UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Archives for November 2011

‘Moving forward together’

Chancellor Linda P. Brady sat down with Campus Weekly’s editor before Thanksgiving to discuss and answer questions about a variety of important campus topics.

Chancellor Brady, you have spoken a number of times this semester about where we are going as a university. You made the metaphor of being “at a crossroads.” Can you tell about that?

This is a very challenging time in public higher education. As we have addressed budget cuts over the last several years, we have also made a commitment to moving forward. Much of that commitment is defined in our Strategic Plan, but the plan was written in late 2008 and early 2009, before any of us truly realized the severity of the economic crisis.

Our goal is to identify what makes UNCG distinctive. To define areas of strength and potential for excellence, and use what we learn to help us make decisions about the allocation of resources in a future in which we will have fewer resources to allocate.

As we look at academic program review specifically, how does this relate to the ongoing academic program review?

The academic program review will help us chart a course for the future of this university. While I hope we have taken the largest budget cut that we will have to take, I do expect there to be challenges ahead. The purpose of academic program review is to define areas of strength, to identify needs of the marketplace and the extent to which our academic programs are addressing those needs, to identify programs that have the potential for real distinction nationally and internationally, and to provide guidance to deans, department heads, the provost and myself that will enable us to invest resources in the future in ways that support those strengths. The academic program review is critically important to helping us define the future of the university.

Going back to the crossroads analogy, is that part of that metaphor?

I think it is. I believe we are at a crossroads in the sense that we expect the percentage of our budget that we receive from state-appropriated funds to continue to decline. At the same time, we maintain our commitment to providing access to students and supporting their success.

We also know that there are great areas of need, in fields for example like nursing, that we simply can’t meet because we don’t have the capacity. So we, and I believe most of the universities in the UNC system, are trying to identify areas of strength and areas of prominence because we know that we cannot continue to do everything that we do and maintain the quality of the institution. Over time, I believe that we will offer fewer academic programs, and that we will probably expand capacity in existing programs in which there is great need and great demand. Our focus must be on improving the quality of the university. The academic program review is a critical element in this process.

You spoke about access. As you talk with students through Chancellor Chats, through forums and in informal ways, what are you finding is on students’ minds now?

As you might expect given the current economic situation, students are very concerned about their ability to continue to afford a university education. While, over time, UNCG has kept tuition low, certainly in comparison with our national peers and with many of other campuses in the UNC system, the budget cuts we have experienced have had a direct impact on the number of classes that are available for students to take. As a result of that, some students are finding it challenging to get the courses they need to continue to make good progress toward their degree. At the same time, we are raising tuition and reinvesting most of those tuition dollars in adding back sections of classes that are in greatest demand and providing essential support services for students. I think the most critical issues on the minds of students relate to the cost of education and the quality of the education they are receiving.

Can I ask you specifically about tuition and fees for the coming year?

Every year, as you know, the BOG (Board of Governors) asks the universities to present recommendations for increases in tuition and fees. We have had two committees – both with significant student representation – working on a proposal since early September. (In mid-November) I received a recommendation from the committee that would result in a 10 percent increase for the 2012-13 academic year. That recommendation is designed to address some of the challenges that we face as a result of the budget cuts. But it is also designed to enable us to invest more funding into need based financial aid, waivers for graduate students, and faculty salaries. The faculty salaries piece is designed to help the university continue to make progress toward the goal of raising faculty salaries to the 80th percentile of our peers.

The Board of Governors has asked the universities to come forward with an additional quality enhancement supplement that would be phased in over a period of 3 to 4 years. This is designed to ensure that our tuition is more in line with the tuition of our national peers while remaining in the bottom quartile of those peers.

[The chancellor later updated CW on this: “I met with the UNCG Tuition Committee on November 18 to discuss a quality enhancement addition to the 10 percent increase that will result in an up to 3.5 percent increase over three years beginning in 2013-14. The committee has supported this plan, which I will take to the Board of Trustees on December 1-2.”]

We’re in the midst of the holiday season. The semester will soon wind down. When you look back on this semester, what are some of the highlights?

It has been an incredible semester on the campus. Let me indicate just a few highlights that I think convey the progress the university is making.

We have been involved for about two years now in planning our campus expansion to Lee Street. In September the Greensboro City Council unanimously approved our rezoning proposal as well as amendments to the Glenwood neighborhood plan that will enable us to proceed with Phase 1 (of the UNCG Mixed-Use Village).

What is exciting to me about that project is that it reinforces our goals related to student success – because we will not simply be building residence halls. We will be embedding learning communities within the Village. We know from our own experience – Ashby Residential College is the best example – that students who participate in learning communities are more successful academically. Their freshmen are more likely to return for the sophomore year and students graduate at a higher rate than the general student population.

The support we have received from the City of Greensboro and from members of the Glenwood neighborhood who spoke in favor of the plan at the City Council meeting sets us on a very positive course for the university. At the City Council meeting we made a commitment to continue to work with the neighborhood as we move beyond Phase 1 to Phases 2 and 3 of the project. To continue the dialogue that I believe worked extremely well for us and for the neighborhood in the discussion of Phase 1.

A second relates to the dedication of our new School of Education Building, which we also dedicated in September. The funding for that project was approved long before the economic downturn. Funding for capital projects is appropriated separately by the State. So, those capital projects have not been impacted by the economic crisis and the budget cuts. In fact, because of the market – the construction market – we have actually been able to do extremely well in terms of completing projects on which we have embarked in a very efficient way, simply because contractors are looking for work in this economic environment. One of the results of this School of Education project and many of the other projects – Jefferson Suites, the dining hall renovation and the Quad renovation – is that the university is actually providing a large number of jobs in this community as we move those projects forward.

The School of Education Building is a signature building. It is our first LEED certified building on this campus and have made a commitment in our Strategic Plan that every future building or major renovation project will aim for LEED certification.

