UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Positions cut

UNCG’s budget cut of more than 15 percent has meant the loss of positions throughout the university.

  • Figures available late last week show 235 FTE (full-time equivalent) positions are being eliminated.
  • These include approximately 156 faculty positions.
  • About half of the eliminated positions were held vacant earlier, to help reduce the number of filled positions lost.

“These cuts are real, they are painful and they impact us all. Supporting one another will be more important than ever, especially those whose positions are impacted by budget reductions,” the chancellor said in announcing the cuts.

“I have seen firsthand members of the UNCG community going the extra mile to support one another and our university. Our faculty are taking on increased teaching loads. Many of our staff are filling multiple roles as a result of cutbacks,” she said in her email.

The figures were available last Thursday as she, Provost Perrin and Reade Taylor spoke at the Board of Trustees retreat. Brady noted the cut was 15.3 percent in state appropriations in addition to the ending of the iSchool program.

Among the figures presented to the trustees:

  • 235 full-time-equivalent positions (FTE) are being cut. Many were filled by more than one person – for example, several part-time individuals may account for one full-time position.
  • 626 people are no longer employed at UNCG because of the budget cuts, Taylor said. This includes individuals with full-time positions, those with part-time positions, those holding a full-time job elsewhere who would have taught a course at UNCG, etc. 543 of those no longer employed at UNCG were faculty.
  • Of those 626 individuals, 582 were in Academic Affairs. Business Affairs, with the second-highest losses, lost 32.

Additionally, a lower enrollment this year (the result of UNCG’s heightened standards for incoming students) is expected to result in a loss of about $1.5 million, Perrin noted.

Students will be greatly affected by the cuts. UNCG will suffer the loss of about 40,500 seats and 975 course sections, Brady said. Class sizes will be larger. Provost Perrin has worked with the Deans Council to identify and protect the most crucial courses to keep students on track for graduation, she said, and a temporary course substitution policy was approved for students whose graduation might otherwise be delayed.

“I encourage you to reach out to your colleagues who serve on the UNCG Budget Sounding Board, Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Student Government Association and Graduate Student Association and share your thoughts and suggestions for dealing with the difficult challenges we face,” Brady added. “I personally value your feedback and thoughts. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly by emailing lpbrady@uncg.edu.”

By Mike Harris

Byers updates BOT on Lee St, rezoning request

The big picture is the positive impact UNCG is about to have on Greensboro, said Mike Byers, associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises. Whereas the city’s plan to spur development along the Lee Street/High Point Road corridor might have taken many years, the university’s investment in the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village will do that much more quickly, he explained.

Chancellor Linda P. Brady made introductions as the Board of Trustees’ July 15 teleconference meeting began. “This will be an informational meeting,” Brady explained, an opportunity for trustees to be updated on the process. She noted a rezoning request was planned for the Greensboro City Council on Sept. 13.

She introduced Byers, who provided the details on the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village and the rezoning request.

“The Lee Street corridor needs redevelopment, and we’re prepared to do it,” Byers said, noting the significant economic impact the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village will have along the corridor.

Byers explained that Phase I of the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village project will encompass 800-bed student housing, with mixed-use space on the ground floors along Lee Street. Some space on the ground level may include UNCG programs. Additionally, there will be a mail room and a cafe, each open to the public. These buildings will go back about 1 1/2 blocks off of Lee Street, he said. In August 2013, this section of student housing is scheduled to open.

UNCG has a rezoning application, Byers explained. And UNCG has requested that Glenwood change its Neighborhood Plan for certain areas from single family to mixed-use residential. He said it’s a matter of adjusting a line in that plan, for several blocks east to west, on the south side of Union Street. UNCG proposes to change the depth of the swath of mixed-use residential development in the neighborhood plan, he said.

Byers said a final Memorandum of Understanding between the Glenwood Neighborhood and UNCG will probably take several more months, but that is not required for the current rezoning request.

He also spoke of a few things that will happen in the same time frame as Phase I:

  • The police facility is under design. To be located very near the pedestrian underpass, it is planned to open in 2013.
  • The pedestrian underpass is nearing completion of its design. The underpass project will break ground this fall, he expects, and will open in 2013.
  • Additionally, he noted that some residents have expressed concern about the proposed size of the recreation center, which is not part of Phase I. In response to concerns from the neighborhood, he said that in the plans they have moved it one block away from where they had hoped to place it, which was near the underpass. “We moved it a block to the west,” he said, to an area currently zoned Industrial.

The addition of on-campus housing is part of UNCG’s strategic housing plan. National data has shown that students living on campus are more likely to be successful academically, the chancellor has explained.

The majority of the facilities proposed for the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village are student housing facilities. UNCG will borrow money to build these. The debt service (mortgage payment) on these buildings and the money it takes to operate them from day-to-day will come from the rents charged to students who will live there. More details about the funding can be found in this FAQ document.

 

By Mike Harris
Visual: Draft rendering of Lee Street sidewalk

New HHS school opens, Hooper listens

071311Headline_HHSThe School of Health and Human Sciences began its first day July 1. The morning was marked with coffee and pastries in the Edwards Lounge of Stone Building at the “meet with the dean” event.

“It’s schmoozing,” said Dean Celia Hooper, welcoming a faculty member who popped in. “It’s ‘Talk with the Dean.'”

The informal event was marked by conversations about family and former work experiences, as attendees gathered around a table. Questions and topics broached ranged from the new middle college, of which HHS is the sponsor, to online learning, to community support for HHS and UNCG, to the economy and the budget.

