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The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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You’re invited: Folt installation Oct. 12

Chancellor Carol Folt has been listening to students, faculty, staff, alumni and others who are passionate about Carolina and its future success. She has described her first 100 days on the job as “the most wonderful wild ride you can possibly imagine.”

The ride continues this week as Carolina prepares for Folt’s installation on Saturday, October 12, starting at 1:30 p.m. on Polk Place. She will talk about Carolina’s future as part of a University Day celebration that’s steeped in the academic traditions of the nation’s first public university.

Folt has been learning about the campus she leads, talking with the campus community about their academic passions, their research and life in their corner of Carolina. She has taken a similar approach with alumni, donors, friends and North Carolina leaders in visits and events across the state and beyond. She said that she has gleaned several powerful, recurring themes from everyone she has spoken with, and through every personal story she has heard.

“Every place I’ve gone, people have talked about the creation of new knowledge, new ideas and new outreach,” Folt said. “Carolina is a place where that buzz of energy and excitement is at the front of everybody’s day.”

Carolina’s culture is open to change, she said.

“People here are always thinking about the future,” Folt said. “They are anticipating what our University needs to be strong and ready for tomorrow. They are thinking about how to prepare our students to go into a changing world, one we can only imagine.”

On Saturday, she will deliver an installation address from the steps of South Building looking out over Polk Place. Then she will stand with the audience while the South Building bell rings 11 times in honor of the University’s 11th chancellor.

Read more about the ceremony, which will mark Carolina’s 220th birthday, related events and installation traditions such as the Durant Bible and the Chancellor’s Medallion.

Linking past, present, future chancellors


The Chancellor’s Medallion, given to UNC in 1993 by John Sanders, was updated in 2013 with a sterling silver Chain of Office.

Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt will leave Saturday’s installation ceremony wearing plenty of history – and a bit more shine.

The Chancellor’s Medallion, which will be placed around her neck during the University Day Ceremony, has been updated with a silver Chain of Office that includes thin rectangles engraved with the names and dates of service of the 10 previous UNC chancellors. It also features links made in the shape of the Old Well and the Davie Poplar leaves, both icons of the Carolina campus.

The chain can be lengthened and shortened depending on the chancellor who wears it, and contains blank plates for the names of future chancellors.

“It’s really a blending of the old and the new,’’ said Jane Smith, associate director of university events who helped develop the concept and design.

The Chancellor’s Medallion was donated to the University during the 1993 Bicentennial Observance by John Sanders, professor emeritus and the founding director of the Institute of Government (now the School of Government). It was originally suspended by a hand-woven white ribbon, but after 20 years and five chancellors, it needed replacing, Smith said.

So she began researching other universities’ Chains of Office, which are common, and took her ideas to Wentworth and Sloan Jewelers in Chapel Hill. There, she collaborated with silversmith Betsy Pugh and owner Ken Jackson, who has a long history of selling Carolina jewelry and gifts. The result, after several sketches: A piece that adds even more luster to an already-memorable day – and, fittingly, is the addition that Sanders always wanted.

He and then-Chancellor Paul Hardin exchanged letters about the topic 20 years ago.

“John described the medallion, and he wrote that he hoped it would be followed up with a chain of office, which he thought should include plates with the names of the former chancellors on it, and their dates of service,’’ Smith said.

“It was very special for me to be able to complete that project.”

And help add a new piece of Carolina history that should shine for years to come.

Installation ceremony to bring 414-year-old Durant Bible out of vault

On University Day, Carol L. Folt will take the oath of office as Carolina’s 11th chancellor. She will place her left hand on the oldest Bible associated with a North Carolina family in the state, the George Durant Bible. Folt will be the first woman to lead the University as she takes an oath on the 414-year-old volume, currently stored in a vault in the North Carolina Collection at Wilson Library.

The George Durant Bible, brought to America in 1658 by Englishman George Durant, has been passed down through generations, settling in North Carolina in 1661 and eventually in the North Carolina Collection. The worn volume underwent an extensive preservation treatment in 1995 when it was requested for use for the swearing in of Chancellor Michael Hooker.

Durant Bible FINAL

Read more about installation. 

MOOCs extend Carolina’s reach across the globe


Evan Feldman, assistant professor of music, conducts the UNC Wind Ensemble.

This fall and spring, an estimated 100,000 students will take five courses offered by six of the best faculty members at Carolina.

None will pay tuition.

None will have to set foot on campus, which is key, since most do not live within commuting distance. In fact, more than half of them live outside the country.

None will receive a grade or earn credits toward a degree.

But all of the students will get a chance to learn using an educational delivery system that, until a few years ago, would have been unimaginable.

These 100,000 students are among the millions of students around the world now taking courses from some of the top universities in the world through massive open online courses, otherwise known as MOOCs, which Oxford Dictionaries recently recognized as an official word.

Oxford defines a MOOC as “a course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people.”

Extending Carolina’s reach

University leaders, meanwhile, are intent on finding out how MOOCs might redefine higher education, if only by extending its reach throughout the world.

“Accessibility has been a part of Carolina’s charter since it was founded as the country’s first public university,” said Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives Carol Tresolini. “We do not see MOOCs as changing our mission, but expanding our ability to reach and serve a broader array of people than ever before.”

And there is no campus group better suited to do that than the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, which partnered with University faculty, information technology professionals, librarians and experts in instructional design to develop multiple courses across different disciplines and present them through Coursera, an online education company.

Tresolini led the MOOCs task force that in February selected the following courses from the proposals that faculty members submitted for consideration. The courses and their instructors are:

  • Lorraine Alexander and Karin Yeatts, Gillings School of Global Public Health, “Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health”;
  • Evan Feldman, Department of Music, College of Arts and Sciences, “Fundamentals of Rehearsing Music Ensembles”;
  • Don Hornstein, School of Law, “Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy”;
  • Jeff Pomerantz, School of Information and Library Science, “Metadata: Organizing and Discovering Information”; and
  • Buck Goldstein and Holden Thorp, Minor in Entrepreneurship, “What’s Your Big Idea: Entrepreneurship.”

moocs2_feldman_450“What we were looking for were people who were interested in exploring different approaches to teaching and learning,” Tresolini said. “At the same time, each course had to be grounded in good, sound, evidence-based educational practices.

“These five MOOCs will be exposing thousands of people to UNC-Chapel Hill, and the instructors involved with each course did a wonderful job designing them to ensure a high level of excellence.”

While it is important to distinguish between credit and non-credit courses, the principles of instructional design are basically the same, said Friday Center Director Rob Bruce.

“You want to make sure there is a syllabus that expresses clear objectives, expectations and an overall course summary,” Bruce said. “You want to use a variety of media (video, graphics, text) to appeal to different learning styles. And you want it to be an engaging, interactive experience.

“You want learning objectives that can be measured. And you want to provide opportunities for feedback.”

The course development process is led by a working group that draws members from key University departments including the Friday Center, the Center for Faculty Excellence, Information Technology Services, the University Libraries, the School of Education and the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

“This has been just an amazing experience to work with so many people to make this happen,” Bruce said. “This team has planned and executed a significant amount of work, all the while continuing with their regular workloads.

“Kim Eke, director of ITS Teaching and Learning, has been particularly instrumental in this process. We would never have gotten this initiative off the ground without her and the entire working group team.”

Tresolini added: “It’s been exhilarating really. Eight months ago we felt that we were at the start of a roller coaster ride none of us had been on before. We were all holding hands waiting for it to start.”

Behind the numbers

The ride was perhaps even more exhilarating than they expected, Bruce said.

On Sept. 2, the day Pomerantz’s Metadata course went live, it received some 17,000 views from streaming video and 22,000 downloads, Bruce said.

To put those numbers in context, the Friday Center offers non-credit “face-to-face” courses to about 3,000 students a year and for-credit courses to another 8,000 students each year.

The numbers were staggering, but what was even more fascinating to Bruce was the fact that about 65 percent of the students who enrolled live outside the country. In Feldman’s music course, that percentage increases to 75 percent.

Bruce said each course has a pre-course survey that gathers information on student demographics, reasons for taking the course and expected levels of participation. Instructors also set up quizzes people can take to evaluate their readiness for taking the course.

There is no cost to enroll, but students who opt to enroll in Coursera’s Signature Track and complete the coursework pay $49 for a verified certificate of completion. That revenue is expected to be modest, but will be used to recoup some of the costs for developing the courses.

Expanding ‘The citizen’s classroom’

Tresolini said Carolina cannot afford to sit on the sidelines with MOOCs. Not if it wants to remain a leading public university with an eye for innovation that has an impact on the world.

“We feel compelled to continue to be a part of this grand experiment,” she said.

What is most exciting about MOOCs is the economy of scale and the incredible international outreach, Bruce said.

“I was reading the Environmental Law discussion board the other day and students were creating their own United Kingdom study group,” he said. “One of the students wrote that they had just moved from England to Ghana and would like to be part of the UK group. Geography simply does not matter when it comes to student interaction and learning communities.”

