessible online.

The sirens are part of the University’s Emergency Notification System and a communications strategy that uses multiple ways to reach students, faculty and staff, as well as visitors, local residents, parents and the public. Information about the four types of notifications – Emergency Warning (sirens), Timely Warning, Informational Messages and Adverse Weather Messages – is included in the Emergency Notification Protocols.

In an emergency, students and employees are encouraged to use the American Red Cross Safe and Well List to let their parents and families know they are okay in the while keeping cell phone lines open for emergency calls. The Safe and Well list is especially helpful in communicating with family members who are outside the emergency area.

A mobile-friendly version of the Alert Carolina website is available at m.alertcarolina.unc.edu.

PHOTOS: Beautiful blanket of snow covers Carolina campus

A late evening snow on Jan. 28 left a soft blanket of white on Carolina’s campus. University Photographer Dan Sears’ photos show a serene campus morning where classes were canceled until noon.

UNC faculty help communicate about complicated health care law

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Jonathan Oberlander displays the homepage for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace.

In a landmark 2012 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate to purchase health insurance as called for by the Affordable Care Act.

At the same time, the court gave states a choice on whether they wanted to accept federal funding to expand Medicaid to their citizens up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Many states, North Carolina included, declined it.

North Carolina also declined to establish its own marketplace where the uninsured can purchase private insurance and refused federal funds that the state could have used to help communicate with the uninsured and promote enrollment in the marketplace.

Jonathan Oberlander, a health policy expert and professor of social medicine and health policy and management at Carolina, admits the new law is confusing. That’s what happens, he said, when you build a policy on a policy instead of creating something brand new.

“The ACA kept the three major sources of health insurance: Medicare, Medicaid and employer-sponsored private insurance for people under 65, and then it tried to fill in the gaps for the uninsured,” he said.

The ACA provides subsidies to purchase private insurance for those who earn between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty level. For states that declined to extend Medicaid, this leaves a hole for the lowest-income Americans who are below the poverty line, leaving them without any affordable coverage options.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Health Insurance Subsidy Calculator, a 30-year-old adult in North Carolina making $25,000 a year will qualify for a subsidy that covers 40 percent of an insurance premium. The same adult making $9,000 will receive nothing.

“A large number of North Carolinians won’t be eligible for any kind of new health insurance under the Affordable Care Act,” said Oberlander.

William L. Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care and dean of the School of Medicine, said UNC Health Care and other hospitals will be affected by two important changes in health care: the patient base and the models of care, service and payment.

“We will begin to see an increasing number of people who are insured, but there will still be a large number of people seeking care who do not have insurance,” he said. “We will also see a shift from fee for service or volume to care for a population of patients for which payment is provided based on the value of what is provided.”

UNC Health Care had been proactive, Roper said, planning years ahead for such a shift in health care, from both financial and staffing perspectives. Although the state government has no plan in place to educate citizens about ACA, UNC Health Care has been providing assistance for those seeking to enroll for health insurance under ACA.

“We have certified application counselors in every UNC Health Care System market,” Roper said. “As a whole, we are becoming more focused on the entire continuum of health care, from wellness to hospice services.”

A provider’s obligation

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Sherry Hay, left, and Timothy Daaleman, right, review charts in the Family Medicine clinic. (Photo credit: Donna Parker)

When the federal government’s marketplace on healthcare.gov opened in October, the site was riddled with such problems, Oberlander said, even the administration and its allies struggled to defend it.

A polarized political environment didn’t help the ACA’s cause, either, he added.

“It’s very difficult to explain what’s in the law because you have one part of the country that believes one thing and another part that believes something else,” Oberlander said. “Many Americans believe there are provisions in the ACA that aren’t there. Many are not familiar with the provisions that do exist.”

Gov. Pat McCrory has said he’d like to fix Medicaid before he can consider expanding it. At a news conference on Jan. 21, McCrory named Medicaid reform a top priority, and Oberlander said that indicates the Medicaid question might not be off the table.

In his clinic in UNC’s Department of Family Medicine, Timothy Daaleman sees many patients who would benefit from the expansion of Medicaid. With more frequency, he’s seeing the working poor, the uninsured or the chronically ill who can’t afford to visit the doctor more than once a year.

“From a research standpoint, the data are pretty compelling when you begin to look at the ability to have health insurance and the relationship to positive health outcomes,” he said.

For Daaleman, professor and vice chair of the department, it’s also a moral obligation.

“The argument is that the expansion of Medicaid would expand the federal budget, and I think that’s a limited view,” he said. “What is the value to the citizens of North Carolina to be healthy, or to have a work force that’s healthy and not constantly worried about their health care?”

Insurance is about pool and risk, Daaleman said.

“And if everybody is a part of it, you stratify that risk, and it’s sustainable fiscally. But people wonder why they should pay for it, why you would pay for someone else to have insurance,” he said. “The next hurdle is going to be, well, what does citizenship mean?”

A community of care

Family Medicine currently has six people certified to offer ACA assistance to patients. They began contacting their uninsured patients before the marketplace opened in October to offer the service. Counselors have so far served 120 patients, either by helping them to enroll or just to discuss options.

