News

Good News

Graduating Tar Heels celebrate achievements during Commencement week

UNC Chapel Hill

It’s been a busy week for the Class of 2022. While they were still studying for finals, wrapping up their coursework and saying their goodbyes, graduates also celebrated their years of hard work and diligence at graduations across campus. Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz joined the festivities by attending several graduations, including the Carolina Latinx Center’s Éxitos and the American Indian Center’s ceremony, to celebrate with the students.

General

UNC Chancellor: Our challenges and mistakes will make us better

News and Observer

In response to “Dialogue, not silence, will heal the breach at UNC” (May 3): The 6,000 students gathered for graduation at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill this Sunday have been through a lot during the last four years. The usual gauntlet of being 19 years old while trying to learn physics and philosophy and become a productive adult is challenging enough. But these college graduates have also dealt with COVID lockdowns, an economic rollercoaster, and almost two years of making sacrifices in their personal lives and academic plans for the sake of public health. They’ve navigated a brave new world of online agitation that challenged the mental health of young people and the civic health of our society. And they’ve done it on a campus that serves as a prominent stage for controversy far more often than any of us would like. Through it all, they’ve stayed focused and remembered the goals that brought them to Carolina in the first place. They’ve been helped along by thousands of world-class faculty and staff who worked through the darkest days of the pandemic to provide a meaningful education to the sons and daughters of North Carolina and beyond, and to uphold the mission of public higher education at a time when it’s often in question. Kevin Guskiewicz.jpg Kevin Guskiewicz Jon Gardiner UNC-Chapel Hill I have been a professor at UNC-Chapel Hill for 27 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever sent off a graduating class with greater admiration or hope. I’ve never been more proud of the colleagues I work alongside each day. We ask an almost impossible thing of public higher education, to both serve society and challenge it at the same time. Every day, the scholars who work at Carolina have to provide trusted advice on everything from water quality to foreign policy to cutting-edge medical breakthroughs, making sure our campus is a ready toolbox for tackling the big problems that the policymakers, business leaders, and the citizens of North Carolina bring to us. At the same time, we are one of the few spaces in American public life where people of deep and genuine difference — in background, temperament, politics and worldview — have to find ways of working and learning together. It’s our responsibility and our constitutional mandate, to explore controversial subjects and invite challenging questions without stifling debate or limiting dissent. We don’t always get the balance right. And even when we do, the result can be chaotic and uncomfortable, especially for the vast majority of students and faculty who are trying to focus on their work and make a contribution in their chosen fields. Every fall, I start the graduate class I co-teach by sharing a favorite quote from Clark Kerr, the legendary leader of the University of California. “The university is so many things to so many different people that it must, of necessity, be partially at war with itself,” Kerr wrote. There is no question that the University has been through hard moments in its recent history, and that leaders like me could have handled some of them better. We’re still learning how to be a fair and humane institution in a divisive time, and I get advice every day from faculty and staff, from alumni, from lawmakers, students and strangers about how to do it better. They care about the place, and I’m grateful. I wouldn’t want it any other way. The belief that we can be better — that we can make progress, that we aren’t defined by our worst moments but by the way we learn from them — is what I want for the young people collecting their diplomas and celebrating with their families today.. It’s what I cherish most in this University, which has endured for two unquiet centuries because it was created out of confidence in a better future. Education has never been an easy thing. But it is always worth the struggle. Kevin Guskiewicz is a neuroscientist, a professor of exercise and sport science, and the chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

General

Our view: A UNC forensic exam

Winston-Salem Journal

Arecent report on the state of the UNC System drawn by the American Association of University Professors — a prestigious and influential national academic group — affirms what some have been saying for a while now. But there’s nothing about the confirmation that feels good. “The University of North Carolina System is in trouble,” the report reads. “And not the kind of trouble that record enrollments or good rankings can fix. It is the kind of trouble that festers and spreads.” It’s trouble that began in 2010 after Republicans took control of the state legislature and began to tinker with the UNC System — trouble that has diminished the reputation and operations of our educational flagship. “Many in the majority believed that the system, governed for decades by Democratic-leaning appointees, had become dominated by what they considered out-of-control liberalism to the detriment of conservative viewpoints,” the report says. “They saw the UNC board of governors, with its broad agenda-setting powers, as the key to transforming the university system.”