The reach of MOOCs is yet another way for the Friday Center and the University to make Carolina’s incredible faculty and research available to the public, he added. “Bill Friday called our center the citizen’s classroom. It still is, but that classroom just got a whole lot bigger.”

Folt to be installed as 11th chancellor on Oct. 12

folt_400Carol L. Folt will be installed as Carolina’s 11th chancellor on University Day, Oct. 12, in Polk Place, on the steps of South Building.

During the ceremony, she will give an address about the University’s future, and five alumni will be honored with Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards. The free public ceremony will begin with music and a processional of faculty, students, staff, alumni, visiting dignitaries and other leaders. At 1:30 p.m., music will be provided by the UNC Wind Ensemble and the Carolina Choir and the processional will begin, with the program at 2 p.m.

A reception following installation will be on Polk Place, outside Wilson Library. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held in the Dean E. Smith Center. Parking is available in the Smith Center lot, with shuttle service beginning at 12:30 p.m. Parking also will be available at other locations around campus. Faculty and staff participating in the academic processional may register in advance to park in the Bell Tower parking deck and will receive an email parking pass for the deck.

University Day marks the laying of the cornerstone of Old East, the nation’s first state university building, in 1793. The day has become the traditional inauguration day for new chancellors since 1957. UNC President Tom Ross will preside at the ceremony, and Sarah Parker, chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court, will administer the oath of office.

Distinguished speakers include Gov. Pat McCrory; Peter Hans, chair of the UNC Board of Governors; Lowry Caudill, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees; Jan Boxill, chair of the faculty; Charles Streeter, chair of the Employee Forum; Christy Lambden, student body president; and Robyn Hadley, chair of the General Alumni Association Board of Directors.

“This is one of the most important days of the year at Carolina, and the installation of Chancellor Folt affirms that Carolina is well positioned to meet the challenges of higher education in the 21st century,” Caudill said in an email message to the campus community.

The UNC Board of Governors unanimously elected Folt as chancellor in April, and she assumed the post July 1.

Before coming to Carolina, Folt, an internationally recognized environmental scientist and award-winning teacher, served as interim president of Dartmouth College during 2012–13. She also was Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences at the Ivy League institution, where she had been on the faculty since 1983.

In 1998, she was named associate director of Dartmouth’s Toxic Metals Research Program, and two years later became associate director of the Center for Environmental Health Sciences. In 2001, she was appointed dean of graduate studies and associate dean of the faculty for interdisciplinary programs. She became dean of the faculty in 2004, was tapped as acting provost in 2009 and named provost the following year.

An Akron, Ohio, native, Folt earned a bachelor’s degree in aquatic biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1976 and a master’s degree in biology two years later. She received her doctorate in ecology in 1982 from the University of California at Davis and did postdoctoral work at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station of Michigan State University.

Folt’s research has focused on the effects of dietary mercury and arsenic on human and ecosystem health, salmonid fisheries management and restoration, and global climate change. She and colleagues developed new technologies to assess mercury exposure and formed regional, national and international partnerships to shape public policy for safer waters.

Awards presented

This year’s recipients of the Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards, created in 1971 to recognize “alumni who had distinguished themselves in a manner that brought credit to the University,” are:

  • Stuart Bondurant, professor and dean emeritus of the UNC School of Medicine;
  • William Easterling III, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University and founding director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment;
  • Karol Mason, U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs;
  • Todd Miller, founder and executive director of the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Ocean, N.C.; and
  • Gary Parr, vice chair of Lazard Ltd., a global financial advisory firm.

In addition, Bruce Cairns, John Stackhouse Distinguished Professor of Surgery at Carolina and medical director of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, will receive the Edward Kidder Graham Faculty Service Award in recognition of distinguished service to the state, the nation and the University by a faculty member.


Bondurant attended Carolina and received B.S. and M.D. degrees from Duke University. After residency and research training, he served in the U.S. Air Force where his research established limits of human tolerance to accelerations of space flight.

Following a faculty position at Indiana University School of Medicine, he went to the National Heart Institute of NIH, where he led the establishment of the first national program of myocardial infarction research. He then became chair of the Department of Medicine and subsequently president and dean of the Albany Medical College.

Bondurant came to Carolina in 1979 as dean of the medical school, serving until 1994 and again in 1996–97. After retiring from Carolina, he served as executive vice president for medical affairs and executive dean of Georgetown University until 2007.

Bondurant was a pioneer in facilitating partnerships between academic research and industry. He has received the Citation for Distinguished Service to Research by the American Heart Association and Fellowships of the Royal College of Physicians of London and of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. The University’s Bondurant Hall is named for him.


Easterling was born and raised in Chapel Hill and received his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Carolina. Upon completion of his doctorate in geography, he was awarded a Mellon Foundation Fellowship with the National Research Council where he assisted with production of the National Academy of Sciences report “Changing Climate.”

He went to Penn State in 1997 as professor of geography and earth system science and became dean in 2007. He is an internationally recognized expert on how global warming likely will affect the Earth’s food supply and was one of the coordinating lead authors of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the effects of climate change. (The IPCC was the co-recipient, with Al Gore, of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.)

Easterling is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for distinguished contributions in global food availability and security through assessment of climate-change impacts, and adaptation and mitigation options.

He has written extensively about food and climate, testified on Capitol Hill about climate change and chaired the National Research Council’s Panel on the Human Dimensions of Seasonal-to-Interannual Climate Variability.


Mason earned her B.A. in mathematics at Carolina and was inducted into the Order of the Golden Fleece, the Order of the Old Well and the Order of the Grail-Valkyries. She went on to earn a J.D. at the University of Michigan where she was notes editor for the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform.

She was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1983 and joined the Atlanta law firm of Alston & Bird where she concentrated on public and project finance. As the first African-American woman to achieve partner status in a major Atlanta law practice, Mason received the Breaking the Glass Ceiling Award from the Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys in Law and Business.

After serving two terms on Carolina’s Board of Trustees, including as vice chair, in 2009 Mason became U.S. Deputy Associate Attorney General. She led the Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Initiative and helped create the Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence.

She returned to Alston & Bird in 2012 and in early 2013 was tapped by President Barack Obama to serve as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs.


Since 1982, the nonprofit North Carolina Coastal Federation has worked with all 20 of the state’s coastal counties to engage a diversity of people, communities and stakeholders in working to preserve North Carolina’s coastal water quality and natural resources.

Under the leadership of Miller, the group’s founder and executive director, the federation has a staff of 24 professionals and more than 10,000 supporters who help carry out its work. The federation has protected and restored more than 50,000 acres of coastal waters and habitats, helped North Carolina to adopt some of the most effective coastal management safeguards in the nation and recruited thousands of students, coastal residents and visitors for its coastal stewardship projects.

A native of Carteret County, Miller earned two Carolina degrees. His honors include the Southern Environmental

Law Center’s Southern Environmental Leadership Award, the Old North State Award from the Governor of North Carolina and the National Wetlands Award from the Environmental Law Institute.

In 2010 Miller and the federation were honored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for dedicated, effective work restoring the state’s degraded coastal habitats.


For more than 30 years, Parr has focused on providing strategic advice on mergers and acquisitions for financial institutions and is widely known as a brilliant investment banker with outstanding analytical skills and judgment. His innovative entrepreneurship is praised in the book “Engines of Innovation: The Entrepreneurial University in the Twenty-First Century,” by former Chancellor Holden Thorp and Buck Goldstein, entrepreneur in residence at UNC.

Parr graduated from Carolina with honors and went on to earn an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Parr is not only a major figure in the financial world, he is also a champion of the arts, serving as chair of the Board of Directors of the New York Philharmonic.

His desire to have better intellectual tools to think clearly and articulately about what is at stake morally in complex business situations led to a major gift from the Gary W. Parr Family Foundation to Carolina in 2004, enabling the establishment of the Parr Center for Ethics. The center addresses a broad range of ethical issues in such areas as biotechnology, the environment, war and terrorism, and the intersection of ethics and intercollegiate athletics.


Cairns received his undergraduate degree with honors from The Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency in general surgery at Carolina and joined the faculty after a three-year tour of duty with the U.S. Navy.

From the beginning of his Carolina career, Cairns has been associated with the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, serving as director of research since 2003 and medical director since 2007. The Burn Center is consistently rated as one of the top burn units in the nation, and Cairns was identified in 2012 by U.S. News & World Report as among the top 1 percent of doctors in his specialty.

For additional information about installation, see

Pepper’s Pizza paintings to hang at Hill Hall


Mark Katz had two thoughts last March when he heard the beloved eatery Pepper’s Pizza would close immediately after 26 years on Franklin Street.

“I don’t know which came first, the thought, ‘I need to get one more slice of pizza,’ or ‘I need to get a hold of those paintings,’” said Katz, chair of UNC’s music department (pictured above).

The 19 paintings in question were the restaurant’s vibrant portraits of musicians native to North Carolina, a favorite sight for regular customers like Katz, who often lunched at Pepper’s and had a standing Friday pizza date with his wife and daughter there for years.