“There’s tremendous uncertainty out there, so naturally I think there is a great deal of nervousness among patients because of their expectations. They worry how this is going to change their ability to see their doctor or receive health care,” Daaleman said.

Some patients are able to get what they need in one appointment, while others need to come multiple times, said Sherry Hay, director of community health initiatives and adjunct assistant professor in the department.

“There are individuals who need three or four appointments to get through the process,” she said. “It’s a big decision to choose a health plan, and we’re there for them.”

Many patients are thrilled that for the first time, despite pre-existing conditions or financial concerns, they can have insurance, Hay said. Others are frustrated, learning they qualify for neither Medicaid nor the subsidy to purchase an insurance plan.

Hay partners with groups all over the state and UNC Health Care, setting up regional planning meetings to gather others’ experiences with the process and learn from what they are seeing in their patient populations.

This weekend, the department hosted an “enroll-a-thon” in partnership with the Department of Internal Medicine, Planned Parenthood, the Student Health Action Coalition, Piedmont Health Services, N.C. Legal Aid, the Orange County Health Department and many others.

“This is a change like we’ve never seen. Since the state really has no role in the ACA, we all own it. So, we really needed to look at this issue and step up to help out,” Hay said.

Even without a state-funded effort to educate citizens about ACA, there are groups across the state working together to provide clear messages and help with enrollment.

This doesn’t surprise Daaleman.

“It shows that this state is about community. We have a large community base, and we’re well-organized, even with limited money to do that,” he said.

Employee Forum community meeting focuses on data breach

Chris Kielt, vice chancellor for information technology and CIO, opened a Jan. 16 panel focusing on a recent University data breach with an apology.

“I want to start by apologizing to each and every one of you who are affected by this circumstance. I know and understand the anger and frustration you feel over getting notified that your personal data was exposed,” he said.

The Employee Forum hosted the panel of administrators for a community meeting about what led to the data breach and what the University is doing to help those affected. The panelists addressed questions and concerns submitted in advance and during the meeting for the 200-plus attendees.

In addition to Kielt, panelists were Kevin Seitz, interim vice chancellor for finance and administration; Matt Brody, associate vice chancellor for human resources; Meredith Weiss, associate vice chancellor for business services and administration; and Patty Courtright, director of internal communications.

What happened

On Nov. 11, an information technology manager in the Division of Finance and Administration was informed that some electronic files on a server in the department and managed by the Division of Facilities Services inadvertently became accessible on the Internet. The files, which were created between 1999 and the mid-2000s, contained the names and Social Security or Employee Tax Identification numbers – and in some cases, addresses and dates of birth – for people associated with the University during that period.

Kielt said the data was exposed when a server was moved to a virtual environment on or about July 30. The personal data was made public to the Internet, and Google copied the information as part of its normal processes. The incident risked unauthorized online access to the personal information of more than 6,500 current and former employees, vendors and students.

“The data was exposed as a result of an honest mistake,” Kielt said. “I want to make clear that this was not an attack or a cyber crime.”

When the incident was discovered, University administrators took immediate action to block access to the files and launch an extensive investigation into what was on the server and who had access to it. They also requested that Google remove the information, and on Nov. 23 confirmed that the records were no longer accessible.

Communications and resources

Seitz said as soon as the breach was recognized, the University worked diligently to provide accurate information to the affected people as quickly as possible.

On Dec. 10, the University began mailing letters to people who were affected, with a second mailing of notification letters on Jan. 10. The letters specified which personal information was included in the files, steps individuals could take to protect against identity theft and how people could get their questions answered. As part of the Jan. 10 mailing, people also received information about accessing the year of free credit monitoring offered by the University.

“I understand that the timeframe may seem long,” Seitz said, “but it was important to balance the speed of providing information with the need for completeness and accuracy.”

Weiss reviewed the ways people affected by the data breach could get assistance.

“I take this very, very seriously,” she said. “It’s important to do everything we can to follow up in the best way possible for all of you.”

That follow-up includes:

  • Establishing a call center staffed by a nationally recognized consultant as well as a University response team to answer questions and requests for help, including assisting people in using websites to place a fraud alert or access credit monitoring;
  • Offering personal assistance at the Facilities Services Human Resources Office as well as group information and assistance sessions across campus at times that accommodate people’s varying work schedules; and
  • Providing translations of the letters and frequently asked questions (FAQs) in Spanish, Burmese and Karen.

“We’re getting feedback from all of you that we use to improve our response,” Weiss said.

Courtright described the University’s communication efforts.

“At the same time the first group of letters went out on Dec. 10, we wrote a story covering the breach, making sure people knew they would receive letters informing them their information was affected and exactly what information was affected,” she said.

That story was posted on several websites – ITS, the UNC homepage, News Services and the Gazette, with a link from Facilities Services – she said. In addition, FAQs were posted on the ITS website and had been updated based on feedback received (see its.unc.edu/security-incidents).