That brings me to a third item that I think is extremely significant for this university. Last month we signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. Of course, sustainability is a core value in our Strategic Plan. But by signing that climate commitment we have as a university made a commitment to be carbon-neutral by 2050. We’re already engaged across the campus in a number of activities designed to reduce our carbon footprint. We’ve been doing this for a number of years. But signing the Presidents’ Climate Commitment commits us in a very official way to making real progress and we will be held accountable for it. What excited me about the signing ceremony is the fact that four UNCG students also signed, because our students – current and future – will be a big part of helping us make this happen.

There are obviously many other things that have gone on in the course of the semester. We earned the designation of Military Friendly School. We – through our Task Force on Military Veterans and Families – have launched some major initiatives to welcome veterans and to support their success at UNCG.

The climate commitment signing ceremony – that was a very special moment, for those who were gathered there. Can you speak about other special moments in the semester that come to mind?

Another special moment happened just yesterday (Nov. 17) when our State Employee Combined Campaign solicitors gathered to learn the results of our campaign at UNCG. We had set an ambitious goal this year of $235,000. John Locke, who did an incredible job of chairing the campaign, and Peggy Woods in University Advancement, who has supported this campaign longer than anyone can remember, did an incredible job in an environment in which we have 50 fewer employees on this campus. We actually increased participation by 10 percent and we exceeded our goal. I think that says something about the nature of the people who work here – our faculty and staff. While we have fewer employees, those of us who are here are giving more because we understand, in the current environment, that the needs are great. I think that speaks so highly of the culture of this university and the values of our faculty and staff.

Other special moments you would like to speak about?

The events we held on Veterans Day were very, very special. We have done some recognition in the past on Veterans Day. But this year in particular – beginning with the calling of names of men and woman who have lost their lives in Operation Iraqi Freedom and in Afghanistan, to very personal statements by some of our veterans and family members – I think it was a very moving event for all of us. The display of flags on Kaplan Commons, the playing of taps. I do believe that our veterans feel welcomed. We will continue to work with them to ensure that they find the support that they need to be successful at UNCG.

Another special moment for us occurred in early October when we co-hosted a reception at the JSNN for UNC President Tom Ross in conjunction with this inauguration. We worked very closely with our colleagues at North Carolina A&T State University on a three day series of events beginning with the reception, the inauguration the next day on the A&T campus, and then a meeting of the UNC Board of Governors on our campus. It was an incredible opportunity to host people from all over the state, to showcase the very strong collaborations between UNCG and North Carolina A&T, and to host new members of the Board of Governors. Many of them had not been on this campus or had not been on this campus in years. I think they were all incredibly impressed with the beauty of the campus, with the diversity of the campus and with the quality of the programs we offer.

Looking toward the next several months – are there some things the campus should anticipate?

Good question. The first thing the campus should anticipate – although hopefully it will not happen more than once – is with inclement weather coming, there will undoubtedly be at least one moment where we will have to make a decision about whether or not to close campus. I would encourage all members of the community – faculty, staff and students – to check the university web site, take a look at our inclement weather policy and be prepared. It’s always a difficult call. Our goal is to be open whenever we can be open. But it is also important for faculty, staff and students to know that we do not want anyone to attempt to come to campus if they do not believe it is safe to do so. (See related post.)

A very exciting event coming up in the beginning of December will be the dedication of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. We had a preview of JSNN earlier in the fall when we had the privilege of hosting a reception for UNC President Tom Ross in conjunction with his inauguration. But in December, JSNN will officially open with tours available. We encourage everyone to come out to the facility and look at the incredible work that faculty, staff and students will be doing there. (See related story.)

As we move into the spring, we will be bringing the academic program review process to closure. Here as well, I do encourage all members of the community – faculty, staff and students as well as alumni who have interest in our programs – to check the web site. The reports of all of the committees will be posted there. There will be vehicles for individuals to submit responses and reactions to those recommendations. We expect the recommendations to come forward from the University Program Review committee in March. I encourage everyone to keep up with that process. We have a link on the home page. If you click on that link, you will be taken to a page that provides up-to-the-minute descriptions of our progress.

Thank you, chancellor. Is there anything you would like to add?

I understand that we have moved through a very difficult year. This year has seen the most significant impact of budget cuts to date, certainly in the last four years, on the lives of our faculty staff and students. We know faculty are teaching more students. We know that many staff have taken on additional responsibilities as a result of the cuts. And we know that students face challenges as well. But I do want everyone in this community to understand how much I value what they are doing. We will continue to move forward together as a university.

Interviewed by Mike Harris
Photograph from earlier this year by Chris English

‘We made our goal’

The successful UNCG 2011 SECC campaign was one to be proud of – despite challenges. Or perhaps because of the challenges.

This year, due to budget cutbacks, there were fewer fellow employees – a loss our campus has felt in many ways.

“Not only did we lose employees, we haven’t had a raise in a long time and many families have one unemployed or underemployed spouse. Ironically, when the needs of the community are the greatest, the needs of our own faculty and staff are also the greatest,” SECC chair Dr. John Locke (Music) told the volunteer solicitors. He added, “Simply put, times are tough for many people.”

The solicitors had gathered in Virgina Dare Room to hear the results. Going into the weekend, the goal of $235,000 had not yet been met.

During the previous year’s campaign, the economy had been bad. Still, 44 percent contributed, Locke explained. This year, the economy is bad – and 48 percent contributed.

“On Monday afternoon, just three days ago, we made our goal!” Locke announced – to a big round of applause. He called several volunteers to the front of Virginia Dare Room to reveal the numbers.

The total – as of that day – was $238,796.

Chancellor Linda P. Brady told the volunteers, “I want to thank all of you for the incredible work.” She particularly noted the work of Locke, this year’s campaign chair and a longtime solicitor, and Peggy Woods, who has managed the campus’ campaign for years. And she noted the great number of UNCG faculty and staff who “stepped up” to surpass the goal.