“I’ve been in the UNC system 25 years,” Hooper said, referring to the budget cuts and the economy. “It’s the worst I’ve ever seen. But it’ll get better.”

The morning event was part of what Hooper calls her “listening tour.”

As the event drew to a close, Hooper spoke with CW:

On her recent web posting, where she refers to HHS’s commitment to “improving the human condition”:

A UNCG alumnus suggested that line, Hooper explained, as he spoke of the heritage of the former schools of HES and HHP. The faculty of the new HHS school were largely drawn from those two schools. “Not only in the name of the school but in what they do, they improve the human condition,” he told her. She added, “When you look at ‘Human Environmental Sciences’ and ‘Health and Human Performance,’ the common word is ‘human’. He stressed that you realize how special the [new] school is. It doesn’t mean that every single faculty member has a human project, but it’s a theme that ties us together.”

About her ‘listening tour’:

“I did that when I was a new department chair. I did it when I was a new dean in the past. Whenever you come into a new job, there are new people. You don’t know what they do. And you saw today, you don’t know about them personally. I just talk with them and find out what their passion is. Often I take notes when I go visit with faculty. And I stick them in a file, and later there may be an opportunity that comes along – maybe a research grant or a donor or some people on campus will want to do something. I will already know, ‘Hey, why don’t you talk with so and so.’ My job is to serve them and help them do a better job.”

On HHS:

“Based on what I already know about all of our faculty in seven departments and two programs and three centers, this particular group of people is very committed to community connections. The fancy term is ‘scholarship of engagement.’ This is going to be a special feature of the school. Not every single faculty member but every department or program is connected to Greensboro or the state or the nation or globally in some program that isn’t insulated.”

The school’s departments and program are in various locations, as the new HHS web site notes:

  • Ferguson Building: Communication Sciences & Disorders and the Therapeutic Recreation lab of the Department of Community and Therapeutic Recreation.
  • Stone Building: Nutrition, Human Development & Family Studies and Social Work.
  • HHP Building: Community and Therapeutic Recreation, Kinesiology, Public Health Education, and the main offices and classrooms of the middle college.
  • McIver Building: Genetic Counseling Program and the Gerontology Program.
  • The HHS Office of Academic Outreach is on Oakland Avenue,
  • The Speech and Hearing Program (and Telepractice) is at the Gateway University Research Park North Campus.

The Health and Human Sciences web page is www.uncg.edu/hhs.

The dean’s blog, to help everyone stay informed, is at http://uncgdeanblog.wordpress.com/

Additionally, a doctoral student has opened an HHS Facebook page: www.facebook.com/UNCG.HHS

Visual: Dean Celia Hooper at a recent meeting
By Mike Harris
Photograph by Chris English

Yes, the Dining Hall remains open

062911Headline_TheCafThe Fountain is shut off, indefinitely. Fencing is up. Utility work will soon begin outside the west side of the Dining Hall. It will be done in stages, to ensure access into the Dining Hall at all times.

The Dining Hall remains open, just like always.

“We’ll be serving as many students as in any other summer,” says Scott Milman, director of auxiliary services.

The Dining Hall renovation project’s Phase I will begin in late summer. This project will provide a much better experience for UNCG students, while providing for a large commons area as students enter the renovated building. The glass facade will allow for an impressive view onto the Fountain area and the Quad, particularly from the new second floor exterior balcony.

The renovation will be paid for over time by a portion of the students’ meal plan fees.

The entire project is scheduled to last about 28 months, with some parts completed before others.

Before Phase I work begins, utility work must be completed, Bob Snyder explains. He is facilities maintenance coordinator for campus enterprises. The southern and western parts of the dining hall are in a low-lying area. In the past, a heavy downpour has left vehicles at the loading dock nearly underwater. The underground pipes that provide drainage for that area of campus into Buffalo Creek, currently 24 inches wide, are being replaced with piping 2 1/2 times wider, at 60 inches. Part of that piping will extend under the southwest corner of the new glass facade. Before the foundation is created, the piping must be in place, Snyder says.

The renovation work will begin during the fall semester, says Scott Milman. The “bird cage” – the white structure currently at the west entranceway – will come down at that time.

Ultimately, with an expanded and enhanced west side, the building will have two eateries, a convenience store and a post office area near the entrance. There will also be a large staircase as you enter, taking you to the dining area. Plans for the dining area include 10 stations, with a variety of choices. The current central stairwell, in the hub of the Dining Hall, will be removed.

The main entryway from College Avenue will take you onto the second floor. The current tunnel from College Avenue will be retained, through it will be straightened.

The Dining Hall will remain open during renovation.

By Mike Harris
Visual of Karen Core leaving the Dining Hall. Photograph by Mike Harris.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n9RKsg6cQw

Edna Chun to lead Human Resource Services

061511Headline_ChunDr. Edna Chun will be the next associate vice chancellor for Human Resource Services. Her first day will be July 6.

Chun comes to UNCG from Broward College, a very large, multi-campus community college, where she has been vice president for human resources and equity.

“The Search Committee, our values and strategic plan, and the opportunity to lead UNCG in this role attracted an impressive slate of candidates,” said Reade Taylor, vice chancellor for business affairs. “Dr. Chun brings to UNCG experience as a seasoned HR professional with particular strengths in HR programming in an era of budget restrictions, in strategic planning, and in diversity and inclusion.”

At Broward College, she led the development of its Total Rewards Strategy, resulting in an employee compensation system that promoted consistency and equity. She negotiated labor agreements with faculty and staff. And she initiated a range of cost-savings initiatives.