The FAQs would continue to be modified and additional stories posted as new information needed to be communicated, Courtright said.

The next day, in fact, a new story was posted explaining that people had received incorrect codes to access credit monitoring and outlining how they could obtain the correct codes right away.

Safeguards available

Brody said questions had been raised about disciplinary or legal action. He acknowledged that good, honest people make mistakes, and in this situation unintentional mistakes were made.

He also indicated that the applicable departments were reviewing the circumstances and would determine what, if any, disciplinary actions would be appropriate under the circumstances. The details of such actions would be considered a confidential personnel matter, he explained.

To date, Brody said, all the facts indicate the breach occurred with no intention of accessing or using any of the data, and the University was not aware of any fraud resulting from the incident.

He reviewed three available safeguards: a fraud alert in which a creditor has to contact an individual before issuing any additional credit; a security freeze that prohibits releasing information about a person’s credit report without consent; and credit monitoring, which informs people of changes to their credit report.

The first two steps, both of which are free, prevent fraud from occurring in the first place, he said, and the credit monitoring provides additional security against someone opening a new account in another person’s name. (See here for more information about the University’s offer of one year of free credit monitoring.)

David Brannigan, from Grounds Services, asked why the free credit monitoring was only for one year.

Seitz explained that since the breach was not the result of a malicious attack, and that UNC had not been notified that anyone’s information was compromised, one year was thought to be sufficient in conjunction with the other steps the University is taking to protect affected employees.

“If that situation changes, we’ll go back and reconsider,” said Seitz.

Enhancing security

Weiss and Kielt described measures under way to protect sensitive information.

Finance and Administration worked with Information Technology Services on a 90-day plan of action to scan all its servers and workstations with software that looks for sensitive data and checks for vulnerability, Weiss said. In addition, all laptops are being upgraded and protected with encryption capabilities.

The division’s standard security operating procedures, which will be updated every six months, now include regular scans of all servers and workstations, and new migration procedures, she said.

Kielt said that everything Weiss described was considered a best practice in protecting IT data, and this multi-tiered approach has proven to be very valuable in mitigating risks.

He also described a new University-wide initiative introduced last summer that focuses on data scanning to inventory data on a computer, laptop or sever in an unobtrusive way and to help people remove any sensitive data they might find.

“The data you don’t know you have that can be exposed is significant,” Kielt said. That’s why it’s important to clean up the data and de-identify it to safeguard sensitive information.

New legislative study touts Carolina Counts as efficiency model

patil_mike_400Carolina Counts began as an ambitious experiment in efficiency with the campus as its lab.

Four years – and more than $200 million in accumulated savings later – the ongoing success of that experiment has caught the attention of a legislative study group in Raleigh.

In December, the non-partisan Program Evaluation Division (PED) of the N.C. General Assembly singled out Carolina Counts as the “closest example of a comprehensible approach to operational efficiency within the UNC system.”

The report was produced at the request of the legislature’s Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Committee to examine efforts to streamline, improve and reduce costs of campus operations across the UNC system.

Pam Taylor, the senior investigator of the study, said Carolina Counts has nearly all the essential elements required for success, including a campus charge to promote operational efficiency, establish benchmarks for improvements and maintain a central office to track progress.

“Our charge was to look at operational efficiency efforts throughout the UNC system,” Taylor said, including General Administration’s centralized efforts and the various programs established at individual universities in the system.

The study group conducted site visits at six of the 17 member institutions, including Carolina.

“In comparing what Chapel Hill is doing to our criteria for a comprehensive approach, we saw that it was definitely the closest to the comprehensive model we were looking for within the UNC system,” Taylor said.

Carolina Counts was initiated by former Chancellor Holden Thorp to carry out the recommendations of the operational study initiated by Bain & Company in summer 2008 – several months before the recession began. The annual savings in state funding from Carolina Counts have increased to more than $60 million.

Establishing a brand

One thing Carolina Counts has done better than other initiatives is to establish a recognizable brand and a communications strategy, Taylor said.

Carolina Counts Executive Director Mike Patil, pictured above, operates a central office to track progress and maintains a single website for posting all information related to Carolina Counts. Carolina Counts also has an internal portal to share and compare benchmark data across schools and units.

“You know when you are talking about operational efficiency at UNC-Chapel Hill that you are talking about Carolina Counts, and that’s very important to help everyone understand that all the various initiatives across campus are driving toward the same goal,” Taylor said.

Another strength is the presence of what she called a “faculty champion” – a recognized and trusted leader within the faculty who can not only explain what is going on but also promote the value of efficiency to a naturally skeptical audience.

That champion is longtime chemistry professor Joe Templeton, a former faculty chair who Thorp appointed as a special assistant to promote Carolina Counts to groups across campus.

“You have to get faculty members to buy in because they are the ones who are going to have to make the changes,” Taylor said. “They are also probably going to be the ones most resistant to change, which is why it is important to get them on board sooner rather than later. For both those reasons, having Joe involved in the structure of Carolina Counts was very important.”

In fact, Taylor said Carolina Counts had all the essential elements of a comprehensive program except one – a provision to make cost-savings measures mandatory for all the campus units.