By the time Katz could get downtown the evening of March 4, Pepper’s, which continued to make pizzas for a packed crowd until the cheese ran out, had served its last slice. Though the restaurant was closed and employees were enjoying a private party inside, Katz made his way in. He found artist Scott Nurkin’s contact information on the wall and stepped out to the sidewalk to make a call.

“I didn’t have a lot of time to think, and I wasn’t thinking I wanted the paintings for myself,” said Katz. “I immediately knew I wanted to house them at the Department of Music.”

The paintings are the work of artist and musician Nurkin, who graduated from Carolina with a degree in art in 2000 and whose murals can be seen across the state. He’d made the portraits for David “Pepper” Harvey, the restaurant’s owner and a close friend of Nurkin and his wife, Erin, then a manager at Pepper’s. The collection debuted when the restaurant moved down the block to 107 East Franklin St. in 2006.

Each painting depicts a musician – John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Randy Travis, Ben Folds and Charlie Daniels are just a few – in what Nurkin saw as their heydays. He created each in a day, or over the course of just a few days, and set them in thrift-store frames. They were screwed into the wall atop a Carolina-blue mural of the state.

In exchange, Harvey had promised him free pizza and beer for life. That deal ended too soon when Harvey gave Nurkin a subtle heads-up that he should come get the paintings. Business, especially during lunch, had been declining for a few years, and Pepper’s could not stay open.

“I think everybody was shocked,” Nurkin said. “You expected Pepper’s to last as long as the Smith Center.”

When Nurkin finally made it over to Pepper’s late that evening, someone immediately offered him $500 for the Randy Travis portrait.

“I honestly had no idea how valuable these paintings were to people,” Nurkin said. “Suddenly everyone was asking what was going to happen to them. Paintings create their own value, but I was never thinking about that. I was just banging out paintings for my friend Pepper’s wall.”

When Nurkin and Katz finally connected, Katz said he knew the offer was a long shot.


Artist Scott Nurkin hangs a painting of noted North Carolina jazz musician and composer Thelonious Monk in Hill Hall. Monk was born in Rocky Mount in 1917.

When asked if he would sell the paintings to Carolina, Nurkin said, “My most immediate thought was, ‘yes.’ But I was still thinking of auctioning them off to help Pepper.”

In the end, the chance to keep the collection together, and to connect his work to the University, helped him make the decision. And, Nurkin added, he liked Katz.

“When I got to know Mark, I realized – here is this classically trained violinist who wrote a book on the art of the hip-hop DJ. I knew it would be a total honor to have my work live in Hill Hall, and I can’t think of it going to a better place,” he said.

After Nurkin cleaned the paintings of pizza grease and grime, they spent the summer on exhibition at the Center for the Study of the American South’s Love House in tandem with scholars’ essays on the musicians. Through the end of September, Nurkin will be installing them at Hill Hall around both floors of the rotunda and recreating the North Carolina mural on the second floor.

Since the artist frequently visits Hanes Hall to check out current student art, he’ll be able to see his work nearby. Had the paintings gone to private buyers, he might not have seen them again.

“To have them at my alma mater and just a couple of hundred yards away from their original home makes a lot of sense,” he said.

Katz said acquiring the collection was a way of keeping alive an institution treasured by the Carolina community and preserving a part of the University’s mission. Alumni, students, faculty and staff still can enjoy the paintings now that the restaurant is closed, and it gives the Chapel Hill community another reason to visit campus.

That celebration of music flowing back and forth between town and gown communities continues a goal Katz has as a music lover and educator.

“Part of my work in teaching popular music is bringing students and the local music community into contact,” he said. “We’re music educators, and this is another way of educating people about music.

“We’re a state school and here to support the state, and these paintings reflect a big part of the state’s musical heritage.”

UNC’s minor in education grows in popularity

Education 650 inside[6]

Graphic by Melanie Busbee, University Relations


Carolina’s minor in education has reached its enrollment goal nearly three years ahead of schedule, something School of Education Dean Bill McDiarmid attributes to “Carolina’s deep reservoir of students interested in educational issues.”

The minor was launched two years ago in a partnership of the School of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences. Though the school’s main work is producing high-quality teachers, leading education administrators and counselors, and skilled educational researchers, it sought an avenue to meet the needs of other Carolina students who have demonstrated a strong interest in education, education policies and issues surrounding youth.

“The growth in this minor is evidence that our students care very much about the issues and problems surrounding education,” said George Noblit, Joseph R. Neikerk Distinguished Professor at the School of Education. “Having a broad knowledge surrounding education is helpful in many fields – not only teaching – and it sets the bar for what kinds of things are possible in education.”

Noblit said the original five-year projection for the minor was 100 enrolled students. This fall, which begins the minor’s third year, enrollment stands at 152, and the application pool exceeds the minor’s capacity.

Students take five courses in the minor – three in the School of Education, one outside the school and one Capstone course. The College of Arts and Sciences offers 15 courses in a variety of disciplines from English to sociology that can count toward the minor. Students who wish to pursue teacher certification can major in education or pursue licensure while they are earning their bachelor’s degree in mathematics or science through the UNC-BEST program. The minor can complement careers in public policy, social services, nonprofit organizations and more.

“Education needs everyone, not only teachers, to be aware of key issues. When we all know more about what benefits kids, and how kids learn best, education improves,” Noblit said.

That collective wisdom is vital, McDiarmid said, because public education faces a number of critical issues that need attention. Resource gaps leave schools in many areas of the state with less money, and also with less support for teachers, principals and superintendents. North Carolina is ranked 46th in terms of teacher salary, and the state risks losing teachers to nearby bordering states that can pay more.

“We must get at this very quickly, or we’ll have a disaster on our hands,” said McDiarmid. “You want the people who are going into the workforce to understand the problems, issues and complexities in education. You need those who can look down the road and anticipate the consequences to carrying out certain policy choices.”

Carolina graduates leaders, McDiarmid said, and those students will be in the position to make a difference. Their lives will naturally intersect with education.

“Many of them will go on to work in business and in government, in their communities and churches, and they are going to make decisions about education,” he said. “This minor is as much for them as it is for those who will work with Teach for America or other teacher preparation programs.”

Another benefit to the minor, McDiarmid said, was the way it opened the School of Education to students outside the school. Because undergraduates in any major can apply to the minor, the school’s scholars were reaching a wider audience.

“We have an intellectual treasure in our faculty who before were only accessible to a small slice of the student population. This opens that treasure box,” he said.

Carolina Cares, Carolina Shares campaign has $1 million goal


James W. Dean Jr., executive vice chancellor and provost, addresses volunteers at the State Employees’ Combined Campaign kickoff event.


This year’s goal is $1 million

Carolina kicked off Carolina Cares, Carolina Shares (CCCS) with a volunteer event Oct. 1. CCCS is Carolina’s way of supporting the State Employees’ Combined Campaign (SECC), a campaign established by Gov. Jim Hunt to encourage state employees to give to charities that are reviewed and approved for participation annually.

Since the first campaign in 1985, state employees have contributed more than $87 million to charities serving North Carolina residents. More than 1,000 charities were approved to participate this year.

Carolina has been the single largest contributor to the SECC for the last several years. In 2012, CCCS set a new statewide giving record with $896,000. This year’s goal is $1 million.

Brenda Malone, vice chancellor for human resources, is the chair for the CCCS campaign.

“Just as Carolina empowers students through an excellent education, the Carolina Cares campaign empowers our participating charitable organizations by providing critical financial support,” Malone said. “As funding for social programs continues to be cut, especially in our current economic downturn, our contributions become even more essential to provide for those in need.”

Campaign volunteers will distribute giving guides and pledge forms to the employees on their teams. For more information, visit

Active research and student support mark Dykstra’s four decades on Carolina’s faculty

dykstra_400A little more than 40 years ago, Linda Dykstra and her husband, Bill Hylander, were driving from Chicago toward new careers at Carolina and Duke when they drove through the place they would return for their careers’ end.

As they passed Mouth of Wilson near the New River, Dykstra thought it was “the most beautiful area we’d ever seen.” The next year the family bought a farm farther up the river in an area known as Spring Valley, not far from Galax, Va.

As Dykstra, William Rand Kenan Distinguished Professor in Psychology who also holds appointments in pharmacology and neurobiology, enters phased retirement, she’ll split her time between Chapel Hill and the family farm in Spring Valley. Her husband, two children and brand-new grandson are already there.

Like many pivotal moments in her Carolina career, Dykstra said, “It was a progression, and I just knew it was time.”

Building a better painkiller

For four decades, Dykstra has led an active research career in the search for a better way to treat pain.

With longstanding grants from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dykstra and a group of graduate students in behavioral neuroscience have investigated the behavioral and pharmacological effects of drugs, particularly opioid analgesics.

Dykstra said opioid analgesics (a type of pain medication) can leave in their wake a host of problems once they have relieved pain. In addition to respiratory suppression, nausea, vomiting and constipation, the drugs can produce euphoria and lead to tolerance, dependence or abuse.

“In order to obtain equivalent pain relief over time, the dosage increases. Then, when the individual stops taking the drug, withdrawal signs are likely to occur,” Dykstra said.

