UNC System

UNC System

Higher Ed News Top Story

Weathering political controversies, UNC System president reaps incentive bonus

The UNC Board of Governors approved a bonus of $451,200 for UNC System President Peter Hans Wednesday, which board members said reflects the “exceptional job” Hans continues to do for the UNC System. The one-time payment to Hans’s Senior Administrative Officer Retirement Account is in line with an incentive scheme under which he was hired in June of 2020.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

NC Republican lawmakers: Running government “like a business” alright

One supposes that it’s at least conceivable there could be merit to the idea of moving the headquarters of the 17-campus UNC System from the place it’s always been – Chapel Hill – to the state capital in Raleigh. Maybe. But here’s another obvious fact about such an ambitious plan: ramming it through without debate and without consulting the system’s Board of Governors would be a brazen and indefensible act.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC Board of Governors undermined in UNC System move to Raleigh, conservative members say

After six years on the UNC Board of Governors, Leo Daughtry is being moved to the North Carolina State Board of Transportation. It wasn’t a move he requested, Daughtry told Policy Watch last week. But the change, part of a political appointments bill passed at the end of the legislative session, was probably inevitable after Daughtry said aloud something a number of board members privately say they also believe: the plan to move the UNC System offices to downtown Raleigh is expensive, ill-considered and motivated primarily by politics.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Report on UNC System campus free speech provides insights into climate, student experiences

Some conservative students say they feel stifled, but generally not by faculty members When Policy Watch reported on conservative writer and podcaster Ben Shapiro’s visit to UNCG in April, it had all the hallmarks of the current debate over free speech on campuses. A highly partisan figure drawing huge crowds with divisive -- in this case, transphobic and homophobic -- language. Students protesting, holding a competing event and verbally sparring with the speaker.

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Education News Top Story

UNC Press initiative aims to tame the soaring and burdensome cost of textbooks

This month the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics released a new edition of Contemporary Precalculus Through Applications, the popular book that is the only text in the school’s precalculus courses. But this new edition is available digitally, for free, to not just students at the elite residential high school but high school and college students all over the state.

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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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