Peggy Woods (University Advancement) will retire from UNCG effective Jan. 31. She received a big round of applause for her SECC work over the past years.

By Mike Harris. Photo by Mike Harris.

 

Feeling the holiday glow

As the Fall 2011 semester draws to a close, UNCG holiday events are in Alumni House, EUC – and seemingly everywhere:

Holiday Reception for faculty/staff – Tues, Dec. 6, 4-6 pm in Alumni House.
“This holiday season, let us pause and celebrate what it means to be a part of the UNCG family. Making a difference in people’s lives. Advancing our communities. Believing in the power of education,” the chancellor said, “in her invitation to faculty and staff. “Your contributions make us who we are. As Chancellor, I thank you for all that you do. Please be my special guest and join your colleagues and friends at UNCG’s Holiday Reception.”

Complimentary parking for the reception will be available for off-campus guests, in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck.

The UNCG Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble will perform Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite” back-to-back with Duke Ellington’s arrangement of the classic for jazz band at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 in Aycock Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $6 seniors, $4 students and $3 UNCG students. (See Spotlight.) Donate canned goods that evening for the Greensboro Urban Ministry.

The UNCG Holiday Choral Concert will feature an estimated 160 singers and musicians at 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 in First Presbyterian Church at 617 N. Elm Street in Greensboro. The free, public event includes the school’s student vocal groups performing sacred and secular selections. Donations will be accepted at the conclusion to support the First Presbyterian Church Advent Concert Series and the UNCG choral area. The concert will feature UNCG’s Chamber Singers, University Chorale, Schola Cantorum, Women’s Glee Club and Men’s Glee Club. All ensembles will enter to Mack Wilberg’s“Awake, Arise, and Hail the Morn” and will conclude the concert with Dwight Bigler’s “The First Noel.” Individual ensemble performances include “The Holly and The Ivy” and “A Savior From on High,” both by Stephen Paulus; “O Magnum Mysterium” and “O Nata Lux” by Morten Lauridsen; “Riu, Riu, Chiu” “Gaudete” and“Three Kings.” There will be carols for the audience to sing as well.

Luminaires The campus will glow by candlelight when the 42nd annual luminaire display takes place on Dec. 6, the evening of the Holiday Reception for faculty/staff. The luminaires will burn from 5-10 p.m. but fewer will be set out this year due to construction on campus. Visitors are invited to view the luminaires and join the UNCG community in welcoming the holidays. Sororities and fraternities, under the direction of Order of Omega Greek Leadership Honour Society, will host the display again. New technology in form of reusable battery operated candles will be tried because windy conditions in recent years have either blown out the candles or caused some of the bags to catch fire. The holiday tradition began at UNCG in 1969 and is held on Reading Day. The Order of Omega Greek Leadership Honour Society is coordinating fraternities and sororities that have already pledged their time to arrange the luminaires.

EUC Holiday Social will be Thursday, Dec. 1, 9:30 – 11 a.m., in Cone Ballroom, EUC. The campus community is cordially invited to celebrate the season with the staff of Elliott University Center and Campus Activities and Programs. Enjoy refreshments, festive music and holiday cheer.

The Student Alumni Ambassadors will hold their annual Branches of Love, From a Spartan event Saturday, Dec. 3. Branches of Love starts at 1 p.m. in the Alumni House. Dozens of student organizations and Greensboro community families form teams and compete to see who can decorate the best holiday tree. The fully decorated trees are given to needy families around Greensboro. For more information, email alhelms@uncg.edu. [Note: the date has been corrected]

At downtown Festival of Lights – Have you ever wanted to know what downtown Greensboro was like 30, 60 or even 100 years ago? From 6-9 p.m. Dec. 2, join UNCG students as they unveil their expanded project, “Windows to the Past: People, Places & Memory in Downtown Greensboro,” in That Space, 203 S. Elm St. (the former location of The Idiot Box) at Elm Street Center, 203 S. Elm St., as part of downtown Greensboro’s First Friday and Festival of Lights. They’ll share their research about nearly 40 buildings located throughout downtown, such as the Carolina Theatre, the Southern Railway Train Depot, the Greensboro Historical Museum, Natty Greene’s and the old Central Fire Department. On Dec. 2, pick up a walking tour brochure, talk with them about their research, and share your own memories of downtown Greensboro. Full details at UNCG News.

Holiday Open House at the Weatherspoon’s WAMshop, Thursday, Dec. 1, 6:30-8:30 p.m. – Enjoy hot cider and treats to help celebrate the festive time of year.

By Michelle Hines, Dan Nonte, Andrea Spencer, Joseph Dix and Mike Harris
Photo by David Wilson.

Rough weather – is UNCG open?

As colder weather approaches, Chancellor Brady explains the adverse weather policy for UNCG:

Date: November 7, 2011
To: Faculty, Staff and Students
Re: Adverse Weather Conditions

 

Dear UNCG Community,

With the winter season quickly approaching, it is important to take a moment and review the university’s plans for severe winter weather. UNCG is committed to maintaining the safety of the campus community, and has a variety of plans and policies to address concerns associated with adverse weather.

On occasion, severe winter weather may require classes to be canceled or the university to close. Early in the morning, usually before 6 a.m., I will consult with the UNCG Police Department and Facilities Operations to review campus conditions and make a determination to either close or limit operations based on weather, forecasts and the condition of the university. These factors will be reviewed throughout the day, with particular consideration given to evening events and night classes.