Chun received the Kathryn G. Hansen Publication Award for her co-authored book “Bridging the Divide: Globalization and Reciprocal Empowerment in Higher Education” (2009). She also received that award for the co-authored book “Are the Walls Really Down? Behavioral and Organizational Barriers to Diversity” (2007). Another co-authored book, “Diverse Administrators in Peril,” is scheduled for publication this year.

Before joining Broward College in 2006, she was assistant vice president for human resources and chief affirmative action officer at the State University of New York at Geneseo (2003-06). She was assistant vice president for human resources at the Brooklyn College of the City of New York (2002-03). At Kent State University (2000-02), she was special assistant to the president / vice president for human resources.

She is a member of the Publications/Editorial Advisory Board of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, the Editorial Board of “INSIGHT into Diversity” magazine, the Board of Directors of the Broward County Urban League and the National Advisory Group and Program Planning Committee for the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

She received her bachelor’s degree at Oberlin College in music and a master’s in Chinese literature at Columbia University. She also received a master’s in music and a doctorate in music (piano pedagogy) from the University of Indiana.

She succeeds Alan Bridge, who retired Feb. 1.

Five receive top service awards

060111Headline_ServiceAwardsAll are trailblazers in their own way. One forged a path in a male-dominated field. One led the charge for education for all. One has received national recognition for her research as well as the accolades of her students. Another has spent her life providing affordable housing to families. Another has sought to end poverty. Five women received UNCG’s top awards for service on May 19: Dr. Katherine A. Rawson, Susan Whittington, Patricia Gibson Garrett, Dot Kendall Kerns and Sue Woodall Cole (seen receiving the evening’s final award, the McIver Award.) See story at University News page.

William Wiener named Graduate School dean

051811Headline_WilliamWienerDr. William Wiener, dean in residence at the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington, has been appointed dean of the Graduate School at UNCG and will begin work Aug. 1.

He comes to UNCG after five years as vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School at Marquette University, where he also is a professor in the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. He holds a PhD in counselor education and supervision, an MA in blind rehabilitation, and an MA in speech pathology and audiology.

He previously served as a faculty member and later as program director of blind rehabilitation at Cleveland State University, as chairperson of the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies at Western Michigan University, and as senior associate dean and then dean of the Graduate College at Western Michigan. His credentials include certification as an orientation and mobility specialist and as a rehabilitation counselor.

“Dr. Wiener’s experience leading the graduate schools at Western Michigan University and Marquette University combined with his recent experience as dean in residence at the Council of Graduate Schools will prove invaluable to the leadership he will provide to the Graduate School,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David H. Perrin. “His accomplishments with fundraising and advocacy will help us to continue to build our resources in support of our graduate students.”

Wiener, who also will hold an appointment as professor in the School of Education’s Department of Counseling and Educational Development, succeeds James Peterson, PhD, dean of the Graduate School since 2002. UNCG enrolls more than 3,000 graduate students and offers 26 doctoral programs and 61 master’s programs.

“I was attracted to UNCG because of its values and the quality of its programs,” Wiener said. “The university is student oriented and community engaged while at the same time placing a premium on the discovery of new knowledge and facilitating creativity.”

His disciplinary interests include counseling persons with disabilities, the use of audition by persons with vision loss and independent travel for persons with disabilities. The author of numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, he is the primary editor of the leading textbook on independent travel for persons who are blind or who have low vision.

He has served as president of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, chairperson of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, board member of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education, board trustee of the American Foundation for the Blind and chair of the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools.

His work has been recognized with the two highest awards in the field of visual impairment and blindness: the Migel Medal for Service to the Field of Vision Rehabilitation (2011) and the Ambrose Shotwell Award for National and International Contributions in Blindness (2004). The Faculty Senate of Western Michigan University gave him its Distinguished Service Award (2005); and the National Association of Professional and Graduate Students gave him its Friend of Graduate Students Award (2002).

By Dan Nonte

Commitment to Learning Communities

050411Headline_LearningCommHow many of our freshmen will be in learning communities on campus, by the middle of this decade?

The target is 100 percent.

A look at the UNCG Strategic Plan 2009-14 shows this goal: “3.3: Implement first-year learning communities for all first-time UNCG undergraduate students to encourage integration of learning across courses.”

Laura Pipe, UNCG’s new director of learning communities in Undergraduate Studies, says an objective is to have at least 50 percent of the freshman population in a learning community in Fall 2012. “We will need eight or nine new ones that year” to meet the goal, Pipe says.

In learning communities, there’s a high level of contact with faculty, and the students do some activities together, which stem from the classroom and the faculty. In living-learning communities, the students also live together in a residence hall. The Residential Colleges take that a step further, with faculty involved with them even more. At one RC, Ashby, a faculty member lives in the college.

As the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village progresses, there will be faculty apartments allowing for a faculty-in-residence program. These programs have grown popular in recent years at other universities, such as UCLA and the University of Illinois at Chicago, according to Pipe.

Provost David H. Perrin says, “I am pleased that we have increased the size and scope of learning communities, particularly living-learning communities, so dramatically in just one year. Previously, UNCG boasted three residential colleges with a joint capacity for 215 freshmen. For fall 2011, we will will add spots in learning communities for an additional 430 students, allowing UNCG to provide these opportunities to nearly a quarter of all freshmen. Importantly, we have accomplished this with a relatively modest investment of resources.”