Abuse of prescription painkillers has risen rapidly in the last 10 to 20 years, she said. They are often easy to obtain and prescribed in large amounts to prevent a patient having to return to the doctor.

“Chemists have improved on the pharmacokinetic profile of opioid analgesics over the years. Some have a longer duration of action and are more potent, and available orally. In some ways, this improvement made them easier to abuse,” Dykstra explained.

While new practices – such as the N.C. Controlled Substances Reporting System – are helping to identify patients who abuse or misuse the drugs, researchers in Dykstra’s laboratory are still searching for a better way to ease pain by examining other ways to treat it.

They have looked at ways to increase morphine’s effectiveness by combining it with drugs that work in other neurobiological systems and examined ways in which some of the uncomfortable signs of opioid withdrawal can be alleviated. Recently Rebecca Balter, a doctoral student working with Dykstra, measured the effects of exercise on opioid withdrawal in mice.

“Some of the uncomfortable withdrawal signs were attenuated in mice that had access to running wheels in their home cages,” Dykstra said.

This kind of research is where pharmacology and psychology meet. In 1977, Dykstra co-wrote “Psychopharmacology: A Biochemical and Behavioral Approach,” one of the first textbooks that introduced this interdisciplinary approach.

“Pharmacology examines the multiple ways in which a drug alters biochemical and physiological functions,” she said. “Here, we examine the ways in which a drug alters a behavior, specifically the relief of pain.”

Serving graduate students

Dykstra came to Carolina from the University of Chicago for a post-doctoral fellowship in pharmacology in 1972 and the following year joined the faculty in the Department of Psychology. She focused on research, training undergraduate and graduate students in her lab and acquiring grants that would support both the research and the students.

Her vigorous support for graduate students and graduate education led to her appointment as dean of the Graduate School from 1996 to 2008.

“I loved it,” she said. “I didn’t set out to take an administrative position, but it just fit, and it was at the right time.”

Watching students grow and move forward in areas about which they are passionate was, and is, one of her treasured rewards.

“The mentoring aspect is very rewarding. You observe students as they learn to design experiments to test their own ideas,” she said. “Then, when they complete their doctoral training, your relationship continues as they seek further training as postdocs and move to more permanent jobs in academia or other research settings.”

During Dykstra’s tenure, the Graduate School turned 100. That same year, 2003, she introduced the annual Doctoral Hooding Ceremony to honor students who have completed their doctoral training during Commencement weekend. The tradition has grown in popularity during the past 10 years, and the ceremony, once held in Polk Place and later Memorial Hall, has moved to the Smith Center.

One aspect of administration Dykstra didn’t know she would love was fundraising. But as the Royster Society of Fellows program – born from the generous support of Thomas and Caroline Royster – grew to provide full support for more than 50 doctoral students each year, she realized how much she enjoyed building that relationship. Her friendship with Caroline Royster continues today.

“It was such a rewarding experience to watch the Royster Society of Fellows develop,” she said.

When Dykstra made the decision to return to the Department of Psychology full time, she knew it was right. Several of the postdocs in her laboratory had taken new faculty positions, and a senior researcher was needed. She realized that she needed to fill that spot.

She still directs the pre-doctoral training program within the psychology department’s behavioral neuroscience program and another teaching and research fellowship program for post-doctoral scholars in the biomedical sciences. She also directs the University’s Office of Distinguished Scholarships within Honors Carolina, which assists students applying for prestigious scholarships such as the Rhodes, Luce and Truman.

Watching students take the next steps – whether toward graduate education or faculty appointments – is what Dykstra has found most special about her work at Carolina.

“I’ve enjoyed watching students learn how to form questions and build experiments around those questions. As they write their dissertations, they pull together the data they have collected, analyze it and determine if it’s valid,” she said. “It’s exciting to see it all come together.”

Dykstra was recently awarded the 2013 Nathan B. Eddy Award from the College on Problems of Drug Dependence where she lectured on the search for a better analgesic. While new drugs need to be developed, Dykstra said other approaches are needed as well, such as the search for more effective ways to treat opioid dependence when it does occur.

During her three years of phased retirement, she’ll continue her research interests and student support. Having such an option is an example of all the ways Carolina supports faculty, Dykstra said.

“Being able to work across disciplines, from pharmacology to neurobiology to psychology, is very much fostered here, and I’ve been supported as I’ve pursued a full range of opportunities,” she said. “It’s seemed like there were always open doors at Carolina.”

Message from the Provost: Carolina well prepared for partial federal government shutdown

James W. Dean Jr., executive vice chancellor and provost, sent an email message to the campus community today about the University’s preparation for the partial shutdown of the federal government. Here’s the message:

October 1, 2013: Message from the Provost: Carolina Well Prepared for Partial Federal Government Shutdown

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

As you probably are aware, the federal government has activated a partial shutdown as our nation’s elected officials consider how to resolve issues related to the federal budget.

The University has been carefully planning for this scenario and is well prepared. Our senior leadership team is monitoring the situation and coordinating closely with the appropriate agencies of the federal and state governments as we determine the possible impact on the University.

At this point, every indication is that a short-term shutdown would have a minimal impact on the U.S. higher education community. Currently, the University is operating on a normal basis. We will continue to use available funds to support work related to research contracts and grants. Students who are receiving federal financial aid should not experience any changes to their awards.

No one can predict how long the shutdown might last. A longer-term scenario could present challenges for some areas of University operations, and we will continue our analysis to determine what steps the campus may potentially need to take moving forward.

We are committed to keeping you informed about how the federal government shutdown affects our campus. The University’s Office of Research Communications last spring created a website to help the campus community access information about federal sequestration and budget process. That has been modified today to spotlight information about the shutdown. Please visit to find relevant information, including specific federal agency communications and links to individual agency shutdown plans.

In addition, our vice chancellors and other senior administrators will communicate directly with you if needed about the federal shutdown and operations in areas including research administration and human resources.


James W. Dean Jr.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost


Nichol questions why a country so wealthy tolerates such poverty

nichol_400Gene Nichol is a lawyer by trade who has spent much of his career in the light of a public stage where controversy became his shadow.

He was dean of the University of Colorado law school from 1988 to 1995 before coming to Carolina’s law school to hold the same job from 1999 to 2005. In the interim, he ran for the U.S. Senate in Colorado, and after losing, ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, but lost again.

On July 1, 2005, Nichol became the 26th president of The College of William & Mary. His tenure was marked by a succession of controversies, including his decision in 2006 to remove a cross from permanent display on the altar of the Chapel in the college’s historic Wren Building.

On Feb. 12, 2008, when the Board of Visitors decided not to renew his three-year contract, Nichol resigned as president.

Shortly afterward, he returned to Carolina’s law school to run the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity he had founded earlier to call attention to what he believes is the greatest issue facing the nation.

And the most neglected.

“What I have come to believe in the last 10 years, but very powerfully in the last six or seven years, is how crucial it is that North Carolina focus on the wrenching poverty within its midst,” Nichol said.

He believes three contradictory truths lie at the heart of American poverty and its apparent intractability.

“First, this is the richest nation on earth,” Nichol said. “Second, we have much higher levels of poverty than any other advanced nation. Third, we believe almost to the person that this is the fairest nation in the world.

“You cannot be the richest, poorest and fairest nation all at once, but that contradiction is what we accommodate in the United States. One of the ways we do that is to make poverty invisible.”

When poverty lies somewhere else, affecting someone else, he said, it is far too easy for people to look away.

“If our kids are doing well, if our friends’ kids are doing well, people can know there is economic hardship, maybe even grasp that the hardship is so pronounced that it gives lie to our claims of social fairness, but they can still ignore it,” Nichol said. “Especially if the hardship lies on the other side of the tracks, or on the other side of the county, or the other side of the state.”

Investing in people and places

Part of his job, he believes, is to make it harder for people to look away. It is why he joined NAACP President William Barber last year on a bus ride around the state that they called the “Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina.”

What they found, across the board, is that the need is more powerful than people truly understand, Nichol said.

It is all right to disagree about the root causes of poverty and what should be done to fight it. “What is unacceptable,” he said, “is to say that in the richest nation on earth we are going to have 40 percent of our children of color who are poor, and we are not going to care about it.”

For most of its history, Nichol said, “the South was the native home of poverty in the United States, meaning we had more poor people by far and we have more political leaders who are utterly untroubled by it.”

And for most of its history, North Carolina remained the poorest among the poor. During the past 60 years, though, state leaders such as Frank Porter Graham, Bill Friday, Terry Sanford and Jim Hunt played a key role in overturning that history by investing in North Carolina’s people and places.

But that progress has stalled, Nichol said. A decade ago, North Carolina had the 26th highest poverty rate in the country, which Nichol called “a little bit better than average.” Last year, the state was 12th.

“We’ve got to do something different, but should the something different be taking away benefits from low-income folks? Or taking away their access to health care and cutting them off from unemployment benefits?” he asked.