The Adverse Weather and Emergency Closings Policy contains the various university status options that may be used during adverse weather conditions. These options include:

  1. Classes Delayed/Offices Open
  2. Classes Delayed/Campus Offices Delayed Opening
  3. Classes Canceled/Campus Offices Open
  4. University Closed
  5. University Evacuated

More information on these status options can be found in the Adverse Weather and Emergency Closings Policy available at: http://web.uncg.edu/hrs/PolicyManuals/StaffManual/Section5/Adverse_Weather/

If the university remains open, but weather conditions make it difficult for employees to remain at, or travel to, work, we encourage you to make the decision that best fits with your personal safety concerns. Employees have the option to request the use of accumulated leave time or time without pay to remain at home or to leave work early. Please remember that all requests are subject to supervisor approval. It should be noted that the following groups of employees are considered essential: University Police, Physical Plant employees, Residence Life employees and Dining Services employees. These employees must report to work even if the university is closed. In addition, depending on the type of and severity of the emergency event, other groups of employees may be designated as essential and required to report to work. Your supervisor should help with that determination if there is any doubt. I also encourage all supervisors to have discussions with your staff now to make plans for how to communicate with and how to staff your offices during winter weather events.

The following notification systems will be used to relay up to date information should the university decide to close or to delay opening: the university’s adverse weather line at 336-334-4400, the main university phone line 336-334-5000, and UNCG’s homepage (www.uncg.edu). Additionally, the local TV stations are notified and the University’s Facebook (facebook.uncg.edu) and Twitter (twitter.uncg.edu) pages will be updated with the change in schedule or closing as decisions are made.

After an active winter season last year, we hope for a quiet winter this year. However, history has shown that it is important to be prepared for winter weather. Please take a moment now to ensure you and your family are prepared for adverse weather, as well as any emergency that may occur. For more information on winter weather preparedness at home and work, contact the Office of Emergency Management (BeReady@uncg.edu) or visit their website at emg.uncg.edu.

 

Sincerely,
Linda P. Brady
Chancellor

Kevin Geraldi talks Cubs baseball, Italian cooking and special classical/jazz ‘Nutcracker’ collaboration

When Steve Haines, head of the Miles Davis Program in Jazz Studies, approached Dr. Kevin Geraldi two years ago about sharing the stage for a concert, they didn’t know when the timing would be right for a collaboration.

It’ll be December 3, 2011.

Most everyone knows Tchaikovsky’s ballet “The Nutcracker,” and the suite of dances has become an orchestral holiday classic. It was redone in a very jazzy way by Duke Ellington in the 1960’s. Geraldi and Haines decided to take those very different approaches, and help the students and audience explore the differences and the beauty of each.

With the holidays approaching, the University Symphony Orchestra and the Jazz Ensemble will share a program, with “The Nutcracker” as a highlight. “We’re thinking this could only be done in December.”

How will it work? “The Orchestra will play the overture, for example. Then the Jazz Ensemble will do Ellington’s take on the piece.” They’ll be trading off, perhaps three minutes for one, then three for the other.

Geraldi wanted to do a program in which the jazz sounds like it belongs, he explains. The rest of the program features works by Leonard Bernstein, John Williams and George Gershwin. “It all fits together,” he says.

“It’s light and enjoyable. It’s fun to listen to.”

Geraldi directs the overall orchestral program; conducts the UNCG Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Band and Casella Sinfonietta; and is associate conductor of the UNCG Wind Ensemble. He teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting.

He has been at UNCG seven years.

The associate professor of conducting reflects on seeing the advertised position available in UNCG’s prestigious Music School – and envisioning the students he’d teach, the work he’d be involved in. “That’d be perfect for me” was his thought. “I knew it’d be the right fit.”

So what music does he listen to in his downtime? Contemporary and standard classical music, with John Adams and Jennifer Higdon as two favorite living composers.

“I’m interested in the current state of the art form – and bringing it to our students” – in addition to the “cornerstone” composers such as Bach.

“I enjoy chamber pieces too,” he adds.

A Chicago native, he received his bachelor’s from Illinois Wesleyan and his graduate degrees from the University of Michigan.

Which means in the fall, he pulls for Michigan football. And during the warm weather months, his allegiance is at Wrigley Field. “I am cursed to be a Chicago Cubs fan.”

What else does he enjoy in his downtime? “I love to cook. My heritage is Italian, so I especially enjoy making pasta dishes and other family recipes.”

Speaking of food, he says, bring canned goods when you come to the Dec. 3 concert. All will be donated to the Greensboro Urban Ministry.

By Mike Harris

Staff Senate Angel Tree 2011

The Angel Tree Project’s committee members announce this year’s effort:

The Angel Tree Project of 2010, sponsored by the Staff Senate Service Committee, was very successful and we were able to help four deserving families with clothing, toys, grocery and drug store gift cards. Their holidays were a little brighter, thanks to the many UNCG employees who contributed.

We would like to help more families this year and have the names of a number of UNCG employees who could use some assistance. We will have more detailed information regarding clothing sizes and types of toys/books the kids like in the next week or two, but we know there will be a great need for grocery store gift cards, based on some of the stories that have been shared with the Staff Senate Service Committee. We hope to help at least four families and some single individuals who are struggling.….with your generous support, we will have another successful Angel Tree.

All gifts/donations/gift cards will need to be turned in by December 15th , which isn’t that far away; hopefully, you can keep the Angel Tree in mind while you are shopping over the next week or two and pick up gift cards to grocery stores, Walgreens, WalMart, Target, etc. They will be put to excellent use. More information will be sent out the first week in December via your Staff Senate liaison and HR liaisons regarding specific “wish list” items.

If you have any questions or need gift items picked up by a committee member, please contact Maggie Dargatz at mmdargat@uncg.edu /4-5059 or Amy Cook at ancook2@uncg.edu / 4-4709.

Thank you all and we look forward to helping those in need in our UNCG Community.

– Staff Senate Service Committee (Lee Odom, Betty Betts, Amy Cook, Maggie Dargatz, Jennifer Hand, Karen Haywood, Dan Smith, Logan Stanfield, and Jeff Trivette).

JSNN open house Dec. 8

The official grand opening ceremony for the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) will be Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, at 5:30 p.m. Guest speakers on the dais will include North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue, Sen. Phil Berger, Rep. Harold Brubaker, UNC System President Tom Ross, UNCG Chancellor Dr. Linda Brady, NC A&T Chancellor Dr. Harold Martin and JSNN Founding Dean Dr. James Ryan.