But that omission, Patil pointed out, was by design.

“From the very beginning, our leadership team resolved we were not going to mandate what people on campus had to do, but we could suggest, cajole and recommend,” Patil said. “We made available the operational data and the comparative analysis to show them how it could be done. But we never told them what they had to do.”

Application system-wide

After the report was presented to the legislative oversight committee in December, Taylor said, the committee asked the study group to draft legislation for consideration in late spring or early summer.

At the same time, officials from General Administration also will be working on a set of recommendations to optimize efficiency efforts that will be presented to the UNC Board of Governors this spring, said Charles Perusse, chief operating officer for the UNC system, who responded to the study’s findings in a two-page letter included in the study report.

“They did a good job documenting the efforts we have done since 2006 that have yielded $102 million in operational efficiencies throughout the campuses already,” Perusse said.

The report included recommendations to address shortcomings in UNC FIT (Finance Improvement and Transformation), the central office that manages efforts to improve operational efficiencies across the UNC system.

While Perusse said he did not agree with all the recommendations, he thought many of them had merit and he is developing a proposed action plan to incorporate those.

“They said we could do better if General Administration took more of a centralized approach instead of giving campuses the flexibility they have had to deal with their own operational areas,” Perusse said. “We tend to agree with that and we are going to come to our board with ways we think we can do that.”

As part of that effort, GA will develop consistent metrics for operational efficiency in which all 17 UNC institutions will be evaluated, much the way their student success is evaluated, he said.

Perusse also offered high praise for Carolina Counts.

“From our perspective, Carolina Counts can be used as a model on how you can evaluate different strategies and find different ways to do things better,” he said.

“One of the things that Carolina Counts did really well, which Pam’s report touched on, was that it didn’t stop with good analysis. It also did a good job cataloging and reporting in a customer-friendly way the findings and recommendations and results of all the efficiency efforts.”

That is an area where GA can improve, Perusse added. “That is the area where we really want to take Carolina Counts and spread it across the other campuses.”

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost James W. Dean Jr. told members of the Employee Forum earlier this month that they should be proud of what they have helped to achieve through Carolina Counts – and pleased that state officials have identified the program as a possible role model for the UNC system.

Dean singled out Patil and Templeton for their leadership.

“I have already talked to both of them and told them how proud we are of them,” he said, “and we should be glad they are getting the credit they deserve for developing what has now been recognized as the best cost-cutting model in the UNC system.”

Carolina must see scrutiny as an opportunity, Folt says

For Carolina to make amends, Chancellor Carol L. Folt told University trustees last week, it is important to fully acknowledge past mistakes that led to athletic and academic scandals.

Those mistakes, she added, could have been avoided – and must be avoided in the future.

“As one of a small number of leading national research universities that also has a highly competitive athletic program, what happens at Chapel Hill is of great interest both regionally and nationally,” Folt said during the Board of Trustees Jan. 23 meeting. “We have to accept and do accept that scrutiny. We have to welcome it, and see it as a tremendous opportunity for us.

“The scrutiny that is taking place here is, of course, part of a much larger national conversation about the role and the impact of college sports and even further about the commitment schools are making to ensure that students are receiving the support they need to succeed in the classroom, to advance to graduation, as well as on the playing field.”

Significant reforms were put in place before her arrival, and they continue, Folt said.

When she arrived on campus last July, Folt began working with Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost James W. Dean Jr. to ensure that everything concerning athletics is in proper alignment with the University’s academic mission.

To that end, Dean and Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham are co-chairing the Student-Athlete Academic Initiative working group, and strong initiatives are already under way in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Academic Support Program for Student Athletes.

Folt praised faculty, staff and administrators for the tremendous amount of time and effort they have put in to make needed reforms.

However, Folt also said that to move forward, Carolina must also “fully acknowledge and accept lessons of our past.”

She added: “These are messages that I believe have not been made clear enough to the Carolina community and to the public.”

Even though there is no evidence that anomalous courses in the since-renamed African and Afro-American studies department were initiated to benefit student-athletes, nearly half of the students who took those courses were student-athletes, she said.

“Offering courses that were unsupervised was not reflective of the standards that we expect for our University,” Folt said. “All of those students who were involved in those courses deserved better from us.”

And for years, she said, the University permitted these fraudulent courses to continue because of a lack of academic oversight. “This, too, was wrong and it has undermined our integrity and our reputation, and it’s created a very unhealthy atmosphere of distrust,” Folt said.

She said it was her hope that Carolina could become a positive voice in the larger national conversation about the proper role of athletics in higher education. But first, she stressed, Carolina must make sure “our own house is in order.” Debate is essential, Folt said, and disagreement is inevitable.

“But whether we’re going to agree or disagree, we have to really make this a healthy debate,” she said. “We have to welcome it, and we have to respect each another in this debate, and do it in ways that show the true character of our Carolina community.”

The many lessons learned, she said, can only make Carolina stronger.

“I believe that we are a Carolina that will always be changing. Always be improving. And when we do it right, we’ll always be leading.”

