Public service

UNC Board of Governors Announces Recipients of Faculty Public Service Award

The UNC Board of Governors announced the recipients of the faculty’s Public Service Award and discussed affordable education during its Thursday plenary meeting.

Committee chairs provided updates on the Project Kitty Hawk adult learning program and delegations of authority among UNC leaders.

In his report, UNC System President Peter Hans spoke about the system’s mission and its goals to provide a variety of educational experiences.

“The toolkit for policymakers, research education, public service…that’s our mission,” Hans said. “The foundations of this (System) have never been stronger.”

What’s new?

  • The BOG began the meeting with a presentation of the 2021 Governor James E. Holshouser, Jr. Award for Excellence in Public Service to Jane Hoppin, associate professor of biological sciences at NC State University, and Arwin Smallwood, president from the Department of History and Political Science at NC A&T.
    • The award was established in 2007 and is given to faculty in the UNC system who “exemplify the University’s commitment to service and community involvement.”
    • Hoppin’s work focuses on the link between environmental exposures and health outcomes for communities in North Carolina and beyond.
      • “I’m really committed to training the next generation of researchers,” Hoppin said. “…So I hope my commitment to clean air and water for all continues, and I’m truly honored by this opportunity.”
    • Smallwood’s research primarily focuses on relations between African Americans, Native Americans, and Europeans in eastern North Carolina during the colonial period and early Antebellum.
      • Smallwood said he was a product of the UNC system and was proud of what he had accomplished over the years. The award means a lot to him, he said.
      • “I’m a North Carolina,” Smallwood said. “And I think my wife will tell you that besides her, I love nothing better than the state of North Carolina.”
    • President Randy Ramsey said the UNC system puts public service first, and Hoppin and Smallwood are examples of public service in action.
      • “I believe our system makes a useful difference from the mountains to the coast,” he said.
  • Hans stressed the need for accessible and affordable higher education.
  • Schools in the system are currently in their sixth year of flat undergraduate tuition, Hans said.
    • “A low-cost undergraduate education can send a powerful message about where college is going,” he said.
    • Because of the focused focus and public investment in BOG, Hans said tens of thousands of graduating college students can graduate without significant student loan debt.
  • Budget and Finance Committee member James L. Holmes said the 2022-2023 tuition and fees proposal was submitted by institutions in the UNC system.
    • The proposal does not recommend tuition increases for resident students, but several institutions have requested increases in nonresident tuition and set fees for new professional programs, Holmes said.
    • University Governance Committee Chair David Powers provided an update on the Kitty Hawk project. The program is an entity of the UNC system that aims to provide accessible education and degree pathways for working adult learners – an underserved market in North Carolina.
      • The project was launched with seed capital and about $97 million in government funds, Powers said.
      • The board passed Powers’ motion to accept the Kitty Hawk Project Conflict of Interest and Ethics Policy.
  • At the meeting of the University Staff Commission On Wednesday, BOG members reviewed the policy of delegating authority to the president of the UNC system, as well as the policy to provide maximum flexibility in appointing and setting compensation.
    • “These proposed revisions increase the delegations of authority to the president and boards of directors for various EHRA compensation actions,” said Kellie Hunt Blue, chair of the committee.
    • At UNC-Chapel Hill, the EHRA refers to certain non-academic, part-time and full-time positions, and includes minimum salary requirements.
    • The proposed revisions were approved by the committee for consideration by the board at its April meeting, Blue said.

Who’s on the BOG?

The UNC Board of Governors has 24 voting members and is led by UNC system president Peter Hans. Members are elected by the CN General Assembly House of Representatives and serve for staggered four-year terms. The President of the UNC Association of Student Governments is an ex-officio non-voting member.

And after?

The full BOG Board will meet again on April 6th.

Brianna Atkinson, co-editor of University Desk, and Liv Reilly, associate editor of University Desk, contributed reporting.

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