UNC System

UNC System

Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Email trove reveals new details of UNC Board of Governors’ refusal to reappoint popular UNC Press Board chair

More than nine months after a UNC Board of Governors committee refused to reappoint a widely respected UNC Law professor to the University of North Carolina Press Board of Governors, the UNC System has released hundreds of pages of email communications Policy Watch requested in connection with the conflict.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC System considers raising cap for out-of-state admissions at HBCUs

NC A&T, NC Central, and Elizabeth City State targeted for significant hikes When the UNC System Board of Governors meets next month, its members will vote on whether to raise the cap on out-of-state admissions to three historically Black college and universities (HBCUs) in the system – North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central University and Elizabeth City State University.

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Higher Ed Top Story

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

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. A series of highly political controversies revealed the ways in which the direction of the UNC System is, from major policy decisions to single hires, determined by conservative political appointees and wealthy private donors.

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Education Higher Ed News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the North Carolina School of Science and Math

Beginning next year, graduates of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics will be guaranteed admission at UNC System schools. The new policy, approved at last month’s meeting of the UNC Board of Governors, will apply to all Science and Math students applying for first time admission beginning with the Fall 2022 semester.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC System faculty push for more flexibility as pandemic semester unfolds

Two weeks into in-person instruction at UNC System campuses, faculty members at universities small and large are pushing for more flexibility to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including, in some cases, a temporary shift back to online classes. On Tuesday, Duke University announced new protocols as its campus deals with a spike in infections, largely among vaccinated students. These include giving professors the ability to shift to online-only classes for the next two weeks.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

How can a higher education scandal last for years? Money, power, and politics.

As a student reporter and editor at the Daily Tar Heel, Andy Thomason was at ground zero for the UNC-Chapel Hill “paper classes” athletics scandal that broke in 2010. He helped direct coverage at the independent student paper during the rest of his college career and followed it for the Chronicle of Higher Education after landing a reporting job there in 2014.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: UNC pandemic specialist says school is repeating mistakes from 2020

Veteran epidemiologist and ethicist is fearful university leaders have not learned vital lessons from last year As students return for the fall semester at UNC-Chapel Hill Wednesday, Dr. Jim Thomas is having an uneasy sense of déjà vu. “I’m very uneasy about what I’m seeing,” said Thomas, a professor emeritus in the Epidemiology department at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. “Or what I’m seeing again.”

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State law: UNC Press leader can stay on despite opposition from UNC Board of Governors

Conservatives on UNC BOG want to remove Prof. Eric Muller, but legal experts say they lack the authority to do so In a high-stakes game of political poker with the UNC Board of Governors, a state statute may provide the UNC Press with a trump card.

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Education Higher Ed News Top Story

New members join UNC Board of Trustees, shifting demographics but likely not ideologies 

Six new members are set to join the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, changing the board’s demographic makeup but likely not its conservative bent. The new trustees will have to contend with the fallout from the Nikole Hannah-Jones case, which has prompted an exodus of Black faculty and raised questions about the effectiveness of the university’s shared governance structure.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Toll from political push at UNC continues to mount

In an exclusive interview, a distinguished Lumbee historian explains her decision to leave UNC-Chapel Hill When renowned historian Malinda Maynor Lowery heard acclaimed journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones couldn’t get a vote on tenure from the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, she felt sad and angry. But she was no longer surprised.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC hire of acclaimed journalist sparks conservative ire

Groups with close ties to two Board of Governors members issue blistering attacks on Nikole Hannah-Jones When UNC-Chapel Hill announced the hiring of Nikole Hannah-Jones last month, it was cause for celebration among students, faculty and administration at the school.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC proposal would add funds for campus police, cut budgets for student groups

Student leaders at UNC System schools are opposing potential fee changes they say could cut funds for student groups and student government while expanding budgets for campus police. At the end of January, student leaders at UNC-Chapel Hill sent a letter to the Board of Governors and UNC System President Peter Hans to express concern over ongoing discussions of the Student Activity Fee.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: How did Darrell Allison cut in line to become the new chancellor at Fayetteville State? It’s a secret.

Allison's political connections and loyalty might have helped him get the job. Darrell Allison did not make the final cut in the search process for Fayetteville State University’s next chancellor, according to sources directly involved in the process. Instead, the former UNC Board of Governors member was added at the last-minute to the list of finalists submitted to the UNC System.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Student leaders: Systemic racism remains a pervasive problem across the UNC system

Report, statistics document a significant diversity problem, but questions persist as to whether there is a genuine commitment to address it A report on racial equity in the UNC System exposes the depth of the diversity problem in leadership at most of the state’s universities. For many Black students, faculty and staff the problem is not news. But it is, they say, at the heart of many of the system’s problems.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

New ‘Silent Sam’ revelations contradict past public assurances offered by UNC Chancellor Guskiewicz

In December 2019, Kevin Guskiewicz, then the new UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor, appeared before a concerned and angry Faculty Council. The UNC System had just announced its Board of Governors had settled a lawsuit with the NC Sons of Confederate Veterans. The settlement would not only give the group the controversial Silent Sam Confederate monument but also $2.5 million in trust to care for it. 

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

The year in review: Five “PW investigates” stories to remember

Looking back on the pandemic, some of its many disturbing impacts, and one community's controversial plan to revive its economy In a year upended and dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Policy Watch covered the crisis with daily stories and investigative pieces from the institutional to the personal.

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