Folt, Dean refute allegations about athlete qualifications

Carolina’s top administrators are refuting recent media stories questioning the academic qualifications of some Carolina student-athletes.

During the Jan. 17 Faculty Council meeting, Chancellor Carol L. Folt and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost James W. Dean Jr. discussed at length recent CNN reports focusing on claims by Mary Willingham, a student adviser, regarding reading levels for some football and basketball players.

CNN claimed that as many as 128 of the 183 student-athletes admitted to Carolina between 2004 and 2012 were reading at an 8th grade level or below.

Willingham’s assertions were based on the results of the Reading Vocabulary subtest of the Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA), which focuses on the relationship between words – whether two words have the same meaning, opposite meanings or are not related in meaning at all.

The subtest had been used by the University’s Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes as a tool to screen for potential learning disabilities until 2012–13.

Folt asked Dean to look into the issue to understand more about the data cited in the CNN story and to clarify what University administrators knew about Willingham’s research.

The data used for the CNN story were not based on a reading comprehension exam; they were based on a reading vocabulary test, Dean said.

The data

The story’s findings did not reflect official data from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and CNN did not ask the University for SAT or ACT data, said Steve Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions.

“When I read the CNN story, I was puzzled, because the observations in the story didn’t square with what I remembered about the students we admitted,” he said.

In fact, all 154 enrolling student-athletes in 2013 met the threshold for college literacy defined by CNN’s experts, Farmer said. And in 2012, 165 of the 167 enrolling student-athletes met that threshold. The two who did not were evaluated comprehensively, Farmer said, and are currently enrolled at Carolina in good academic standing.

“I honestly think that if most of the people in this room had read the applications of these kids, you would have wanted to admit them, too,” he said.

In summary, Farmer explained, 97 percent of the 1,377 first-year student-athletes who enrolled at Carolina between 2004 and 2012 met or exceeded the CNN-defined threshold for college literacy.

And the 39 who did not meet that threshold were evaluated, as are all candidates for admission, based on various factors including GPA, grades, test scores and recommendations. Of those, 34 have graduated, remain enrolled or left academically eligible to return, he said.

“Both the College Board and the ACT strongly discourage schools from using tests as the sole means of assessment,” Farmer said, “and neither has substantiated a correlation between its test and grade levels in reading.”

Dean said that whether people believe the allegations or not, the issue has been a source of pain across the University. “We are about discovery, truth and analysis – not opinions,” he said.

Folt said the University would have the dataset and methodology independently evaluated, but she and Dean also wanted to analyze the information because it concerned serious issues.

During the week of Jan. 13, University administrators received the dataset Willingham used, Dean said. “We looked at everything we had, and when I received the dataset, it became clear that this was the first time anyone had received it,” he said.

IRB oversight

Also discovered during the University’s review was the nature of Willingham’s 2008 request to the IRB, the federally mandated campus body that oversees human subjects research.

Willingham’s proposal asserted that the individual research subjects could not be identified and the data were not collected directly from the research subjects. Based on that information, the IRB determined that its oversight was not needed.

However, Folt said, Willingham’s recent public comments showed that she collected and retained identified data – that is, data in which the researchers had access to names or codes that allowed them to identify individual research subjects.

So, on Jan. 16 the Office of Human Research Ethics took action to correct the previous determination, as it would with any research project in which it became clear there was faulty or incomplete information, said Daniel K. Nelson, director of the office.

Folt explained, “We’re following the process required for any of us regarding our own IRB data.”

Barbara Entwisle, vice chancellor for research, told the Faculty Council that no pressure was put on the IRB to take this action.

“We became concerned about the claims because we couldn’t understand how the data could be usable without identifiers in them,” she said. “And when it became clear the data included names, we knew the dataset didn’t correspond with how it was described to the IRB.”

Going forward, Nelson said, Willingham could apply for IRB approval of her research, which would be subject to the same review as any study.

‘Abundance of commitment’

At the heart of this issue is “an abundance of commitment” to improve Carolina and make it even better than it already is, Folt said.

“We are a place that generates ideas,” she said, and that means taking action in a thoughtful, deliberative manner while allowing people to disagree with one other respectfully. “It’s also important that we try to keep this impersonal as much as we can, because it is not about attacking people who are in good faith acting to try to change things.”

Some Faculty Council members raised concerns over student-athletes being victimized, while others advocated using this as an opportunity to be a national leader in reform. One wanted to explore whether student-athletes were steered toward anomalous courses.

Folt said that administrators are examining all issues related to the student-athlete experience, from recruitment through graduation and beyond, but she cautioned against drawing conclusions from this research about the larger issue of how the University advises students and how successful they are.

“Yes, we want to talk about these broader issues,” she said, but it is equally important to refute the claims based on the data used. “We have to be able to deal with data in an honest way, whether that’s comfortable or uncomfortable. We have to have the courage to show the facts in both cases.”

Dean was adamant that there was no basis in the dataset on which to make any claim about the literacy of student-athletes.