General

Dialogue, not silence, will heal the breach at UNC

Charlotte Observer

The American Association of University Professors issued a critical report last week on the University of North Carolina System that focused on political meddling in campus affairs, limitations on academic freedom and institutional racism, but the most telling part was what was not said. The introduction to the 36-page report includes this sentence: “UNC system president Peter Hans, Board of Governors chair Randall Ramsey, UNC–Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, and UNC–Chapel Hill Board of Trustees chair David Boliek declined to be interviewed.” That those four said nothing says a lot.

Bad News

National faculty group criticizes political interference it says is damaging UNC System

News & Observer

A national organization of university faculty members released a report Thursday criticizing the UNC System, saying it violates standards of shared governance, threatens academic freedom and fosters institutional racism. “The University of North Carolina system is in trouble, and not the kind of trouble that record enrollments or good rankings can fix,” the report from the American Association of University Professors says. “It is the kind of trouble that festers and spreads.”

Bad News

Quick Takes Print UNC Journalism School Accreditation Downgraded

Inside Higher Ed

Just days after the formal downgrading of the accreditation of the journalism school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the chair of the campus’s Faculty Council said Hussman School of Journalism and Media faculty members and students are being punished for university leaders’ mistreatment and failed hiring of a high-profile appointee for a tenured teaching position. “It wasn’t the journalism department that didn’t want to tenure Nikole Hannah-Jones,” Mimi Chapman, the council chair, said of the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist whose appointment for the job became a national story and a source of division on the campus last year. “That was a problem at the Board of Trustees level, which has been widely reported. The delay in the vote and the whole maneuvering behind the scenes is what produced this problem.”

Good News

UNC-Chapel Hill graduate programs ranked among best in nation

UNC Chapel Hill

Numerous University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate programs received high rankings — 19 were among the top 10 in the nation in their respective categories — as part of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools” list. For the fifth consecutive rankings period, Gillings School of Global Public Health was ranked second out of 195 schools and programs of public health in the United States, also maintaining its position as the top public school of public health. The Gillings School has been ranked among the top schools and programs of public health by U.S. News since the magazine first ranked public health schools in 1987. Additionally, the School of Law ranked eighth out of public law schools and has jumped 22 spots since 2019 to land in the top 25 law schools for the second year in a row. Altogether, 30 programs increased their rankings, including numerous programs in the School of Law, School of Education, College of Arts & Sciences, School of Nursing and Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Good News

UNC-CH launches program focusing on student career development

WRAL

Thank you for your leadership Chancellor Guskiewicz. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is inviting communities across the state to join its Carolina Across 100 initiative “Our State, Our Work: Connecting Young Adults with their Future.” The program will identify and implement strategies to expand and deepen education and employment pathways across the state with a focus on people 16 through 24 years old.

Good News

Carolina named the top public university in the South

UNC Website

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings are based on 15 factors across four main categories, including resources, engagement, outcomes and environment. Carolina recorded its strongest score in the outcomes category, which reviews graduation rate, reputation, graduate salaries and debt after graduation.

Bad News

Editorial: Fixing a lack of diversity by eliminating diversity

WRAL

It has long been a matter of ideological faith to the current leaders of the state legislature, that there is a “diversity problem” at the state’s universities. “University professors are far more liberal and Democratic,” they've complained. So, what solution have these legislative leaders done about the perceived lack of diversity? They have made the campus boards – and the UNC Board itself – even LESS diverse and MORE partisan.

General

DR. WESLEY BURKS: Let's not forget dedication of essential healthcare workers

WRAL

The challenge in this moment is how best to support our teammates, the dedicated professionals who have devoted their lives to caring for others and to helping their friends and neighbors become and stay healthy. Even if we don’t hear it as much these days, they are still heroes. The heroes, however, are also human. What they have experienced has been traumatic – both physically and emotionally exhausting.