Perrin anticipates the effect LCs will have on learning measures. “Given the high probability that learning community involvements will support the academic mission through collaborative integration of courses, along with related academic connections through the co-curriculum, I expect that retention and graduation rates will improve significantly. Now that GA [General Administration] has changed the way it funds [UNC] System campuses, focusing for the first time on student performance indicators, UNCG literally cannot afford to fail to reach retention and graduation rates set for us.”

He added, “This strategic investment is as fiscally sound as it is academically beneficial.”

Currently, UNCG has three residential colleges (RCs), which are the most intensive form of learning community:

  • Warren Ashby
  • Grogan
  • Cornelia Strong

The latter, Cornelia Strong RC, has been non-curricular, though it will have one course in the fall that is a Directed Reading course led by Anne Barton, that RC’s director. The course is based on the Great Books concept similar to the first Residential College created in the 1920s by Alexander Meiklejohn at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

This fall, UNCG will have four new learning communities. All are living-learning communities (LLCs), aside from UNCG Teach.

  • Exploratory Studies: Pre-Health (living and taking classes with others interested in health and human services, in Ragsdale Residence Hall)
  • Sustainable Entrepreneurship (living and taking classes with others interested in building entrepreneurship knowledge and skills for business success, in Jefferson Suites)
  • Summer Launch (for students wanting a little introductory support, as they move in early for a successful head start. They will live and take classes together yearlong, as they reside in Grogan Residence Hall)
  • UNCG Teach (It takes the best of UNS 101 and links it to the classes’ content. This is non-residential, with students in housing throughout campus. It is for those interested in teaching and education.)

(See short clip of Pipe’s update on these four new learning communities.)

The LCs require students to become more active participants in the learning experience with the faculty member – essentially a continuous partnership, Pipe says. The benefits? “It’s higher GPAs,” she explains. “It gives us increased learning gains.”

Pipe, who grew up in Randleman before attending the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics – her first experience with essentially a living-learning community – speaks of her relationships with faculty members in each step of her education. They inspired her, and they showed interest in her abilities and ideas. Active engagement – and stronger relationships between classmates and particular faculty members – can make for greater success.

With UNCG’s push to raise its retention rates and see enhanced student success, those are good things.

In a recent interview, Chancellor Linda P. Brady said, “I’m convinced that the work that we’re doing around learning communities will have a dramatic impact on this university as early as next year.”

Dr. Steve Roberson, dean of Undergraduate Studies, cites the high retention rates at UNCG’s three residential colleges, as he explains how LLCs create the sense of small communities in a large university. “The retention rate is clearly enhanced and improved through this residential experience,” he says.

Teaching these classes do not require much additional work from faculty, Pipe says. But it does require collaboration and communication between faculty members.

“We need as many faculty on board as possible,” she says.

A two-day workshop for faculty and staff – Undergraduate Studies Institute – on May 9-10 will allow about a dozen or more faculty members to break into small teams to create models for future learning communities. “We’ll use that modeling to start recruiting faculty members” for the specific areas, she says. The learning communities will make for a mixture of disciplines and ways of thinking.

“Any faculty members who are interested, we’ll find a place for them,” Pipe says. Whether they are interested in the ground-floor planning in this workshop, helping to instruct a class, discussing their research during an LLC course, whatever, the level of involvement they are able to give is welcomed.

The new learning communities for 2011-12 will typically have 4-8 faculty members who are very involved, she notes.

Those wanting more information on the workshop or UNCG’s learning communities may contact Pipe at 6-8599 or LMPipe@uncg.edu.

See Dean Steve Roberson’s interview on the topic of learning communities and retention rates in the current issue of UNCG Magazine.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mark Wagoner

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZN_1Y69Fvw

Chancellor on Program Review, Budget, Nano

042711Headline_CHAInterviewWith several days of classes remaining in the 2011 spring semester, Chancellor Linda P. Brady spoke with UNCG Campus Weekly about academic program review, budget news and some of the brighter notes of the past months – and future ones.

Chancellor Brady, can you tell about some of the most special moments from the past academic year that come to mind?

Many of those special moments have to do with students and faculty and staff winning awards, which serve as terrific reminders about what makes UNCG thrive, our people. A great example is the announcement that Margaret Carpenter had won a Gates Cambridge scholarship, the first-ever [for UNCG]. She is a senior music major who will be attending the University of Cambridge next year to do a master’s in choral music. Another example is Zim Ugochukwu, a senior biology major who has won UNCG’s first-ever Henry Luce Scholarship. At the Student Support Services Awards dinner last night, two non-traditional and first-generation students received awards based on their academic performance, community service and campus service. These have the most meaning for me, particularly as we continue to deal with difficult budget circumstances. Not only have these students excelled in the classroom, through their public service they have made a lasting impact on the local community and are excellent examples of the university’s commitment to community engagement.

You attended the Staff Excellence Awards today, and you spoke about the importance of morale. How do you gauge morale these days, among staff, faculty and students?

I do spend a good bit of time out on the campus meeting with faculty, staff and students. Some of those meetings are regularly scheduled meetings with the Staff Senate and Faculty Senate or the Student Government Association, but I have also been meeting with small groups of faculty and students in fireside chats, which are designed as open-ended conversations – to try to take the pulse of the campus. Also, I’m always available via e-mail for those in the campus community who have questions or feedback to share and are not able to attend one of the fireside chats. My e-mail address is lpbrady@uncg.edu.

Can I ask you about the fireside chats with students? I know you regularly have those …

I had one last week, in Weil-Winfield.

What are students telling you these days?

What was very exciting in the fireside chat last week is that three of the students who attended will be living in the new Jefferson Suites beginning in the fall. That residence hall will house a new learning community focused on sustainable entrepreneurship. Students are looking forward over the next several years to better residence hall environments that integrate learning with the residential experience.