“My conclusion is that any claim made based on this dataset is virtually meaningless and is grossly unfair to our students, our University and our admissions office,” he said. “Using this dataset to say that our students can’t read is a travesty.”

Carolina celebrates Black History Month

Visit diversity.unc.edu for more information on Black History Month events.

  • Ongoing – The Bull’s Head Bookshop will offer 20 percent off books by African-American authors and in the African-American studies section in February.
  • Feb. 3 – The Black Student Movement will kick off Black History Month at noon in the Pit.
  • Feb. 5 – Hasan Kwame Jeffries will give UNC’s ninth annual African-American History Month Lecture at 7 p.m. in the Stone Center’s Hitchcock Room. “The Greensboro Four” will be honored guests.
  • Feb. 6 – The Stone Center will hold a discussion with scholar-in-residence Joel Zito Araujo and Haile Germina in the Hitchcock Room at 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 9 – Louise Toppin, soprano and professor of music, will be joined by the Black Student Movement Gospel Choir for “Lift Every Voice: African-American Music and Culture” at the Friday Center at 3:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 11 – The film “RAÇA” will screen in the Nelson Mandela Auditorium at 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 12 – The Black Student Movement will host Renee Alexander Craft, assistant professor of communication, for a lecture at 5:30 p.m. in Upendo in SASB North.
  • Feb. 14 – Lee Daniels’ film “The Butler” will screen at 7 p.m. and 12 a.m., and at 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 15, in the Union Auditorium.
  • Feb. 19 – “Generation to Generation: A Personal Perspective on Black Experience from 1930-2014” will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Upendo in SASB North.
  • Feb. 20 – The film “Daughters of the Wind” will screen at 7 p.m. in the Stone Center’s Hitchcock Room.
  • Feb. 21 – A Black and Blue campus tour led by Tim McMillan will start at 3 p.m. from the UNC Visitors’ Center.
  • Feb. 21 – The film “12 Years a Slave” will screen in the Union Auditorium at 7 p.m. and 12 a.m., and at 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 22.
  • Feb. 22 – The Morehead Planetarium and Science Center will host Star Families: African Skies at 3:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 27 – The African Diaspora Lecture will be held at 7 p.m. in the Stone Center’s Hitchcock Room.
  • Feb. 28 – A unity dinner will be held at the Stone Center at 5 p.m.
  • Feb. 28 – Philosopher and activist Cornell West will give the talk “Bridging the Gap” at Memorial Hall at 7 p.m.

University to postpone emergency siren test

alertcarolina-fav-outlines-colorThe scheduled test of the emergency sirens and related text messages is being postponed because of possible adverse weather moving into the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area at the same time the test was to be conducted. The siren test had been scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 28, between 2 and 3 p.m., but it will be conducted on another date that will be announced soon.

Chief Jeff McCracken, director of public safety, was concerned about confusion over possible competing communications between a siren test and any weather-related announcements, if they are needed.

“Campus safety is our primary concern, and we want to communicate as clearly as we can,” he said.

Folt attends White House summit on college affordability, announces three new plans

folt_AF1_400Chancellor Carol L. Folt’s participation in a daylong White House summit on college affordability this month reflects Carolina’s long-standing commitment to ensuring access to a high-quality education for students, Folt said.

“I was there because I believe in the importance, but I was also there because Carolina believes in the importance,” she said. “We are known for being deeply committed to this.”

Folt was part of a group of academic, business and philanthropy leaders at the White House on Jan. 16 to discuss making college more accessible to all students, including those from low-income families.

She also had been invited to the White House in October to discuss efforts to encourage more high-achieving, low-income students to apply to top colleges and succeed once enrolled.

As part of Carolina’s commitment to the new White House initiative, Carolina announced three plans to help more students reach post-secondary education and succeed once they are there:

  • Carolina will double the size of the Chancellor’s Science Scholars program from this year’s inaugural class of 20 students to 40 students. The program aims to increase diversity among future leaders who want to earn higher-level science degrees.
  • UNC will provide up to $4 million over the next four years to launch a University-wide initiative to improve graduation rates for all undergraduates, with a focus on low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students. The University plans to build on its graduation rates – 82 percent after four years, 89 percent after five years and 90 percent after six years – by enhancing coordinated support services.
  • Carolina will expand the Carolina College Advising Corps, which provides in-depth, near-peer college advising for high-school students. Ten additional recent UNC graduates will serve as college advisers during 2014–15, which means that 42 UNC advisers will serve 65 low-income high schools. The expansion is part of a state-wide initiative led by the John M. Belk Endowment and the College Advising Corps.

Folt said she was proud of the University as a leader in access, affordability and excellence.

The White House meeting allowed college and university presidents to share ideas for making higher education more affordable and improving the educational prospects for people from low-income backgrounds, she said.

“Every single person there lives and breathes education as the gateway to a new prosperity, as the great equalizer and as the promise of America that your zip code is not your future. It is what you make through your education,” Folt said.

Hard work, numerous reforms designed to bring about key changes

Chancellor Carol L. Folt has said the University has to be fully accountable for its mistakes that led to recent athletic and academic scandals.