Bad News

Women’s Financial Independence Makes Some Uneasy

Ellevest Magazine

"...it was a kick to the stomach when I recently got a call from a North Carolina journalist, letting me know that I had been nominated for a faculty award … but was rejected by the university's board of trustees."

General

'What it really means to love Carolina': UNC leaders discuss power tensions

Daily Tar Heel

“That term (shared governance) really embodies what the idea is,” Faculty Chairperson Mimi Chapman said. “It's that no one part of the puzzle is controlling the whole thing, but that there is a series of complementary and advisory relationships that result in governance of the institution that is reflective of common values between these groups.”

General

Year in review: In higher ed, higher stakes as the UNC system becomes more politicized

NC Policy Watch

It was another tumultuous year for one of the largest public institutions in North Carolina — the UNC System. While the COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 dangerous and unpredictable, 2021 was defined by a much more familiar threat — political influence.

General

Breaking down UNC Board of Trustees and Board of Governors decisions this year

Daily Tar Heel

As UNC attempted to return to near-normal operations following the onset of the pandemic, University leaders and UNC System officials have made many significant decisions impacting the campus community. Here’s a review of the University and system-wide events and decisions that shaped this year.

Good News

Inside Coalition for Carolina's efforts to depoliticize UNC-Chapel Hill's governance

Higher Ed Dive

Roger Perry had a mentor in his first year as a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill trustee in 2002, an experienced board member who would impart a simple piece of advice: "First do no harm." In Perry's view, the current roster of trustees has failed that mission.

General

Tensions Rise Within the UNC System Board of Governors

Assembly

The Chairman of the UNC Board of Governors apparently approved a $100 Million move of the UNC System office to Raleigh without ever informing the full UNC Board of Governors.

Bad News

UNC Chancellor is facing pressure for new provost decision

Daily Tarheel

UNC trustees interfering in tier II faculty hires, distinguished alumni awards, admissions appeals and, if true, attempting to dictate who the new Provost will be, is an outrageous abuse of power. Are they trying to destroy Carolina?

Bad News

A difficult place, a time of opportunity:' UNC-CH dealing with exodus of top leaders

WRAL

... nine top leaders have announced their retirement or departure from the university since last May, including Bob Blouin, executive vice chancellor and provost, a position only second to the chancellor.

General

New biography of UNC President Frank Porter Graham profiles a titan of education in N.C.

Star News

President of the Chapel Hill campus from 1930, and first president of the state's consolidated university system. Graham kept the University alive through the Depression and built it into a regional powerhouse — in large part, through his stalwart defense of academic freedom.

Bad News

UNC trustees upend honorary alumni awards, reject Trump critic and Black Democrat

News & Observer

A largely unnoticed dispute over honorary and special awards at UNC-Chapel Hill is emerging as a mini version of the school’s Nikole Hannah-Jones controversy

General

UNC's Mild-Mannered Change Agent

The Assembly

UNC System presidents are a storied lot. Among their roster sit a former White House chief of staff, a former U.S. secretary of education, and a former foundation president. The most famous is Bill Friday, a man whose name is synonymous with an unabashedly lofty vision for North Carolina, and a beloved leader who shaped a state and built an institution.

General

After the Nikole Hannah-Jones blowup, UNC’s journalism school is healing, but slowly

Poynter

Four months later, the main players in the drama are taking measured steps to move on.

Bad News

'Time To Go': Faculty of Color Explain What Made Them Ready To Leave UNC Chapel Hill

WUNC

Professor Malinda Maynor Lowery signed her offer letter for a position at Emory University hours before the news broke about Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Good News

Scientists Find Genetic Cause, Underlying Mechanisms of New Neurodevelopmental Syndrome

UNC School of Medicine News

Damaris Lorenzo, PhD, at the UNC School of Medicine, led the discovery of a new neurodevelopmental syndrome, its underlying genetic basis and molecular mechanisms, both important milestones on the road to create therapeutic strategies.