“We’ve lost our way if we believe the only way we can prosper is to be as harsh as South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi. And we’re in danger of forgetting the lessons we can draw from the lives of leaders like Frank Porter Graham and Bill Friday, who believed the only way to lift the state out of poverty was by investing in its people and places,” Nichol said.

Jeffersonian ideals

On Oct. 4, the Faculty Council will present Nichol with the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award in recognition of his commitment to his work, citing his role in the poverty tour, which went beyond the statistics to “put a face on the thousands of families and individuals in the state struggling to get by.”

Faculty members choose the recipients of the annual award, which honors a faculty member who exhibits Jefferson’s ideals and objectives.

Nichol said he had a dual reaction to the news.

“The Jefferson Award means a great deal to me, first of all, because it is associated with Jefferson, but more potently, because the list of recipients includes many of my personal heroes from this University,” he said.

That is also why he feels unworthy.

“I am proud of the work I’ve done and I am immensely challenged by it,” Nichol said. “I find it hugely fulfilling. For me professionally, this is the happiest time in my career, but I don’t confuse myself with those other folks.

“The challenge of poverty in North Carolina is literally the largest problem we face as a society. The more you study it and the more you see it face to face, the bigger it gets. And the more you realize the larger hypocrisy there is in ignoring it.”

Alumnus, longtime volunteer Routh named vice chancellor for development

routh_web_mugAlumnus David Routh, a veteran corporate executive with extensive connections to philanthropy on campus as a staff member and volunteer, has been named UNC’s vice chancellor for development.

Chancellor Carol Folt announced the appointment today (Sept. 26) via email to the campus community following approval by the University’s Board of Trustees. Folt selected Routh after a national search and the work of a search committee led by Board of Trustees Chair Lowry Caudill. Routh will begin work Oct. 14. Julia Grumbles had served the past year as interim vice chancellor for university advancement.

Routh is managing director for U.S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management in Raleigh and has spent the last 17 years of his career serving individuals, families and their charitable interests, including colleges and universities, private foundations and charitable trusts.

“David Routh brings to our leadership team a unique combination of fundraising expertise, collaborative leadership, passion and aspiration for Carolina,” Folt said. “He already knows a great deal about our development efforts on campus, and he has deep experience in the private sector that will be invaluable in leading our engagement with alumni and friends. He is the right person to lead University development.”

As vice chancellor, Routh will be the University’s senior development officer and oversee the central development office staff, which works closely with campus fundraising offices and affiliated foundations that support schools, the College of Arts and Sciences and other units. Routh also will be chief executive of the UNC-Chapel Hill Foundation Inc., a nonprofit corporation that receives gifts on behalf of the University, its schools and units.

At Carolina, Routh was director of gift planning in central development from 2006 to 2009 during the University’s last major fundraising campaign – Carolina First, which raised a record $2.38 billion over eight years. He is vice chair of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Board of Visitors and chair of its Capital Campaign Planning Committee. He is a past board member and committee chair for the UNC Parents Council. A native of Greensboro, Routh is a 1982 UNC graduate, earning Phi Beta Kappa honors with bachelor’s degrees in economics and religious studies.

Routh serves on the Council for Entrepreneurial Development’s Board of Directors, including its finance committee. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Wildacres Leadership Initiative, which houses the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, a statewide leadership development program. A former president of the North Carolina Planned Giving Council, Routh has provided leadership to several non-profit boards including the North Carolina Humanities Council and the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra.

Folt said she was grateful for all Grumbles had done for development at Carolina.

“She provided outstanding leadership in her work with fundraising professionals in the central development office and across the campus,” Folt said. “She was instrumental in helping me to start my work with donors across North Carolina and the United States who are eager to invest in and support our University’s future.”

Folt feels ‘great sense of optimism and purpose’ in Carolina’s future


The Chancellor’s Medallion, given to the University in 1993 by John Sanders, has been updated with a sterling silver Chain of Office that includes links engraved with names of previous Carolina chancellors, the Old Well and Davie Poplar leaves. The chain was created in conjunction with Ken Jackson and Betsy Pugh of Wentworth and Sloan Jewelers in Chapel Hill. The medallion will be placed around the neck of Chancellor Carol Folt during her installation on Oct. 12, University Day. The George Durant Bible, printed in London in 1599 and brought to America in 1658 by George Durant, has been passed down through generations, settling in North Carolina in 1661. Currently stored in UNC’s North Carolina Collection, the volume is the oldest bible associated with a North Carolina family in the state. Folt will place her hand on this bible as she takes the oath of office on University Day.

Chancellor Carol Folt greeted University trustees yesterday (Sept. 26) morning on her 88th day on the job – in what she described as “the most wonderful wild ride you can possibly imagine.”

That dynamic ride no doubt will continue in the days leading to her official installation as chancellor on Oct. 12, and beyond.

Folt has spent much of her first three months on the job learning as much as possible about the campus she leads. She said there are several powerful, recurring themes she has gleaned from everyone she has spoken with, and every personal story she has heard.

folt_400“Every place I’ve gone, people have talked about the creation of new knowledge, new ideas and new outreach,” she told the trustees. “It is a place where that buzz of energy and excitement that we all believe a university should be is absolutely at the front of everybody’s day.”

It is also clear that Carolina has a culture that is open to change, she said.

“People here are always thinking about the future,” Folt said. “They aren’t thinking about what they did yesterday. They are anticipating what is needed to be strong and ready for tomorrow. They are thinking about what is needed to prepare our students to go into a changing world we can only imagine.”

The education provided here must be accessible; it must be excellent; and it must be delivered with integrity, she said.

Another strand of the ever-present culture is the pride in Carolina’s public mission, which has endured since the University’s founding 220 years ago.

Hearing these feelings expressed over and over “leaves me with a great sense of optimism and purpose,” she said.

Folt and her leadership team have developed five imperatives for the University in the months ahead that Folt said she would elaborate on during her Oct. 12 installation speech.

The imperatives, she said, will help the senior administrative team align with trustees’ goals, and at the same time, provide “direction on how we do our work together.” They are:

  • Inspire – boost optimism for the University’s future among students, alumni, faculty, staff and external groups;
  • Unite – bolster a shared vision across campus, the UNC system and the state under the unifying banner of “One UNC”;
  • Focus – initiate a strategic plan to identify vital investments in research, creativity, education and public service;
  • Sustain – strengthen the University’s financial position and operational effectiveness for long-term sustainability; and
  • Communicate – enhance our reputation by building greater awareness of Carolina’s academic excellence and institutional integrity.

Trustees Chair Lowry Caudill encouraged “the entire Carolina family” – students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and community members – to attend University Day and show support for Chancellor Folt.

“We’ll hear her speak about the University’s future and celebrate 220 years of public higher education in America,” Caudill said. “It will be an exciting day for Carolina!”

For information about University Day and all the related installation events, from Oct. 10 through Oct. 13, see

Grant explores better delivery of antidotes after chemical attacks


Above, an image from UNC researcher Katie Moga shows what patches designed to deliver antidotes through microneedles might look like.

Thanks to UNC research, delivering an antidote against exposure to chemical weapons could one day be as simple as slapping on a patch.

A new $4.47 million project at UNC, funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, will help lay the groundwork for developing potentially better ways to deliver antidotes against exposure to chemical weapons. The work could ultimately help both civilian and military populations through the design of precisely engineered particles and microneedle patches that are loaded with a nerve gas antidote that can be easily administered in the event of an attack.


Joe DeSimone

Carolina researchers will use the PRINT technology, also known as Particle Replication In Non-wetting Templates, to design and optimize the size, shape and composition of particles and microscopic needles that can carry life-saving antidotes to chemical nerve gas. If successful, the application of this technology could make it easier to deliver drugs faster to counteract severe reactions to chemical agents.

“Finding the fastest, most effortless method to administer antidotes during a nerve gas attack can be crucial for saving lives,” said Joseph DeSimone, Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at Carolina and William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at N.C. State University and of Chemistry at Carolina.

A central part of the five-year project will be to optimize the design attributes of precisely uniform arrays of microneedles, tiny structures that would be incorporated into a patch that can be applied directly to the skin where the microneedles dissolve for rapid absorption of the nerve gas antidote. Once the mode of delivery is optimized, the PRINT technology also allows for large-scale manufacturing of these microneedle patches and other possible antidote systems.

“Every second matters when someone is exposed to a chemical agent, so identifying a way to simply slap a patch to someone’s arm, in an instant, could have a life-saving impact,” said DeSimone. “We are trying to find the best way to make the delivery of an antidote easy, effective and widely accessible.”

DeSimone, who will lead the project, invented the PRINT technology with his students in 2004. The technology is licensed to Liquidia Technologies in Research Triangle Park, for the development of a wide range of vaccines and therapeutics. Liquidia was co-founded by DeSimone in 2004.

Tar Heels to host Miami for Thursday night game

The University will host the Miami Hurricanes in Kenan Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 17 for a nationally televised football game, starting at 8 p.m. The game is scheduled during fall break, when the majority of students and faculty are likely to be away from campus.

This marks only the second time Carolina has played a home football game on a weeknight; in 2009, Carolina hosted Florida State, also on a Thursday night during fall break.