A public Open House event will be held on Thursday, Dec. 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The JSNN facility is located at 2907 East Lee Street.

Full details are at UNCG News.

Rep. Miller takes in STEM, tours SOE

U.S. Rep. Brad Miller visited UNCG Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, to meet with faculty and graduate students involved in UNCG’s GK-12 program, take a brief tour of the new School of Education Building and participate in a panel lecture titled “Money, Money, Money … and Politics: Free Speech vs. Campaign Finance Reform.” Miller, who represents North Carolina’s 13th district in the U.S. Congress, is a member of the Committee on Science and Technology and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight.

Participants in the GK-12 roundtable discussion provided Miller and his staff with an overview of the unique partnership with Guilford County Schools and described the impact the program is having on participants from both UNCG and Guilford County Schools. Several graduate student fellows shared personal stories about how time spent in the K-12 classroom as resident scientists alongside Guilford County Schools teachers has taught them to effectively communicate their research to a wide variety of audiences. These Fellows also described interactive experiments they have used to engage elementary, middle and high school students and develop their interest in science.

Dr. John Lepri, associate professor, Department of Biology, and co-PI of the NSF GK-12 project; Austin Rouse, policy and funding analyst, Office of Government Relations; Mike Tarrant, director of strategic initiatives, Office of Government Relations; and Dr. Julia Jackson-Newsom, special assistant to the vice chancellor, Office of Research and Economic Development also participated in the discussion.

In conjunction with the Teacher Education and Higher Education department in the School of Education, the GK–12 program partners graduate student Fellows from three departmental graduate programs (Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Geography) with teachers and students at three Guilford County Schools in High Point, NC: Montlieu Elementary, Welborn Academy of Science and Technology and Andrews High School. Formally titled Transforming Minds in a Transitioning Community, the Fellows, teachers and students form discovery teams to scientifically investigate the biological, chemical, physical, health-related, and socioeconomic effects of changing land use patterns in the region.

After the discussion, Dr. Sam Miller, associate dean for academic and student affairs and professor, Department of Education, and Angel Biegert, administrative assistant for facilities, School of Education, gave the congressman a tour of the new School of Education Building.

 

LIHC and MERGE Academic Think Tank

A call for proposals is announced: Lloyd International Honors College and MERGE in the College of Arts and Sciences will offer a year-long academic Think Tank under the auspices of the Honors College. The Think Tank will bring together a faculty team, highly qualified students, and interested community partners to address an important societal issue or problem. Under the direction of the two faculty mentors, students will explore the complexities of the chosen topic for the year, participating in research, classroom learning, special events, and hearing from guest speakers during the fall semester, and completing a significant product of the Think Tank that has application to the wider community in the spring semester. They will earn three hours of Honors course credit in the spring semester for successful completion of the full year project.

Two-member full-time UNCG faculty teams may submit proposals. At least one faculty member must be in the College of Arts and Sciences. The honors college and MERGE encourage proposals that have a service-learning component.

Complete applications must be submitted by Dec. 15. At honorscollege.uncg.edu, see the Academic Think Tank link for the application and complete information.

See much-discussed ‘Wall Bearer’

If you haven’t seen the exhibition “Persona: A Body in Parts” at the Weatherspoon yet, a great time would be Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011, 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. At select times during the exhibition, individuals from UNCG and the community have been a part of one art piece, Kate Gilmore’s “Wall Bearer.” That afternoon is one of those times. Another opportunity will be Saturday, Dec. 3, from 2-5 p.m. Details at http://weatherspoon.uncg.edu/eventcalendar/show/?title=183-wall-bearer

Looking ahead: Nov. 30, 2011

Deadline for applications, UNCG Leadership Institute
Thursday, Dec. 1

Talk, “The Drama of Identity,” Kathryn Shields
Thursday, Dec. 1, 5:30 p.m., Weatherspoon

Women’s basketball vs. Chattanooga
Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.

Talk, Teddy Newton, on his Pixar film “Day & Night”
Thursday, Dec. 1, 7:30 p.m., SOE Building 114.

Board of Trustees meeting
Friday, Dec. 2, 8:30 a.m., Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House

Faculty Senate meeting
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 3 p.m., Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House

Staff Senate meeting
Thursday, Dec. 8, 10 a.m., EUC Auditorium

APR web site updates

The UNCG Academic Program Review web site (http://opa.uncg.edu/programreview) has been updated, according to a Nov. 2011 message sent to those who subscribe to its listserv. The email lists these updates:

The Academic Program Review timeline has been modified to include upcoming meetings of the University Program Review Committee and a meeting of the Unit Level Chairs and Academic Deans.

Under the “Useful Background Information” section, the “Reporting Program Discontinuation to GA and SACS” document has been updated to reflect changes in the SACS reporting guidelines and related GA documents. The “Consequences of Discontinuing Interdependent Programs” document has also been updated.

Chelimo earns All-America honors

Sophomore Paul Chelimo came in 13th place to become the first runner in UNCG history to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Championship.

Chelimo broke his own school record he set at the NCAA Southeast Regional by 13 seconds.

Teammate Joey Thompson, a senior, finished in 189th place. Thompson, with a 3.96 GPA in finance, claimed the NCAA Elite 89 award following the race. The award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative gpa participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA championships.

On the women’s side, senior Ashley Schnell finished in 66th place. She missed becoming an All-American by 16 seconds, David Percival notes.

Full story at UNCG Athletics.

Businessweek ranks Evening MBA Program highly

Bloomberg Businessweek has ranked the Evening MBA Program in the Bryan School of Business and Economics among the nation’s top part-time MBA programs of 2011.