Despite the budget challenges we have already faced and those that are ahead, students remain very pleased about the quality of education that they receive.  However, they do have concerns related to the extent to which they would be able to get the classes they need for graduation. We did spend a good bit of time last week talking with them about the approach that deans and department heads will take, as tuition revenue comes in, to restore classes that we would otherwise have to cut as a result of the budget cuts. The largest concern that students have relates to the impact of the magnitude of the cuts in 2011-2012 and their ability to make good progress toward their degrees. And, indeed, supporting the students’ ability to continue to make good progress toward their degrees is a top priority.

Can I ask you about UNCG’s Academic Program Review and what you foresee as the result of the program review?

We are engaged in the process of reviewing all of the academic programs on the campus, and that is approximately 200 programs. It includes both undergraduate and graduate programs. There are really a couple of purposes for the review.

The first is to assess the quality of our academic programs to get a feel for student demand for those programs, to assess the extent to which the programs that we currently offer are meeting the needs of the marketplace. We know for example that there are many areas of need in which we do not have a capacity to serve all of the qualified students; Nursing is a very good example of that. One purpose is to assess the state of our academic offerings.

The review is also designed to enable UNCG to identify our strongest programs and to identify those that may face challenges in advance of the work that the UNC General Administration will do in their own program review which is designed to identify unnecessary duplication. That process will not begin in a significant way until the fall. Our goal in beginning the program review this spring was to get ahead of the UNC General Administration review, so that when General Administration comes to campus we’re prepared to make the case for our strongest programs.

I understand that the timeline has changed very recently. Can you speak about that?

Yes. We are asking faculty to engage in a very difficult process that will have significant consequences to the university. We originally expected the UNC General Administration review to be much further along, and we had established a six-week window for academic departments to do their internal review and forward the results of that review to their school or the college in the case of departments in the College of Arts & Sciences. It became clear that there are unresolved issues concerning the reliability of some data and that many of our departments did not feel that they had had sufficient time to make the qualitative case for their programs. The qualitative data is a critical component of the program review, and we want to ensure faculty have adequate time to thoughtfully describe the impact their programs have in the classroom and in the community. We also learned that the General Administration review was going to be pushed back, and we believed that it was in the best interests of the university to give the campus more time.

Those academic departments that have already submitted their materials will have an opportunity to go back and review and update and expand on what they have submitted. They will be able to engage that process in the early fall. We would then expect the University Program Review Committee to look at the recommendations moving forward from the unit committees between early December and the 1st of March and then make recommendations to the provost.

So we would expect the review to extend throughout the next academic year with recommendations being presented to the Board of Trustees in May of 2012. I understand that this is a challenging process and want our faculty to have the necessary time and accurate data to make the difficult decisions that lie ahead.

Can I ask you about the constituencies that are involved? Who will have a voice in this? Specifically, how are faculty involved?

This is a faculty-driven process that we modeled on the promotion & tenure process, in which a candidate’s case begins with the review of the candidate within his or her academic department. The department then makes recommendations to the school or the college and then recommendations come forward to the provost. The program review process is analogous to that because we believe that those who are in the best position to evaluate academic programs are those who actually deliver those programs. The process begins with the faculty and then moves forward.

At the university level there will be faculty and administrators, staff and students involved on the University Program Review Committee because we want to make certain that we receive input from all our constituencies. Throughout this process, we will be posting updates on an Academic Program Review web site on the provost’s web page, and we will be sharing our progress with the Board of Trustees at every Trustees meeting between now and next May. I know that this process will not be easy and welcome feedback and suggestions from the university community along the way.

Can I ask you about UNCG’s engagement with the community? Of course UNCG engages with the community in a great variety of ways. Opportunity Greensboro has been in the news recently. Can you speak about Opportunity Greensboro?

UNCG has a long tradition of community engagement. Just last week, faculty, staff and students from UNCG and the nonprofit Sustainable Greensboro worked together on Earth Day [April 21], to help college students and the Greensboro community learn how Greensboro can move into a sustainable future.

Another example of the university’s engagement with the community is Opportunity Greensboro. This is a very exciting initiative. It represents a partnership between the seven colleges and universities with programs in Greensboro and the business leadership, and it is designed to drive economic development in Greensboro. The business community clearly understands that the future of Greensboro is inextricably linked to the future of the colleges and universities. We produce the graduates who often remain in this city, who move into jobs, who become active members of the community. And the business community understands that without that educated workforce we will not be able to enhance quality of life in this community.

They also understand that research universities in Greensboro – UNCG and North Carolina A&T – generate much of the intellectual capital. One example of that is the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, which is not only offers graduate programs but also supports faculty research that already has led to the creation of a spinoff company. That company based at Gateway South employs people in high paying jobs and we expect more of this to occur.

The Opportunity Greensboro effort is designed to bring together the chancellors and presidents of the seven colleges and universities with CEOs to identify initiatives that will enable the business community to better access the resources of the universities and that will more readily connect our students and faculty to the business community. Our tagline is “Opportunity Greensboro: Opportunity thrives here, so can you.” The message that we are trying to get across is that as businesses and as colleges and universities, we each thrive in Greensboro, and working together we can be more effective in recruiting other businesses to move to Greensboro and create jobs.

About the joint school: A focus of the UNCG Business Summit was UNCG and N.C. A&T as well as government leaders and the business community all working together to bring it to its current point. Can you tell us the latest about the Nano School and about how, in the current budget process in Raleigh, it is faring?