The game is expected to attract a large crowd of fans on campus starting in the afternoon. But the University will not alter the workday or close early as it did in 2009, Brenda Malone, vice chancellor for human resources, said in a campus email message earlier this month.

“However, due to the expected increase in traffic on campus beginning in mid-afternoon, we do advise departments and supervisors to be as flexible as possible in allowing employees to choose to work a flexible schedule and avoid traffic and inconvenience,” she said.

Employees who choose not to work their regularly scheduled hours on Oct. 17 because of the game that evening must make up the time or code leave for those hours. There are several options, Malone said:

  • Employees can work the additional hours, with management’s approval, on the other four days in that same workweek (Oct. 14, 15, 16, 18);
  • Employees can use available FY14 leave to cover the time; or
  • Employees can use any accrued compensatory time, or available vacation or bonus leave, to cover the hours.

Second- and third-shift employees will be expected to work their usual schedules unless they follow their usual leave procedures, Malone said.

Hospitals and clinics

The game is likely to have an impact on hospital patients, visitors and employees, as well as basic hospital operations. To minimize the potential impact on people who need to enter and leave UNC Hospitals on game day, UNC Health Care administrators have announced several changes for Oct. 17, including:

  • Clinics on campus will not schedule patient visits to begin after 3 p.m., and ancillary and support services may adjust their operations to meet the new schedule. Most off-site clinics are expected to close at their regular times.
  • Efforts will be made to coordinate patient discharges to avoid peak traffic periods (5:30 to 8 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. to midnight).
  • Alternative traffic routes (entrances and exits) will be established for emergency vehicles and health care staff members involved in emergency services.

Parking and transit

Deborah Hawkins, parking control and special events manager in the Department of Public Safety (DPS), said the department understood the importance of ongoing research and patient care, and officials would do their best to accommodate faculty and staff who remain on campus that afternoon and evening to work.

“Some parking lots will close at 3:30 p.m. for security reasons, others will close at 5:15 p.m. for technical reasons, and some will not close at all,” she said in addressing the Faculty Council at its Sept. 13 meeting. The University has a mechanism in place for making sure critical employees can work, she said, and encouraged employees to contact their parking coordinators, who in turn, would contact DPS.

Several parking lots will be reserved specifically for employees who report directly to work and do not attend the game: Swain, Peabody, Old East, Emerson Drive, Davis Drive, Beard, Dogwood Deck, CG Helipad (CG permit holders only) and Cobb Deck (ND permit holders only).

For details about parking on Oct. 17, see Also, Chapel Hill Transit buses will run as usual and will add buses to cover peak traffic times, Hawkins said.

Tar Heel Downtown

The usual pre-kickoff festivities will move from campus to West Franklin Street, between Columbia and Mallette streets. Known as Tar Heel Downtown, the family-friendly event will be held from 4 to 7 p.m.

“Carolina Football game days are an opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate all that makes this Town and this University so special,” said Bubba Cunningham, director of athletics. “Tar Heel Downtown will offer our students, alumni and fans a wonderful game-day experience stretching all the way from Franklin Street to Kenan Stadium.”

That portion of West Franklin Street will be closed from 4 to 7 p.m. Free game-day parking will be available at University Square for people who arrive before 3:30 p.m. In addition, several other downtown locations will be available for parking, and the Tar Heel Express shuttles will operate (see for details).

Employee Forum sponsors monthly book discussions

Beginning in October, the Employee Forum will sponsor a monthly reading program in which Carolina staff are encouraged to read and discuss selected books.

The monthly book selection is a pilot program – which will run through March – that the forum would like to expand into a staff book club if there is interest.

The selected books will cover topics relevant to staff, including leadership, self-improvement, labor issues and professional development. The forum will also consider books that are written by Carolina faculty, are on topics that coincide with honorary months, like Black History Month or Native American Heritage Month, or are of general interest, such as Carolina history.

Book selections will be announced online, at the forum meetings and in InTouch. Books for the six-month pilot program are:

  • “You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader” by Mark Sanborn;
  • “Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity and the Making of a Nation” by Malinda Maynor Lowry;
  • “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot;
  • “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin;
  • “The Making of a Southern Democracy: North Carolina Politics from Kerr Scott to Pat McCrory” by Tom Eamon; and
  • “Love 2.0” by Barbara Fredrickson.

Carolina staff can purchase the books at the Bulls Head Book Shop for 25 percent off the cover price.

To organize a book discussion or suggest a selection, contact Katie Turner at

Renner briefs Faculty Council on committee’s actions, agenda



Topping Chancellor Carol Folt’s to-do list is meeting as many people as possible and learning what brings them to Carolina as well as what their concerns and aspirations are. Folt told the Faculty Council at its Sept. 13 meeting that her immediate priorities were to listen to the campus community as she builds her senior leadership team.

The tours of schools, centers and libraries that Folt and Provost James W. Dean Jr. are undertaking are shedding light on what it takes for Carolina to remain competitive, now and in the future, she said. “For me, it’s a wonderful opportunity for discovery. For Jim, it’s learning about our University with a new lens.”

It is important that Carolina’s work remain part of the national dialogue about higher education, she said. “It’s clear when you talk with people in the AAU (Association of American Universities) that Chapel Hill plays a strong, prominent role.”

Faculty Chair Jan Boxill also outlined her priorities in this final year of her term as chair: to re-establish confidence in a healthy combination of athletics and academics; to adhere to the University’s mission; and to restore faculty morale.

The University has made strides in each area, she said, pointing to the ongoing work of the Faculty Athletics Committee (FAC) and the recommendations of the Faculty Executive Committee, the Honors Committee and the panel led by AAU President Hunter Rawlings that focused on the role of athletics in campus life (see

“The University is not a static institution, which gives rise to new conflicts,” Boxill said, “but our mission does not change.” She added that with a new chancellor and new provost, “it is time to enhance our mission with the extraordinary and diverse talent we have at UNC.”

FAC Chair Joy Renner briefly summarized the committee’s work during the past year to help new council members understand its goals for the coming year.

“We advise the chancellor; that’s our main role,” she said. The FAC looks at existing systems, outcomes and trends; seeks best-practice information; and provides input to strengthen student-athletes’ total college experience.

Last year, the FAC reviewed what Carolina has done and the lessons learned, and this year it will look toward the future, she said.

In conjunction with that work, Renner talked about some of the Rawlings Report recommendations related to faculty governance or educational policy and how the University is addressing them. She reminded council members that the panel’s charge was to provide recommendations without a detailed assessment of the policies and procedures currently in place at Carolina.

Points she highlighted include:

Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of anyone with an advisory role for intercollegiate athletics. The FAC has done that by defining its current role, Renner said, and will examine its future role this fall.

Ensuring that academic support services for student-athletes have no undue influence from athletics. “We’ve done that for a while at Carolina, where that unit has reported to the College of Arts and Sciences,” she said, “but we took it a step farther this year with the addition of Michelle Brown as director, and having her now report to the provost’s office.”

Ensuring that the admissions process for student-athletes is essentially the same as for other applicants with special talents. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions has final decision-making authority for all applicants, Renner said. The faculty Subcommittee on Special Talent assesses the capacity and will for all special-talent students to succeed at Carolina. “We have a very integrated approach here, with a lot of vetting,” she said.

Stipulating that coaches have no hiring or supervisory role related to medical services provided. “This is something we’ve done well for a very long time,” Renner said, explaining that the sports medicine staff moved out of the athletics department in the 1970s. The Department of Sports Medicine is part of Campus Health Services.

Providing a method for staff to report to an external party. Renner said she would like the FAC to discuss this issue further.

Delineating athletics department expenses supporting student-athletes from other operating costs and making that information more transparent. “This is already a public record, which is shared pretty widely, but I realize that FAC spends an entire meeting on the budget, where we ask lots of questions,” she said.

“Others can see the budget but don’t have the explanation. So we agree that there needs to be a more public way of explaining and clearly defining all this information.”

Reducing the number of hours for sports participation. The FAC will examine trends over the last five to 10 years, Renner said.

Next month, she said, a panel discussion of University administrators including Bubba Cunningham, director of athletics, will focus on some of the recommendations and details about actions taken.

To read the Rawlings Panel report, see

Turning 40, preserving the voices of the American South

Since its founding in 1973, the Southern Oral History Program has held as its guiding principle, “You don’t have to be famous for your life to be history.”

Now celebrating its 40th anniversary, the program has continued to focus on preserving the voices of the American South.

Through more than 5,000 interviews, which are archived in the Southern Historical Collection, and a variety of initiatives, the program showcases the voices of everyday people who have lived and created history.

One such initiative is “Media and the Movement: Journalism, Civil Rights, and Black Power in the American South,” a National Endowment for the Humanities-funded project that looks at the intersection between activism and journalism in the American South before, during and after the civil rights era. The project is a partnership among Carolina, Duke and N.C. Central universities.