Good News

UNC System enrollment continues to climb

Higher Ed Works

Despite a global pandemic that clamped down activity nationwide, the University of North Carolina System saw record enrollment this fall for the fourth year in a row.

Good News

Michael Jordan Pledges $1 Million to Support UNC’s Ida B. Wells Society

Chapelboro

A $1 million grant from basketball legend Michael Jordan and his Jordan Brand’s Black Community Commitment will aid the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting.

Good News

Guskiewicz: The virtue of raucous debate

Higher Ed Works

Public universities are one of this country’s oldest and best ideas. The University of North Carolina was chartered in 1789, the same year our state ratified the US Constitution. There is no doubt the lawmakers of that era considered higher education to be an essential public good.

Bad News

UNC in turmoil over Silent Sam, the Confederate monument toppled by protesters

Washington Post

This semester more than any other, the University of North Carolina’s flagship campus has been riven over a statue some see as a hateful symbol of racism and others defend as a historical monument.

Bad News

U.N.C. at Chapel Hill Shifts to Remote Learning After a Covid-19 Outbreak

New York Times

U.S. college campuses grapple with coronavirus fears, outbreaks and protests.

Bad News

UNC keeps donor contracts private. But should the public know what’s being promised?

News & Observer

Bad News

EDITORIAL: UNC's denying Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure highlights systemic racism across UNC System

(NC State) Technician

On May 19, NC Policy Watch reported Nikole Hannah-Jones, renowned journalist and UNC-Chapel Hill alumna, was denied tenureship by the UNC-Chapel Hill board of trustees.

Bad News

UNC’s communications director is leaving. Here’s some serious advice for the next one

News & Observer

In 2013, I attended a reception for Joel Curran, the newly hired vice chancellor for communications at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bad News

UNC and ECU settle with feds after allegedly falsifying volunteer hours for AmeriCorps

News & Observer

UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina University reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday after officials said the universities made false claims to get AmeriCorps grant money over five years.

Good News

Is The Worst Over? Modelers Predict A Steady Decline In COVID Cases Through March

NPR

Americans may be able to breathe a tentative sigh of relief soon, according to researchers studying the trajectory of the pandemic.

Bad News

Breaking down the power structure and history of the UNC Board of Trustees

Daily Tar Heel

"We have a very highly partisan situation," Mimi Chapman says

Bad News

Why have UNC faculty and employee reps been excluded from recent trustee meetings?

Durham Herald-Sun

The leaders representing groups of UNC-Chapel Hill professors, employees and graduate students have not been invited to speak on behalf of their colleagues to the campus Board of Trustees since new leaders of the board took over in the the summer.

Good News

A 3D printed vaccine patch offers vaccination without a shot

UNC School of Medicine News

Stanford University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill develop microneedle vaccine patch that delivers stronger immune response than a vaccine shot

Good News

UNC lands $24M grant to drive more genetic research for precision medicine

WRAL TechWire

Doctors have accurate diagnostic tests for some single-gene conditions, such as sickle cell disease or cystic fibrosis. But when it comes to understanding the genetic variants underlying most rare genetic conditions, there is still much to learn. This is where the Clinical Genome Resource Consortium (ClinGen) comes in.

Bad News

Academic Tenure: In Desperate Need of Reform or In Desperate Need of Defenders?

Inside Higher Ed

Tenure is once again in the headlines, and not in a good way.

Bad News

Board of Trustees committee discusses latest 'All-Funds' budget approach

Daily Tar Heel

The UNC Board of Trustees Finance, Infrastructure and Audit Committee discussed the newly-approved All-Funds budget, a plan that would view the University's budget holistically and increase revenue and expenditure transparency, at its meeting Wednesday.

Good News

North Carolina at Chapel Hill Opens Esports Arena

AV Network

Black Box's MCX AV-over-IP system lowers technical barriers to participation in the gaming community.

Good News

Former Director John L. Sanders Passes Away at 94

UNC School of Government

The UNC School of Government is saddened to share the passing of John L. Sanders, former longtime faculty member and two-time director.