We’re making extremely good progress in implementing the Joint School. We enrolled our first class of graduate students in Nanoscience last fall. We will enroll the first class of graduate students in Nanoengineering in fall 2011. We have hired an outstanding dean, Jim Ryan, and a number of faculty. We have also made joint appointments between a number of our UNCG faculty and the A&T faculty in the Joint School. The education programs are off and running and faculty and students have already begun to engage local schools. In fact, earlier this year middle-schoolers worked alongside JSNN faculty members to develop and test science experiments related to space flight.

When the budget for the Joint School was approved we indicated that we needed $6.9 million dollars in continuing operating funds to enable us to hire the faculty and support the graduate students in those programs. We have received all but the last two million dollars that we need to complete the budget for JSNN. We have requested two million dollars for the 2011-2012 budget primarily to enable both universities to hire the additional faculty and support the entering class of Nanoengineering students. Unfortunately, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education did not include funding for JSNN. The process obviously has not concluded, and we are hopeful that the Senate will include the two million dollars needed for us to continue to close the gap between what has been appropriated and what is required to fully fund the school.

About the budget: What are some things that the campus community maybe should keep an eye on as they look at the budget process unfold between now and sometime in June?
While we expect significant budget cuts next year, there are many, many numbers floating in the media – from the governor’s proposal for a 9.5 percent cut to the planning that we have done for up to a 15 percent cut to the proposal coming out of the House for a 17.4 percent cut. It will be several weeks before we actually know what the ultimate budget cut will be.

The other, good news, however, coming out of the budget process so far is the House has indeed supported the recommendations that came forward from the Board of Governors to allow the universities to increase tuition – and for that tuition revenue to remain on the campus. That is extremely important for us. We have been authorized to raise tuition by 6.5 percent. At that, we remain affordable, but the revenue generated – 4.5 million dollars – will enable us to make additional investments in need-based financial aid of about a million dollars and also to invest more than 3 million dollars to offset the reductions in courses that we would have to take as part of the budget cut.

The good news, thus far, is that it appears that the universities will be able to capture that revenue to offset at least a portion of the budget cut and to mitigate the impact of the cut on financial aid and access to classes.

Can I ask you about the state’s historical philosophy toward its public universities and toward access to higher education? As you speak with legislators and government officials, do you sense any change in that philosophy toward access to higher education? And what’s at stake in that debate?

I think that the philosophical questions surrounding how we support education in North Carolina are probably even more important than the issue of the budget.

North Carolina historically has been known for its support of higher education. We receive a large portion of our budget from the state. Over time many other states have dramatically reduced their support, states like California and Virginia and South Carolina. That has led public universities in those states to dramatically raise tuition to make up for that shortfall in state support. In many states now, if you are a resident of that state, it is very difficult for you to gain access to the public university in your state – because the universities are in many cases recruiting more out-of-state students at much higher tuition rates to try to fill the gap in funding.

What would that mean for in-state students trying to get into their state schools?

What it means in many states is that if you are an in-state student you may very well have to leave the state to attend university.

In North Carolina we have prided ourselves on access, and indeed access is a major element of our strategic plan. But we need to focus equally on student success, and as we move from an enrollment growth funding model for universities to a performance based model, it is even more important that we focus on students’ success and that we not only admit students but indeed provide them with the support they will need to graduate.

My biggest concern about where we may be heading in North Carolina is that we will move away from a commitment to higher education as a public good that benefits the state as a whole and not simply the individuals who receive an education, to a philosophy that assumes that education is a private good and those who can afford to pay for it will have access to it but those who can’t won’t. I think long-term that will result in a less educated workforce in North Carolina and that it will have a dramatic and very negative impact on the economic competitiveness of the state and our ability to attract businesses. And over time, as we see this trend happening across the country, it will make the United States a less competitive country.

As I look around the globe, I see so many countries making major investments in higher education. When I traveled to Russia earlier this spring as part of a State Department sponsored trip for seven college and university presidents, we visited a number of research universities in Russia. The Russian government is investing billions of dollars to build those universities and their research capacities. We see similar things happening in China and Singapore and India, and my concern long-term is not simply for the state of North Carolina but for our competitiveness as a nation.

We’ve talked about what may be seen as negatives; let’s turn to the positives. What are some things at UNCG that, as chancellor, you are excited about?

As commencement approaches, I am very proud of our graduates and also very excited about what the future holds. I am delighted that despite the budget challenges over the last few years, we have been able to attract some of the best and brightest to serve in leadership positions throughout the university. Dr. Karen Wixson officially began her tenure as dean of the School of Education on January 1st and Dr. McRae “Mac” Banks II will officially take the helm as dean of the Bryan School [of Business and Economics] on July 1st.

We also have several initiatives that I’m very excited to see unfold as we approach the beginning of a new academic year. One of the things that I am very, very excited about is the development of new learning communities on this campus. Some of those learning communities will be associated with new residence halls beginning with Jefferson Suites, which will open in the fall, with the learning community focused on sustainable entrepreneurship. But we will also embed new learning communities in the new residence halls that we will build over the next six years on Lee Street.

Learning communities are extremely important in terms of enhancing our ability to recruit and retain the very best students. We know that students who participate in learning communities are more successful academically. They also remain more closely tied to the university after they graduate. Since our goal is not only to provide access but to ensure success, I’m convinced that the work that we’re doing around learning communities will have a dramatic impact on this university as early as next year.