Seth Kotch, the project director from UNC, said there was a significant transformation in the South during and after the civil rights movement. “We have an impressive array of locally founded, community-oriented media outlets, particularly in Durham and Raleigh.”

Duke’s Joshua Davis, project co-director, said many people founded their own newspapers and started their own radio stations. “We are interested in exploring how journalists helped change the communities they covered, as well as how journalists themselves were changed.”

Among the media included in the project are Durham’s WAFR – the first public community-based black radio station – and Warrenton’s WVSP, just two of the community-oriented radio stations that offered an outlet for the voices and issues of African-Americans.

UNC Campus Y's 150-year anniversary

A group of students give a performance for a SOHP project.

The University History Project highlights voices closer to home. That project has collected about 400 interviews from members of the Carolina community – including students, staff, faculty and administrators – focusing on the history of UNC.

“It is deeply important not to lose institutional memory,” said Rachel F. Seidman, Southern Oral History Program associate director. “The ability to look back and see where we have come from and where we hope to go is a particularly important task.”

During a semester-long internship with the program last spring, a group of undergraduate students researched the history of the Speaker Ban, a North Carolina law enacted in 1963 that restricted the appearance of Communists and other radical speakers at state-supported universities, including UNC. With support from the University Archives, the students interviewed local community members who had been involved in protesting the ban and then created a theatrical script from transcriptions of the interviews.

Seidman said it was powerful for the interview subjects to hear their stories reflected back to them by undergraduates at the performance.

“The students did an amazing job highlighting the themes of political engagement, dissent, and tension and creativity that the Speaker Ban protest involved,” she said.

– Excerpted from the College of Arts and Sciences fall magazine

Campus working group expands



Three faculty members have been added to a campus working group formed to take a comprehensive approach to assessing and enhancing how the University provides academic support to student-athletes.

Anna Agbe-Davies, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology; Jim Johnson, William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Kenan-Flagler Business School; and Andy Perrin, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, “will bring a stronger faculty perspective to the group, as well as a wealth of knowledge and experience,’’ said Provost James W. Dean Jr., who is leading the group with Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham.



The group, which is scheduled to meet on Oct. 14, plans to study everything from when student-athletes are recruited and admitted to when they leave Chapel Hill. The objective, Dean has said, is to ensure proper alignment with the University’s academic mission, a goal that is consistent with Cunningham’s strategic plan for the Department of Athletics.

Other working members are: Stephen Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions; Michelle Brown, who joined the University last spring as director of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes; Lissa Broome, the Faculty Athletics Representative to the ACC and NCAA; and Vince Ille, senior associate athletic director for compliance.

Debbi Clarke, who worked closely with Dean at Kenan-Flagler as director of the master’s of business administration degree program, will serve as an adviser.

Seitz named interim VC for finance and administration

seitz_kevin_mugKevin Seitz will serve as interim vice chancellor for finance and administration beginning Oct. 1, Chancellor Carol Folt told the campus community in an email message last week. With current Vice Chancellor Karol Kain Gray returning to her home state of New York to begin a career in the private sector, Seitz will assume those responsibilities until a permanent replacement for Gray is named.

“I am grateful to have such a capable leader in charge of the University’s finance and administration operations,” Folt said.

She called Seitz, associate vice chancellor for finance at Carolina for the past three years, an excellent steward of the University’s financial resources. He has played a key role in the Budget Committee’s resource allocation process, has overseen Carolina’s treasury functions and has worked closely with financial leaders at UNC General Administration and the state’s Division of Fiscal Research.

In addition, he has been instrumental in helping Gray make necessary changes in the Division of Finance and Administration within the past year, Folt said.

“Carolina is benefitting from Kevin’s nearly 40 years of experience in finance and administration, all within higher education,” she said.

In addition to his work at Carolina, Seitz spent 31 years at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he was vice president for university services after serving as controller and director of administrative computing, and five years as East Carolina’s chief financial officer.

At East Carolina, he was head of many of the same finance and administration functions he will assume on an interim basis here, Folt said.

He will continue to oversee the conversion of the University’s aging financial systems to the new enterprise resource program ConnectCarolina. He led the implementation of a similar system at East Carolina, and as associate vice chancellor here, Seitz chaired the ConnectCarolina Finance Stakeholders Committee.

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost James W. Dean Jr. will chair the search committee seeking to identify Gray’s successor.

In addition to Dean, members of the committee are Brenda Malone, vice chancellor for human resources and interim director of the Equal Opportunity/ADA Office; Bill Roper, vice chancellor for medical affairs, chief executive officer of the UNC Health Care system and dean of the School of Medicine; Steve Lerner, a member of the University’s Board of Trustees; Charles Streeter, chair of the Employee Forum; Evelyne Huber, chair of the Department of Political Science and Distinguished Professor; Mary Beth Koza, director of the Department of Environment, Health and Safety; Dave Stevens, associate dean of finance and operations at Kenan-Flagler Business School; and Jonathon King, president and chief executive officer of UNC Management Co. Inc.

Campus-wide flu clinics increase chances of staying healthy

Each year, myths about the flu shot abound. Mary Covington, executive director for Campus Health Services, said it’s important to remember two things: “You cannot get influenza from getting a flu shot, and even young, healthy individuals can still get very sick and require hospitalization from influenza.”

Covington said influenza contributes to more than 150,000 hospitalizations and 24,000 deaths each year in the United States, and a flu shot increases an individual’s chance of staying healthy and not missing work or school.

“Getting a flu shot also reduces the chance that you will unknowingly spread the illness to someone you care about. It is possible to spread the illness for 24 to 48 hours before you have symptoms,” she said. “Why take the chance of getting someone else sick?”

The typical case of influenza presents with an abrupt onset of fever, cough, headache, muscle aches and weakness lasting from two to five days. However, the illness may last longer.

It is important to get vaccinated for influenza each year, Covington said. This season’s vaccine will protect against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season.

“The strains of the virus circulating in the community typically change from one flu season to the next,” she said. “Even if the circulating strains remain the same, getting an annual flu shot will boost immunity and minimize the chances of getting influenza.”

The Department of Environment, Health and Safety, in collaboration with Campus Health Services, will offer flu clinics through the fall. All are offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for the family flu clinic on Oct. 12, held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The remaining clinics are:

  • Sept. 25, Frank Porter Graham Student Union, West Lounge (walk-in);
  • Sept. 26, Giles Horney, Magnolia Room (by appointment);
  • Oct. 1, Koury Oral Health Sciences Building, Atrium (by appointment);
  • Oct. 2, Frank Porter Graham Student Union, West Lounge (walk-in);
  • Oct. 3, Genetics Medicine Building, Lobby (walk-in);
  • Oct. 3, McColl Grad Student Lounge (walk-in);
  • Oct. 8, Person Hall, Recital Room (by appointment);
  • Oct. 9, Frank Porter Graham Student Union, West Lounge (walk-in);
  • Oct. 10, Genome Sciences Building, Café (walk-in);
  • Oct. 12 (family clinic), Center for Rehabilitation Care at U.S. 15-501 and Sage Road (by appointment);
  • Oct. 18 (Employee Appreciation Day), Frank Porter Graham Student Union, Room 2518 (walk-in);
  • Nov. 19, Koury Oral Health Sciences Building, Atrium (walk-in);
  • Nov. 20, Frank Porter Graham Student Union, West Lounge (walk-in); and
  • Nov. 21, Giles Horney, Magnolia Room (walk-in).

People can complete the consent form online, print a copy and take it to the clinic. For more information, see

University celebrates cyber security month


October marks the 10th anniversary of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). NCSAM was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure that Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.

Carolina’s Information Security Office, part of Information Technology Services, is joining with other universities to help promote NCSAM and will feature a different topic in cyber security each week in October. The topics range from sharing safety tips about securing mobile devices to avoiding being a victim of identity theft.

The Information Security Office will promote NCSAM through mailings to faculty, staff and students, events in the Pit, a Cyber Security Town Hall meeting and a student competition to see who can develop the best public service video based on the motto “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.” The student who submits the best video will be awarded a prize.

Visit throughout October for details.


Dean Smith, Carolina men’s basketball coach from 1961–1997, received the Triangle Business Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his diversity efforts. The award was part of the journal’s inaugural Leaders in Diversity Awards.

Evelyne Huber, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, and John D. Stephens, distinguished professor of political science and director of the Center for European Studies, have earned two “best book” awards through the American Sociological Association for their novel “Democracy and the Left.”

Kenan-Flagler Business School and the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, will collaborate on the project “Partnering for Success: Advancing Sustainability Research and Education in India” as part of their 2013 Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative Award. The U.S. State Department announced eight institutional partnerships for the award, which strengthens collaboration and builds partnerships between American and Indian institutions of higher education in priority fields.

Li Qian, assistant professor of pathology and lab medicine, received a 2013 New Scholar in Aging Award from the Ellison Medical Foundation for her research in developing approaches to regenerate or repair an injured heart. The award provides $100,000 in funding per year for four years.


Panel’s recommendations focus on athletics in campus life

Hunter Rawlings, President, Association of American UniversitiesA panel of distinguished national leaders in higher education and athletics released a report Sept. 3 with recommendations about the role of athletics in campus life.