Bryan’s program ranks No. 50, up from No. 64 in 2009. Among programs in public universities, the Bryan program ranks No. 22, earning even higher marks for affordability and salary increases for its students. Businessweek rankings were based on separate measures of student satisfaction, academic quality and post-graduation outcomes.

Full story at UNCG News.

CW’s holiday schedule

The final CW of the semester will be the Dec. 7 issue. The first issue of the new semester will be Jan. 11.

Four free tickets, soda and popcorn

It’s Staff/Faculty Appreciation Day on Monday, Dec. 5, at the men’s basketball game against Elon. Each Staff and Faculty member may receive up to 4 complimentary tickets to the game. Each ticket will come with a coupon for a free popcorn and soda. Game time is set for 7 p.m. with gates opening at 6 p.m.

The deadline to register is Thursday, Dec. 1.

To reserve your complimentary tickets, visit http://bit.ly/ueCSVE

Offer deadline is Dec. 1, 2011.

In memoriam

Charles Williamson died Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. He was a building environmental services technician in the Sullivan Science Building. He was employed with UNCG for over six years.

UNCG Heart Walk teams forming

UNCG faculty, staff and students have been strong supporters of the American Heart Association Heart Walk for many years by raising money and walking, Dr. Kim Sousa-Peoples (New Student & Spartan Family Programs) notes. UNCG has been recognized by the AHA as a Gold Level Start! Fit-Friendly company.

Right now, UNCG Heart Walk teams are forming for the 2012 walk.

“If you are interested in starting a campus team or joining an existing team, now is the time,” she says.”The AHA makes organizing a team and fund-raising very easy.”

The walk, which will be Saturday, May 19, 2012, at Country Park in Greensboro, is a fun-filled event with thousands of fellow walkers. Even those who can’t make the walk event can still join a team and help raise funds, she says.

Contact Sousa-Peoples at 4-5231 or ksp@uncg.edu for more information.

Bookstore’s faculty/staff appreciation sale

On Dec. 1, 2011, find something for all the Spartans on your holiday shopping list. In addition to your current 20% Faculty/Staff discount, take an extra 10 percept off non-book items.

Magazines, computer hardware and software are not included.

Simply present your SpartanCard to the cashier to receive your discount.

DCL wins 2011 Davey Awards

UNCG’s Division of Continual Learning (DCL) recently won a record eight International Davey Awards, honoring the finest creative work from the best small firms, agencies and companies worldwide.

The Spring/Summer 2011 “Master of Arts in Liberal Studies” print campaign received a Gold Award. In addition, Silver Awards were awarded for the integrated “UNCG Online” and “UNCG in 3” marketing campaigns, as well as specific advertising executions for the Bryan School’s “MSITM/HITM” online ad campaign, and the “Conflict and Peace Studies” print campaign.

This year the International Davey competition received over 4,000 entries.

Nominations for Student Excellence Award

Lloyd International Honors College is now inviting nominations for the Student Excellence Award. These awards are given to seniors whose academic careers are outstanding both inside and outside the classroom. Each academic department and interdisciplinary program may nominate up to two students for the award. Nomination packets have been sent to faculty and can be found at www.honorscollege.uncg.edu. The deadline for receiving nominations is Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, in 205 Foust Building. If you have any questions, please call Lloyd International Honors College at 334-5538.

Counseling students build HIV awareness

As World AIDS Day 2011 approaches, students in the Counseling and Educational Development program are doing their part to increase HIV/AIDS awareness on campus and beyond campus.

Graduate students in Dr. Christine Murray’s Sexuality Counseling course, in partnership with Triad Health Project, have launched “I HAVE HIV Awareness” to provide education and resources, and promote safe sex practices.

As part of the “I Have HIV Awareness” campaign, the class is sponsoring a free movie showing on campus on World AIDS Day, Thursday, Dec. 1. The film, “Girl Positive,” starring Jennie Garth, begins at 7 p.m. in Room 100, Ferguson Building. A Q&A session with representatives from Triad Health Project follows.

“I Have HIV Awareness” culminates with the class’s participation in Triad Health Project’s 20th Annual Winter Walk on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011.

More details at UNCG News and at http://www.facebook.com/i.have.HIV.awareness.

See/Hear: November 30, 2011

YouTube Preview Image

As we look toward the official opening of the JSNN Building – the Open House is Dec. 8 – first a look back at the Groundbreaking two years ago.

Dr. Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll

Dr. Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll (Interior Architecture) has been elected to a two-year term as chair of the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions. Based at the University of Georgia, the alliance is devoted to representing the nation’s preservation design review commissions. It provides technical support and manages an information network to help local commissions, and it advocates at federal, state and local levels of government to promote policies and programs that support preservation. Full story at UNCG News.

Dr. Valerie Vickers

Dr. Valerie Vickers (School of Education) was presented the Greensboro Public Library’s Thomas Berry Award at a tribute to Thomas Berry event at Guilford College on Nov. 11. Dr. Charlie Headington (Religious Studies) has received this award previously. The award recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated a sustained effort to implement environmental programs based on the life and writings of Greensboro native Thomas Berry. The nomination noted: Valerie’s connection to Thomas Berry goes back to the 1990s when she met him as he was giving a talk about his book “Dream of the Earth,” at UNCG. In the late ’90s Valerie began her PhD work in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations and eventually wrote a dissertation titled: An Exploration of Ecological Identity: Education to Restore the Human/Earth Relationship. Much of that work was inspired by Thomas Berry, and she was able to interview him as a centerpiece of the narrative research on ecological identity development. Valerie has been an active leader with Environmental Stewardship Greensboro since it came into being. Her work with that organization, which serves as an interfaith network working to create more sustainable congregations and community, has been informed by Thomas Berry….Valerie has demonstrated a unique ability to transform the spiritual understanding she has gained, in large part, through Thomas’ work, into practical solutions to address our environmental crises. As a science teacher at Greensboro Day School for 25 years, she was able to create connections between her students and the natural world. Valerie has also been active in many other community efforts to create a more environmentally sustainable Greensboro. She has worked on the Board of Greensboro Beautiful, led Big Sweep groups, worked with the Cooperative Extension Service as an Envirothon Coach and now volunteers at the region and state competitions for middle schools and high schools. Currently, she serves on the Community Sustainability Council, which has created a sweeping, yet practical proposal for substantially lowering our city’s carbon footprint.”