But she also has acknowledged the tremendous work and number of reforms that have been put in place during the past three years, all designed to bring about needed improvements.

“Although I believe we are in the early stages of reform, we have made significant changes in academic policies and new procedures that are making real differences,” Folt told the Board of Trustees on Jan. 23. “A number of these were validated by a deep investigation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.”

Since August 2011, seven internal and external investigations have been completed. Together, they yielded more than 70 recommendations, many of which already have been implemented.

Within the College of Arts and Sciences, for instance, best practices for independent study have been employed in all academic departments, and senior associate deans now must review teaching assignments for all faculty in the college.

In addition, the dean’s office has begun spot checks of a randomized sample of all scheduled classes.

The Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies (formerly called the Department of African and Afro-American Studies) has new leadership and governance structure, and has adopted new policies and procedures for independent studies.

Faculty within the department will also be limited to supervising no more than two independent study contracts each year. Detailed instructions for structuring course syllabi were added to include information about learning outcomes and course goals as well as an explanation of course grading components, assessment and any changes to topics and readings.

The Summer School also implemented new policies and monitoring tools, and ConnectCarolina, the University’s new centralized database, now enables stronger management of monitoring and tracking student records and grade forms.

At the same time, the Department of Athletics completed a comprehensive analysis that led to a reorganization and a new strategic plan. As part of those efforts, the department hired a liaison with academic advising and counseling for student-athletes with the clear understanding that academic functions are independent of athletics. Another position was added to coordinate eligibility, NCAA Academic Progress Report (APR) rankings and risk assessment.

Changes within the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes include moving the program to the Provost’s Office and hiring a new director for the program.

A new Student-Athlete Academic Initiative working group, led by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost James W. Dean Jr. and Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham, is working to create a map of the entire student-athlete experience, from recruitment through graduation. The group hopes to complete its work at the end of the academic year.

As reforms continue, Folt said it was important to acknowledge the contributions of everyone involved in those efforts.

“It is clear to me that the administration and the faculty take this responsibility very seriously and have put in a tremendous amount of time and effort,” she said.

Honors for January 29, 2014

Lora Cohen-Vogel, the Robena and Walter E. Hussman Jr. Distinguished Associate Professor of Policy and Education Reform, has been included in the 2014 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings, a list of university scholars who have the most influence in education policy debates.

April Mann, director for New Student and Carolina Parent Programs, received an Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award from The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina and Cengage Learning.

Gordon Merklein, executive director of real estate development at UNC, was honored with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award for his service to the community.

John F. Steege, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists for contributions in research, leadership, mentorship and significant fundamental contributions during a career in medicine.

Teaching award winners acknowledged in Smith Center

The University has announced the recipients of the 2014 University Teaching Awards, the highest campus-wide recognition for teaching excellence. The instructors come from faculty and teaching assistants, representing 11 departments and two schools.

Chancellor Carol L. Folt acknowledged the award winners at halftime of the Jan. 26 men’s basketball game against Clemson University. A special insert on the winners will appear in the April 16 issue of the University Gazette.

The teaching award winners are:

  • Nominee for the Board of Governors’ Award for Excellence in Teaching: Christian Iliadis, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
  • Distinguished Teaching Awards for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction: Sue Estroff, Department of Social Medicine; Matthew Howard, School of Social Work; Allen Samuelson, School of Dentistry; Charles Evans, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
  • Tanner Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching: Sarah Truel-Roberts, Department of Political Science; Viji Sathy, Department of Psychology; Brent Wissick, Department of Music; Jennifer Larson, Department of English and Comparative Literature; Marcey Waters, Department of Chemistry.
  • Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement: Thomas Hill, Department of Philosophy.
  • Chapman Family Teaching Awards: Stephen Anderson, Department of Music; Enrique Neblett, Department of Psychology; Jennifer Smith, Department of Linguistics.
  • J. Carlyle Sitterson Freshman Teaching Awards: Heidi Kim, Department of English and Comparative Literature; Jane Danielewicz, Department of English and Comparative Literature.
  • William C. Friday/Class of 1986 Award for Excellence in Teaching: Anna Bardone-Cone, Department of Psychology.
  • Johnston Teaching Excellence Award: Meredith Petschauer, Department of Exercise and Sport Science; Eleanora Magomedova, Department of Slavic Languages.
  • Tanner Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by Graduate Teaching Assistants: Stephanie Moore, Department of Chemistry; Daniel Harper, Department of Psychology, Clyde Ray, Department of Political Science; Megan Mitchell, Department of Philosophy; Ben Bolling; Department of English.

Katz tapped as new IAH director

mark-katz

KATZ

Mark Katz, professor and chair of the music department and adjunct professor of communication studies, has been named director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

His five-year term begins July 1. John McGowan, who has directed the IAH since 2006, will complete his term at the end of June and return to his full-time faculty role in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

“We remain grateful for John’s excellent leadership and administration and will celebrate his achievements at the end of the academic year,” said Terry Rhodes, senior associate dean of fine arts and humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of music.