The panel, commissioned by former Chancellor Holden Thorp last fall in response to a 2012 faculty report, was chaired by Hunter Rawlings, president of the Association of American Universities. Thorp asked the panel to make recommendations for Carolina and to provide ideas for other universities in addressing the challenging issue. The panel convened a roundtable discussion on campus in April.

“We thank Dr. Rawlings and a highly accomplished panel for the time they took to consider not only how Carolina, but how all other universities can ensure excellence in athletics and academics,” said Chancellor Carol Folt.

“We will take advantage of the opportunities and insights provided by the panel to improve and to lead on these issues.”

Rawlings was joined on the panel by James Delany, longtime commissioner of the Big Ten Conference; Bob Malekoff, associate professor and sport studies chair at Guilford College; Amy Perko, executive director of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics; and Patricia Timmons-Goodson, former associate justice of the N.C. Supreme Court.

The report included recommendations in six categories dealing with governance, financial transparency, a network of peers, treatment of student-athletes, education for coaches and enhancing the University administration’s knowledge of intercollegiate athletics. The panel’s charge was to provide recommendations without a detailed assessment of the policies and procedures currently in place at Carolina.

The University’s current policies and practices are in line with a number of the recommended initiatives, including those that relate to governance issues, and in the last year, the University has launched several initiatives to strengthen the academic experience for its nearly 800 student-athletes.

Those include “Carolina Leads,” a strategic plan that is a roadmap for all aspects of Carolina athletics, including academics as well as the department’s alignment with the University, competition, finances, community service, and the hiring and training of coaches, administrators and support staff.

Other initiatives include the creation of the Student-Athlete Academic Initiative Working Group led by Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham and new Provost James W. Dean Jr.; the hiring of Michelle Brown to direct the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes; and an increased role for the Faculty Athletics Committee, led by Chair Joy Renner.

The panel’s recommendation to form a consortium of peer institutions to evaluate common issues universities face in athletics is something Cunningham began working on in the spring and discussed with the Faculty Athletics Committee.

Jan Boxill, chair of the faculty and master lecturer in philosophy, said the fact that UNC had on its own undertaken so many of the suggested reforms showed that the University was on the right path.

“What the report shows is the complexity of the whole University, and that athletics is a valuable education tool at Carolina. We want all our students to have a good academic experience at Carolina,” Boxill said.

Restoring a balance

The panel recommended that Carolina and other universities require a “year of readiness” for student-athletes, who as first-year students would be ineligible for varsity competition to help them first transition to academic life. Cunningham said Carolina would be open to the change if it happened on a national basis.

“Across the country, there are some students who just aren’t as academically prepared to do college work,” he said. “This is an ongoing conversation, and something the NCAA has been discussing for years.”

Boxill, who played basketball as a student at UCLA, said a commitment to eligibility sends a message that academics come first. “It’s a lot of work to play Division I sports. It’s a serious commitment, and the transition from high school sports to college sports can be a big shift,” she said.

The report recommended finding balance in not only the life of a student-athlete, but also in the financial inequalities in athletic and academic programs. Rawlings said the disparity had reached a tipping point.

“There’s so much revenue pouring into intercollegiate athletics, and the budgets for universities’ academic programs have been so tight in the past few years that it’s out of balance,” he said. “The trend is simply not sustainable.”

Cunningham said transparency was important to everything the athletic department does.

“Any time your integrity comes into question, transparency comes up, too,” he said. “Right now, I think the more information we have, the better.”

Renner, an associate professor of allied health science, said the athletics department had been very open with the faculty committee, which devotes time each year to reviewing the budget with Martina Ballen, senior associate athletics director and chief financial officer for the department.

“Their budget is public record, but I think you really need that explanation to understand the complexities,” Renner said. “How to better share that information in the correct context so people get what they want to know is something to think about going forward.”

A national model

In making many of its recommendations, the panel calls on Carolina to be a leader in issues surrounding intercollegiate athletics nationwide. Rawlings said the University’s strong academic reputation and long tradition of a good athletics program made UNC a likely model for other institutions.

“UNC is in a great position for a couple of major reasons: It’s a leading research university in the United States, well known for the high quality of its faculty, first-rate research programs that have grown very strongly in the last few years, and a very high-quality student body and academic program,” he said.

Cunningham said Carolina was ready to lead the national conversation.

Effective changes, he said, could not be made only at one school, but with all the attention on academics and athletics, the timing had never been better.

Renner said she was gratified to see that many of the report’s recommendations were already in effect at Carolina and was excited to have further suggestions to help guide the ongoing process of seeking balance and equity for student-athletes.

“We’ve already shown we can be a leader by the changes we’ve made and the ways in which we’ve brought people from all areas of campus with an affiliation with our student-athletes together over the past few years,” Renner said. “We’ve been able to become a better university, and we now have the capacity and experience to take other schools with us toward a better balance between athletics and academics.

To read the report, visit

Willis captures the ‘bigger picture’ of Panama Canal expansion


Rachel Willis stands in front of the third set of locks being built on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal. (Photo: Manuel Jovane)

A serendipitous photo Rachel Willis took in the London `Docklands in January 2012 led to a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Panama Canal Third Lock Construction project this summer and her assignment to take thousands of digital images.

She arrived there in July to serve as the official photographer on the last technical tour of the $5.25 billion expansion. The construction began in 2008 and is set for completion in 2015, doubling the canal’s capacity for the global shipping industry.


Ship bays under construction on the Pacific side of the canal will be fitted with massive lock doors built in Italy. (Photo: Rachel Willis)

Willis, who traveled with the Young Professionals of the World Association for Water-borne Transport Infrastructure, said, “I was the only person over the age of 40, and not a maritime engineer, hydrologist or even a port planner.”

But she was completely at home with the infrastructure construction, which dovetailed perfectly with her 2013–14 Global Research Institute fellowship on sustainable water transport planning.

Researching the details of her photo of the Docklands Museum exhibit, Willis learned that in 1885, shortly after the opening of the Suez Canal and as the Panama Canal was being planned, the first global organization was formed with four member nations. It met to advise on standards for canals, rivers and ports.

Known by various names, the Permanent International Association of Navigational Congresses (PIANC) still provides a modern Internet address for this nonprofit group. PIANC meets to recommend specifications for navigable waterway traffic on canals, rivers and in ports.


Stacks of Maersk containers await loading onto ships at the Balboa Terminal, with the skyline of Panama City in the background. (Photo: Rachel Willis)

Willis discovered the PIANC learning opportunity in Panama, explained her research to the under-40 group and offered her services as a photographer.

“PIANC wanted to make sure the docks, ports, canals and bridges were big enough for ocean-going vessels of the day,” Willis said. “Those same concerns are even more urgent today because of increasing ship sizes and rising sea levels.”

Half of the world’s container ships are already too large to fit through the canal that dates back to 1914, Willis said, and new container ships continue to be built ever bigger.

Willis’ photos documented the construction of the Third Locks, a project that involves deepening the approach channels in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, widening and deepening the Culebra Cut, constructing new locks on both the Pacific and Atlantic sides, and raising the maximum operating levels at Gatun Lake.

When it was formed in 1913, Gatun Lake was the largest man-made lake in the world, and it remains an essential part of the Panama Canal, providing the millions of gallons of water necessary to operate the locks each time a ship passes through.

In addition to numerous technical presentations, Willis was able to see the Miraflores Locks in operation, travel by boat in the canal to critical dredging sites and experience the training school simulators for ship pilots, visit the shipping terminal at the Port of Balboa, tour construction on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides, cross the Bridge of the Americas and ride the historic Panama Canal Railway.

Her task was not simply to take pictures, but also to understand the bigger picture. As a labor economist in the Department of American Studies, Willis has devoted decades of her career studying manufacturing workers in North Carolina and their ongoing struggle to remain competitive in a global economy.

She is adept at “connecting the dots,” understanding for instance, how a bigger Panama Canal – and the ability to ship goods more cheaply – could translate into expanded opportunities for American workers. But those savings can only be achieved if the bigger ships that use the Panama Canal, “Post-Panamax vessels,” can also pass under bridges that crisscross access to U.S. ports.

In the future, not only will the ships be taller, but sea levels also will be higher, narrowing the passable space under the bridges. That is why Willis is calling for a comprehensive overhaul of transportation infrastructure now.

“Given multiple jurisdictions in most ports, cooperation and collaborative investment are required now to ready this infrastructure,” Willis said.

She also believes the wise use of water and rail transportation will not only save money, but also will help to slow global warming by reducing dependence on carbon-based fuels that contribute to the problem.

It was her proposal to research this topic that helped her win a Chapman Faculty Fellowship for spring 2014 and earn a Global Research Institute (GRI) Fellowship. Water transport relates directly to the GRI 2012–14 theme, “Making Scarce Water Work for All.”

Willis will discuss her “Water Over the Bridge” research during a GRI seminar at noon on Sept. 17 on the 4th floor of the FedEx Global Education Center. See a slideshow of her work here.