I am also very excited that we will this fall open our early-middle college focused on health careers. This is a partnership between the university and the Guilford Public Schools and underscores the university’s commitment to ensuring every child has access to a high quality education. It’s being led by faculty in the School of Health and Human Performance and will be a signature effort of the new School of Health and Human Sciences led by Dean Hooper. That will bring fifty high-school students to campus in the fall. These are students who are challenged to succeed in a traditional high-school setting but it has been demonstrated both locally and nationally that early-middle colleges work – that students who enroll, who have an opportunity to be mentored by UNCG faculty, to actually be on a college campus indeed have higher retention rates, are more likely to go to college. I’m very excited about strengthening our partnership with the Guilford schools.

Thank you so much, chancellor. Anything else you would like to cover?
It has been a very busy year. It has obviously been a very difficult year because of the uncertainty associated with the budget, and that uncertainty does have a tendency to erode morale. In the year ahead, once we understand the magnitude of the cuts, and we move through that process, we then need to move into a period of rebuilding morale and trust on this campus. I am fully committed to this process. It is in challenging times like these that I am most thankful for the resilient spirit of our students, faculty and staff who work every day to make UNCG and our community a better place. I am very thankful for their enduring commitment to this great university.

Interviewed by Mike Harris
Photograph by Chris English

Budget in Flux, Brady Tells Senators

042011Headline_BudgetChancellor Linda P. Brady updated Staff Senate last week about budget matters. She has similarly spoken with Faculty Senate and the Parent & Family Council in the past two weeks.

She explained to the staff that the UNCG budget was in flux, as the state budget work continued in Raleigh. But she explained what is known at this time. “Our goal today is to really hear from you,” she told the senators.

She reviewed with the senators the budget principles adopted in May 2009, including protecting the academic core and considering the UNCG Strategic Plan 2009-14.

And she spoke about budgetary planning priorities:

  1. Protect course availability.
  2. Support student-facing services, including recruitment, admissions and financial aid.
  3. Consider health and hygiene-related services such as counseling and housekeeping staff.
  4. Support Public Safety and Campus Police.
  5. Sustain 24/7 coverage of IT servers.

If the cut for 2011-12 is at 15 percent, “we’d lose 44,000 seats in courses,” she said. The budget proposal that came from the state House appropriations subcommittee the day before her Staff Senate presentation called for a cut of 17.4 percent for the system, she added.

The chancellor has noted that between 2007-08 and 2010-11, UNCG has already taken permanent cuts of more than $9.6 million. UNCG has absorbed another $39 million in one-time cuts and mandatory reversions during this period. These cuts have had a dramatic impact on the ability of the university to fulfill our missions of teaching, research and service, she has explained.

Among additional points she made in her presentation to Staff Senate:

  • Our tuition at UNCG has increased more than 29 percent over the last three years, she said. That is lower than the system average. That rise in tuition – coupled with financial aid being at risk at the state and federal levels – creates concern over access to education.
  • UNCG’s Academic Program Review should result in savings over time, but it is unlikely to have an immediate impact on savings.
  • UNCG will have a smaller freshman class in the coming academic year, as a result of UNCG raising the entrance standards. The enrollment for distance education is expected to rise and we expect more transfer students, she said.
  • UNCG’s budget plan would likely be modified based on the final state budget and on feedback received in meetings with Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Dean’s Council, the Student Government Association, the general faculty and Board of Trustees.
  • She indicated that UNCG’s budget web site would be enhanced in a couple of weeks, providing more context for items posted there. You may sign up for the budget listserv alerting you when new items are posted there.

“Times are difficult,” she said, explaining that the large budget cuts will be a “difficult challenge” for us.

“We’ll get through it,” she told the staff senators.

Note: Two upcoming discussions on campus will focus on the budget.

  • On Wednesday, April 27, at 3 p.m., Faculty Senate hosts a forum on “Academic Program Review Process Update and Budget Update.” It will be in EUC Auditorium. Everyone is welcome to attend. The chancellor will be among those speaking.
  • On Friday, April 29, at 11 a.m. in Jarrell Lecture Hall, Jackson Library, a talk on “Where UNCG Fits Into the State’s Budget” will be given. The presenter will be Mike Tarrant, special assistant to the chancellor in UNCG’s Office of Government Relations. Tarrant will explain how UNCG is represented to state elected officials, how UNCG’s state legislative agenda works and how proposed budget cuts will impact UNCG. The program is open to the entire UNCG community.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris

University Program Review: Committee, Timeline, Forum

041311Headline_ProgramReviewProgram review at the university level will be the topic of the Wednesday, April 20, Faculty Senate forum. It will begin at 3 p.m. in the EUC Auditorium. The university community is welcome. Dr. Roy Schwartzman, chair of the University-Level Program Review Committee, as well as Dr. Alan Boyette and Steven Serck will lead the discussion. Dr. Rebecca Adams will be present to answer questions as well

University-level review will be conducted June 15-Aug. 31. (See below for a list of members of the University Program Review Committee.) The committee’s recommendations are scheduled to be available electronically Aug. 31, and will be presented to Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Student Government Association and Graduate Student Association in September.

In mid-November, Provost Perrin is scheduled to forward program review recommendations to Chancellor Brady.

Schwartzman has begun a blog about the committee’s upcoming work and his perspective as chair. His posts have included: “Philosophy: Empower and Listen to Programs,” “Where We Are & How We Got Here,” “Program Review or Program Elimination?” “Chronicle Chronicles” and “Expanding the Options.”

This “UNCG Academic Program Review” blog is linked at the university’s Program Review web page.