Economics faculty

A number of faculty members in the Economics Department participated in the Southern Economic Association annual meetings in Washington, DC, Nov. 19-21.

  • Dora Gicheva presented her papers, “Tax Exemptions for Employer Provided Tuition Assistance and Graduate Education” and “Does the Student-Loan Burden Weigh into the Decision to Start a Family,” and served as a discussant
  • Garth Heutel presented his paper, “Incidence and Environmental Effects of Distortionary Subsidies,” and served as a chair and discussant
  • Stephen Holland presented his paper, “Permit Volatility and Compliance Timing in Cap and Trade Programs,” and served as a discussant
  • Steve Layson presented his paper, “MLB Entry and Exit: The Effects on Incumbent Attendance” (co-authored with Peter Bearse), and chaired a session
  • Dave Ribar presented his paper, “Getting Subsidized Food All Over Your Family” (co-authored with PhD student Jonathan Woodward) and served as a discussant
  • Ken Snowden presented his paper, “Growth, Disruption, and Recovery During the Last Great Housing Crisis: Comparing Building and Loans in New Jersey and North Carolina,” and served as a discussant
  • Chris Swann served as a chair and discussant

Eric Scott

Eric Scott (Housing & Residence Life) was recently recognized as the Outstanding New Professional of the Year during the 38th annual conference of the North Carolina Housing Officers’ (NCHO) Association. The Outstanding New Professional Award recognizes a colleague in the first three years of professional level employment in Housing and Residence Life who displays exemplary service to the field and their own institution, has demonstrated outstanding performance in their position, has made an outstanding contribution to their department and campus, and has demonstrated potential for successful and effective careers in residence life work. Eric is the Coordinator for Residence Life over Phillips/Hawkins Residence Halls and works with the International House and Mosaic programs within his hall.

Woody Burkhead

Woody Burkhead (Housing & Residence Life) recently received an R. Randy Rice Service Award at the 38th annual conference of the North Carolina Housing Officers’ (NCHO) Association. R. Randy Rice Service Awards are given to those deserving staff at individual institutions who have gone beyond the call of duty and/or service to support the mission, goals, and/or activities of the Residence Life and/or Housing program. Woody is the Assistant Director for Facilities and oversees the FIXT/Maintenance Shop operation as well as various other residence hall projects throughout the year for the department.

Walk this way

The next time you come to a stop at the Lee Street/Glenwood Avenue stoplight, look around. Soon, the area will start to look much different.

“Forget about the Lee Street of today,” says Mike Byers, associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises. “Think about the Lee Street of tomorrow.”

Phase I of the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village project is beginning. One project will be a pedestrian underpass connecting the two parts of campus. It will be located beside the Lee/Glenwood interchange. Because work is being coordinated with the railroad, construction dates are hard to say with certainty. The North Carolina Railroad Company owns the tracks and the primary user is Norfolk Southern Railroad.

It will be a large plaza, Byers explains, between the railroad tracks and Lee Street.

The semicircle plaza will have a diameter of about 250 feet along West Lee Street, with a radius of approximately 150 feet, says David Reeves (Facilities Design and Construction). There will be a focal point structure approximately 30 feet tall. The underpass itself will be 14 feet wide and 11 feet tall, with a blue and gold mosaic tile ceiling, Reeves explains. It will be illuminated 24 hours per day.

The new campus Police Station building will be located beside it.

The plaza’s topography will allow for steps on the west side of the plaza. Students will be able to sit on the steps much like they do at the Fountain near the Dining Hall. There will be a ramp as part of the design.

Phase I of the mixed use village – which is breaking ground now, Byers explains – will provide for 800 beds for students, which includes Lofts on Lee. All 800 beds are scheduled to be online by August 2013.

Not all of the current dwellings will be retained. Architectural Salvage of Greensboro and LOT 2540, Inc. of Rockingham County combed through the homes not to be saved, salvaging reusable materials for use in other homes. Architectural Salvage is a volunteer-based organization focused on architecturally significant items. LOT 2540 runs a work force program which employs people who are in transition, says Terri Cartner (UNCG Property Acquisition & Leasing). “It’s been a great marriage of conservation and preservation because they each want different items,” she adds. Both organizations run a “salvage” store where the public can purchase items salvaged for re-use.

The Greensboro Fire Department, Byers says, has used five houses that have been gutted to again and again practice fire-fighting techniques in live-burn training. Another live-burn is scheduled for later this month. Additionally, other agencies have used vacant structures for training.

Preservation Greensboro Development Fund plans to move at least two houses, Cartner says. To this point, Cantner adds, individuals have moved two additional houses.

By Mike Harris
Visual: Draft rendering of underpass.

Forecast: mild during day, cooler on nights/weekends

UNCG is making changes that will help in conserving energy – plus will result in saving money. Those working this winter after-hours or on a weekend may want to have a sweater on hand, so they can stay warm and comfortable at all times.

Chancellor Linda P. Brady explains the changes in this message:

November 9, 2011
TO: The Campus Community
FROM: Linda Brady
RE: Sustainability Standards of Comfort and Energy reduction goal
Dear Colleagues:

UNCG is required by General Statutes to reduce our energy consumption by 30% on or before 2015, from a fiscal year 2002-03 base line. In addition, the UNC System Sustainability Policy (600.6.1) requires us to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest. On Sustainability Day, October 26, 2011, I signed the American College and University President’ s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) strengthening our commitment to Sustainability. At the same event, I announced a 5% energy reduction goal for the current fiscal year. Achieving this goal will be the equivalent of removing 1220 passenger vehicles from the road for an entire year and will result in a financial savings of approximately $300,000 for the year.