Bad News

UNC chancellor says antisemitism has 'no place on our campus'

WTVD

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz is reaching out to the Jewish community amid rising concerns about antisemitism on campus.

Good News

3-D printed vaccine patch pioneered at UNC could revolutionize how we distribute vaccinations

WTVD

New technology coming out of UNC Chapel Hill could change everything about how vaccines are administered.

Good News

UNC-Chapel Hill joins Hillel International program to combat antisemitism on campus

News & Observer

UNC-Chapel Hill is joining the Hillel International’s Campus Climate Initiative program to combat antisemitism on campus.

Bad News

'Antisemitism has mutated': Jewish students, leaders worry over UNC-CH instructor's comments

News & Observer / WTVD

There are accusations of antisemitism on the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's campus, specifically in an academic discourse surrounding Israel and the Middle East – spurring a new complaint filed to the U.S. Department of Education.

Good News

UNC Listed as Third-Best Public U.S. University in Latest Academic Rankings

Chapelboro

As the newest rankings of universities across the United States continue to be released, UNC continues to place highly among other public universities.

Good News

‘Coalition for Carolina’ Scrutinizes Power Dynamics on UNC’s Campus

Chapelboro

A group of UNC alumni, faculty, students, and staff are coming together to stop what they say are political influences in campus decisions.

Bad News

UNC Chapel Hill Trustees Appoint John Hood and Allie Ray McCullen To WUNC Board of Directors

WUNC 91.5

The UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees voted today to appoint two new members to the board that oversees North Carolina Public Radio WUNC.

Bad News

Search for new UNC journalism school dean commences in aftermath of Hannah-Jones/Hussman controversy

NC Policy Watch

The search committee charged with finding the next dean of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media set out its goals and a rough timeline this week.

Good News

New antiviral drug has been researched at UNC for years

WRAL

The new anti-viral drug Molnupiravir has been in development for years at the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Public Health in Chapel Hill.

Good News

Carolina awarded $24 million NIH grant to improve genomic, precision medicine

UNC Health

Dr. Jonathan Berg at the UNC School of Medicine is a principal investigator of the Clinical Genome Resource, a multi-institution consortium initially launched in 2013 by the National Human Genome Research Institute to provide evidence-based evaluations of clinically relevant genes and variants.

Good News

Gene editing center targeting new drug research to open at UNC-CH

WRAL TechWire

A new facility at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will enable researchers to screen for new drug targets using CRISPR, the powerful genome-editing technology that is accelerating discovery and development across the life sciences.

Bad News

After Hannah-Jones Tenure Debacle, AAUP Prepares Report Exploring 'Violations of Academic Governance' at UNC

Diverse Education

A special committee at the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is preparing a report detailing what it calls "a pattern of egregious violations of principles of academic governance and persistent structural racism" in the University of North Carolina System.

Bad News

Upcoming changes to library collections

Email from Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bob Blouin and Vice Provost for University Libraries Elaine L. Westbrooks

The following campus message was sent on October 1, 2021 by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bob Blouin and Vice Provost for University Libraries Elaine L. Westbrooks.

Bad News

National faculty group investigating ‘egregious violations,’ ‘structural racism’ at UNC

News & Observer

The American Association of University Professors, a national organization of faculty, is investigating “a pattern of egregious violations of principles of academic governance and persistent structural racism” in the UNC System, particularly at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Bad News

Editorial: Reflecting on UNC's lack of transparency as communications staff depart

Daily Tar Heel

Two of UNC's major communications officials, Vice Chancellor for Communications Joel Curran and Director of Media Relations Joanne Peters Denny, announced within about two weeks of each other that they are leaving the University.

Good News

$1M donation to help UNC-Chapel Hill research disparities in breast cancer outcomes for Black, white women

WRAL

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill could be a step closer to finding a cure for breast cancer.

Bad News

UNC-Chapel Hill plans to cut $5 million from libraries, spurring questions about funding priorities

WUNC

When professor Tamlin Pavelsky was a young graduate student, he was among the last generation to Xerox research articles in the library.