“Mark will bring significant assets to his leadership role at the Institute. He is an inspiring scholar, teacher, fundraiser and administrator, committed to faculty excellence and creative engagement,” she said.

Katz has participated in IAH’s Faculty Fellows, Chairs’ Leadership and Academic Leadership programs. An IAH innovation grant helped him develop new courses that combine hands-on music making with entrepreneurship and community engagement. That work led to a grant from the U.S. State Department to create an international exchange program that uses hip-hop to promote cultural exchange and conflict resolution.

Katz joined the music faculty in 2006 and became department chair in 2012. He previously served as chair of the musicology department at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. His research explores the intersections of music, technology and culture.

He is author of three books and serves as editor of the Journal of the Society for American Music, as a senior editor for Oxford Handbooks Online and a member of the National Recordings Preservation Board.

Katz received a Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement from Carolina in 2011. He is a classically trained violinist and holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in musicology from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in philosophy from the College of William and Mary.

The Institute for the Arts and Humanities provides resources to support faculty initiatives and a place for enriching intellectual exchanges.

Shackelford appointed dean of Kenan-Flagler Business School

shackeld_mugDouglas A. Shackelford, Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation and associate dean of the MBA@UNC Program, will become the next dean of Kenan-Flagler Business School effective Feb. 1.

Chancellor Carol L. Folt and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost James W. Dean Jr. selected Shackelford following an international search and the work of a search committee led by Susan King, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Trustees approved the recommendation at their Jan. 23 meeting.

“I had the opportunity to meet with the very talented candidates for this important role at UNC,” Folt said. “Ultimately, Doug became the clear choice to lead UNC Kenan-Flagler and ensure its continued success.”

Shackelford will succeed Dean, who served as dean from 2008 until he became provost last July. John P. Evans has been serving as interim dean since then.

Dean said Shackelford was uniquely qualified to serve as the school’s next dean. “He is a seasoned academic leader and an internationally recognized scholar and business educator,” Dean said. “He loves the University and is a passionately engaged member of the UNC Kenan-Flagler community.”

A UNC alumnus and North Carolina native, Shackelford has served on the Carolina faculty since 1990. He is an award-winning researcher and teacher whose work focuses on taxes and business strategy. Since 2010, he has been associate dean of the innovative online MBA program MBA@UNC, and from 2003 to 2007 he was senior associate dean for academic affairs.

He also is director of the UNC Tax Center, which he founded in 2001.

After receiving his bachelor’s of science degree in business from Carolina, Shackelford worked as a senior tax consultant for Arthur Andersen & Co. in Boston and Greensboro, and went on to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

He is a research associate in public economics at the National Bureau of Economic Research and has held visiting faculty positions at Stanford University, Universiteit Maastricht in the Netherlands and Oxford University.

In Memoriam: James J. Gallagher

James J. Gallagher, an internationally recognized expert on special education and gifted education, died Jan. 17 at the age of 87. He was the former director of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and a senior scientist emeritus, as well as former Kenan Professor in the School of Education.

“For many years, Dr. Gallagher was a mentor, colleague, and friend,” said FPG director Samuel L. Odom. “With this grief, we also need to remember his great life and achievements.”

Gallagher had received numerous honors during his rich career, including the School of Education’s Peabody Award for extraordinary contributions to the field of education last November.

“James J. Gallagher has sparked, shepherded, and inspired an age of enlightenment in more than six decades as a pioneer in the discipline of child development and social policy – and as the nation’s premier scholar in the fields of giftedness and developmental disabilities,” said Bill McDiarmid, dean of the school.

Read more.

Two new UNC buildings recognized as LEED gold certified

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Koury Oral Health Sciences Center

The University went for the gold – and got it – with two special buildings completed in 2012.

In 2013, the Koury Oral Health Sciences Center and the Genome Sciences Building received the gold certification, the second-highest ranking given by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

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Genome Sciences Building

Genome Sciences and Koury exceeded the University’s goal of achieving minimum LEED silver performance standards. Of the 14 other LEED-certified buildings on campus, only one – the Education Building at the N.C. Botanical Garden – received the highest ranking of platinum.

The 210,000-square-foot Genome Sciences building includes office and classroom spaces as well as research facilities, greenhouses, a green roof, high-performance glazing and integrated shading devices. Genome Sciences is also the first campus building to use chilled beams that provide cooling independent of the ventilation system.

The concrete exterior of the building is thermally efficient and contains slag waste from steel mills. During construction, 90 percent of the onsite-generated construction waste was recycled.

Koury has two separate wings, with lecture halls, research space, a simulation laboratory for clinical skills and a day-lit five-story atrium with a café. The building has a green roof to manage storm water and a medicinal plant garden. Koury is the first building on campus to use recycled condensed water from machinery, and 62 percent of its building materials were sourced within 500 miles of the building site.

The University has invested more than $2.3 billion in improvement projects since 2000 and has expanded the square footage on campus by 58 percent.

The LEED rating system promotes sustainability by assessing performance in water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, as well as indoor environmental quality and innovation in design.