In keeping with UNCG’s strategic plan value of Sustainability, the university is developing strategies to meet the legislated mandated energy reduction, to reduce our carbon footprint, and conserve our very limited financial resources. These strategies will likely challenge the current thinking and perception of how we use energy on campus and they will require that we to adapt our behavior and expectations.

It is estimated that buildings consume approximately 39% of the energy and 74% of the electricity produced in the United States, therefore energy reduction in buildings is an imperative step in the energy conservation journey.

As other universities have done, I am announcing the adoption of a Standards of Comfort Policy that establish heating and cooling parameters as well as occupancy hours for occupied space in buildings. A copy of the policy can be found at http://www.uncg.edu/ppo/UNCG_Standards_of_Comfort.pdf.

The Facilities Operations department is responsible for leading the implementation of the Standards of Comfort Policy. Representatives from the Facilities Operations department will meet with campus department representatives during the next several weeks to review the policy requirements and any special circumstances.

Changes in our approach to the university’s use of energy will help us save our very limited financial resources, significantly impact our energy consumption and greenhouse emissions, and respond to our sustainability value and strategic plan. For these reasons, I encourage you to support these efforts.

Thank you.

 

Pixar’s Teddy Newton will come to campus

Watching Pixar films like “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille” is great fun. Designing characters in these films must have quite an experience.

But directing an Oscar-nominated short that appeared before every big-screen showing of “Toy Story 3”?

Pixar artist Teddy Newton will speak Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at UNCG’s School of Education Building, Room 114. The topic of his public talk is his animated short “Day & Night,” which he created with producer Kevin Reher.

UNCG professor Heather Holian (Art) has extensively researched Pixar. She notes that Newton’s business card title says “Professional Muse.” He has explained that much of what he does at Pixar since joining in 2000 may not end up in a movie, but it may act as a creative springboard.

Newton began his professional career at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he story boarded on the animated features “Pocahontas,” “Fantasia 2000” and “Mulan.”

From 1997-2000, he was at Warner Bros. Animation, where he story boarded and designed characters for “The Iron Giant” and developed the television series “The Atomic Family.”

In addition to his work designing characters, he has been instrumental in the creation of the “end titles” of “The Incredibles” and “Ratatouille.” He contributed to visual development on “Cars”, “WALL*E” and “Up.” And he is often cast as a voice in Pixar films, including the role of Chatter Telephone in the feature film “Toy Story 3.”

His art is a part of “Pixar: 25 Years of Animation,” an exhibition that is currently on tour abroad. Holian was invited to speak at the closing weekend festivities for the exhibition earlier this year in California. She used the opportunity to continue her research at the Pixar Animation Studios.

The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Art and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Holian, who regularly teaches the popular course “Art of Disney and Pixar (ARH 210), says, “In my opinion, Teddy is one of the most versatile and talented artists working in studio animation today. He can do it all! From story boarding to character designs to directing to writing and illustrating children’s books. And he’s just as comfortable and effective working in marker or collage, as he is in graphite pencil, which is his favorite material. He is a virtuoso.”

By Mike Harris

 

Free party before the game

The UNCG men’s basketball team opens at home to UNC Pembroke on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, at 7 p.m. in the Greensboro Coliseum.

ZipcarU will host a tailgate for all fans from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. in the Greensboro Coliseum parking lot. Enjoy a cornhole competition complete with prizes of T-shirts, water bottles and Zipcar memberships. There will be food from Bojangles and Subway for the first 500 in attendance.

The fun continues with a kickoff party inside the Coliseum pavilion, sponsored by CAB. There will be giveaways, games and inflatables.

To purchase men’s basketball tickets, visit www.uncgspartans.com or call 334-3250 for different ticket options.


 

Pace CEO spring commencement speaker

Bonnie McElveen-Hunter will deliver the 2012 commencement address. McElveen-Hunter is the founder and CEO of Pace Communications, current chairman of the American Red Cross, and former U.S. ambassador to Finland.

UNCG’s spring commencement takes place Friday, May 4, in the Greensboro Coliseum.

She will receive an honorary doctorate during the ceremony.

“I am honored to announce a commencement speaker of the caliber of Bonnie McElveen-Hunter,” said Chancellor Linda P. Brady. “With her achievements as an ambassador, a humanitarian and a businesswoman, she is a role model and an inspiration for UNCG graduates.”

Full story at UNCG News.

Discounts, on-campus and off

Spartan Savings on-campus provides faculty and staff lots of discounts. From reduced prices on software to savings on many UNCG Bookstore items to discounts on many cultural events and many summer camps, the offerings can be viewed online.

In addition, the off-campus Spartan Savings program provides for discounts to about 15 participating businesses, which can be viewed online.

Dr. Christine Murray, chair of the UNCG Benefits Committee, explained at last week’s Staff Senate meeting that one of last year’s major initiatives for the committee had been to continue to strengthen the Spartan Savings program. Over the last year, the committee also worked with HRS to develop an enhanced benefits information web site, and they explored options regarding on-campus child care, which she noted was a “very complex issue.”

Charges for the Benefits Committee this year include:

  • Work with Mike Tarrant and his office on UNC system-level advocacy regarding system benefits that impact UNCG employees (e.g., health insurance, domestic partner benefits)
  • Address morale issues likely to result from budget cuts, continued lack of raises, and continued increased costs of benefits
  • Continue to monitor progress of previous work of the committee

Three will go to NCAA Nationals

UNCG’s Paul Chelimo (in picture) and Ashley Schnell became the first runners in school history to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships as the duo led the Spartans last Saturday at the NCAA Southeast Regional.

Joey Thompson also earned a bid to nationals as an at-large selection.

Thompson, Chelimo and Schnell will run on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind., says David Percival.