Bad News

Column: UNC can't remain a research powerhouse without library resources

Daily Tar Heel

University Libraries announced this week it is facing a significant budget cut, with a loss of $2 million this fiscal year and $3 million the next.

General

BOT discusses resolution that would allow approval of Tier II faculty hires

Daily Tar Heel

The UNC Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution which would amend and restate the current delegations of authority between the BOT, Board of Governors and University administration at a special meeting Thursday.

Good News

Unsung Founders Memorial topic of webinar series

UNC Communications

The University Commission on History, Race and a Way Forward will host two webinars in October.

Good News

UNC-Chapel Hill reduces COVID-19 testing requirement, brings booster shots to campus

CBS-17

UNC-Chapel Hill is reducing the testing requirements for unvaccinated students and, at the same time, bringing COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to those who qualify.

Good News

Delayed due to COVID 19, commencement for UNC's Class of 2020 features Roy Williams

ABC-11

One year and a half in the making, the Class of 2020 finally got the commencement they deserve.

General

Coalition for Carolina plans to assess governance structure of the University

Daily Tar Heel

The Coalition for Carolina introduced themselves in an ad in the Carolina Alumni Review entitled “What the hell is going on in Chapel Hill?” last month.

General

UNC Chapel Hill cancels classes Tuesday as police investigate 2 student deaths

Blue Ridge Public Radio

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is canceling classes for World Mental Health Day on Tuesday after two students died on campus in the last month.

General

UNC-Chapel Hill campus trying to come to grips with suicides

WRAL

Faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discussed mental health concerns on campus Monday, following one reported student suicide and a suicide attempt over the weekend.

General

As UNC deals with mental health concerns, students & faculty say counseling center needs improvement

WTVD-11

It's been a challenging past few weeks on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill as the school deals with the recent suicides of at least two students.

General

UNC deals with mental health concerns in wake of student suicides

ABC-30 (Fresno, CA)

It's been a challenging past few weeks on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill as the school deals with the recent death by suicides of at least two students.

General

UNC faculty meeting to address mental health concerns

WRAL

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has canceled classes on Tuesday after UNC Police investigated two suicides over the weekend.

Good News

UNC-Chapel Hill to cancel classes Tuesday for a Wellness Day after suicide investigations

Albany Herald

The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill announced Sunday, World Mental Health Day, it is canceling classes Tuesday to observe what it called a "Wellness Day."

General

As UNC deals with mental health concerns, students & faculty say counseling center needs improvement

News & Observer

Bad News

As Hussman returns to UNC, it’s time for UNC to say goodbye

News & Observer

Bad News

Special Committee to Report on Structural Racism and Violations of Shared Governance at UNC

AAUP

The American Association of University Professors has launched a special committee to prepare a report on a pattern of egregious violations of principles of academic governance and persistent structural racism in the University of North Carolina System.

General

Guskiewicz: Making room for a moonshot

Higher Ed Works

Each fall, UNC Chapel Hill Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz co-teaches a seminar for graduate students – professors of the future – called ‘The American Professoriate.’

General

‘Crisis on UNC’s campus’: University takes time to grieve and focus on mental health

News & Observer

General

Editorial: Mental health resources for the Chapel Hill community

Daily Tar Heel

In light of recent events, the Editorial Board has compiled a list of mental health resources for the UNC community.

General

Dogs and moms offer support, embrace UNC community

Daily Tar Heel

Dogs and moms came to UNC this week in an effort to improve student and community mental health following reports of a suicide and an attempted suicide over the weekend, according to the UNC Police crime log.

Bad News

Walter Hussman Returns as UNC's Journalism School Faces Crisis of Values, Diversity

Indy Week

When Walter Hussman returned to UNC-Chapel Hill this week, he hoped to begin mending relations with the journalism school that bears his name.

General

Learning more about UNC System President Peter Hans

North Carolina Public Radio

When Peter Hans was named UNC System president last August, he didn't make a big speech that outlined his vision or detail his personal origin story.