The full membership of the University-Level Program Review Committee is:
Roy Schwartzman (Chair)
Ken Snowden
Jennifer Walter
Stephanie Kurtts
Robert Strack
Andrea Hunter
Beth Barba
Jason Morris
Shuntay McCoy
Bonnie Landaverdy
Laura Chesak
Steve Roberson
Alan Boyette (Non-Voting)
Rebecca Adams (Non-Voting)

A more detailed listing of this committee’s membership can be viewed at http://opa.uncg.edu/programreview/docs/committees//University_Program_Review_Committee.pdf

The membership of the unit-level committees, which begin their work May 1, can be viewed at http://ure.uncg.edu/prod/cweekly/2011/04/12/atunitleveltimeline/.

By Mike Harris

See the World at International Festival

040611Headline_iFestThink globally but visit the nations of the world locally during the 29th annual International Festival, to be held noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 16, on campus.

A special fundraiser will be held to provide aid for the victims of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami. The day’s attractions also include performances of Japanese Taiko drumming, Middle Eastern belly dancing, Latin American dance, Indian traditional dance and various singing groups.

All events are free and open to the public.

The event will be held at the fountain area outside the Dining Hall.  More than 50 countries and organizations will be represented with booths in the festival’s Global Village staffed with people who will share information about the food, culture, topography, music and history of various nations. In the case of rain, the event will be moved to the Health and Human Performance Building.

I-Fest gives students and visitors a way to experience the world without leaving home, said Michael Elliott, director of international student and scholar services for the International Programs Center.

“UNCG’s international students, who are an important component of internationalizing the campus and community, are happy to educate the UNCG and greater Greensboro Community about their countries and cultures,” Elliott said. “The I-Fest is a fun and engaging way of bringing people together from all over the world.”

The event also highlights UNCG’s diversity. About 350 international students choose to study here each year, Elliott said. Another 100 Interlink Language Center students and 200 exchange students are on campus studying from some 75 foreign nations.

For more information on the International Festival, visit www.uncg.edu/ipg or call 4-5404.

By Steve Gilliam
Photograph by David Wilson

Student Excellence Day (Plus Preview Day)

033011Headline_StudentExcellenceStudent Excellence Day, when UNCG recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of its undergraduate and graduate students, will be held Friday, April 8, to coincide with the Woman’s College Reunion Weekend.

Student Excellence Day will culminate with an Honors Convocation at 7 p.m. in EUC’s Auditorium, when Provost David H. Perrin will present Student Excellence Awards, UNCG’s highest academic award, along with awards for Undergraduate Research, Graduate and Library Research.

A “Student Excellence Day Preview” will take place on Thursday, April 7.

Various “showcase” events, slated for both days, will allow fellow students, faculty, staff and alumni to experience a sample of the broad array of the work produced by our students on a daily basis. For instance, the Undergraduate Research Expo will present faculty-mentored student projects from a wide variety of academic fields. The Art, Dance and Music departments will showcase student work in exhibits and in open rehearsals. The Lloyd International Honors College will open the doors of North Spencer Honors Residence Hall to the UNCG community for an “Honors Showcase.”

On Friday afternoon, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the EUC Auditorium Lobby, students from Leadership and Service-Learning, Undergraduate Research, Interior Architecture, Art, the Honors College, and Strong, Ashby, and Grogan Residential Colleges will be on hand to greet and meet at a drop-in showcase. They will answer questions about their individual and collective work. Any UNCG student who attends the Showcase, and who completes a brief reflective survey, will be eligible to win an iPod nano.

The two-day schedule:

Student Excellence Day Preview: Thursday, April 7

  • 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Undergraduate Research Expo, Elliott University Center, Cone Ballroom – The Undergraduate Research Expo showcases faculty mentored student projects from a wide variety of academic fields. The work you will see demonstrates how UNCG students are engaging in activities that improve their communication skills, hone their critical thinking and problem solving skills, and give them experience in teamwork. Some of the presenters are supported by funding from the Office of Undergraduate Research while others receive course credit, volunteer their time or receive funding from a faculty member’s grant. Some of the presentations are a result of a class project; many will be interdisciplinary.
  • 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.  – Art Student Exhibits (EUC Art Gallery)
  • Noon to 12:50 p.m. –  Jazz Ensemble Rehearsal (Music Building, Room 111)
  • 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. – Dance Class (HHP Building, Room 322)
  • 2 to 3:15 p.m. –  Dance Class (HHP Building, Room 322)
  • 2 to 3:40 p.m. – Symphonic Band Rehearsal (Music Building, Room 111)

Student Excellence Day, Friday, April 8

  • 10 to 11:45 a.m. – Dance Class (HHP Building, Room 322)
  • Noon to 12:50 p.m. – Jazz Band Rehearsal (Music Building, Room 111)
  • 1 to 3 p.m. – Showcase featuring students talking about their work (EUC Auditorium Lobby)
  • 2 to 4 p.m. – Honors College Open House (North Spencer Residence Hall) – Lloyd International Honors College will open the doors of North Spencer Honors Residence Hall to the UNCG community for an “Honors Showcase.” Honors students and student groups will be in the parlor to present their work to visitors. Among those with presentations will be this year’s World Model United Nations team and student winners from the 2011 Honors Research Symposium. Tours will be available of the Honors College’s Global Classroom and other facilities in North Spencer.
  • 7 p.m. Honor’s Convocation (EUC Auditorium) – Provost David H. Perrin will preside at UNCG’s 49th annual Student Honors Convocation. At the Convocation the Student Excellence Award winners will be announced. Undergraduate Research Assistant, Graduate and Library Research Awards will also be presented.

We Have Liftoff. Godspeed, Brine Shrimp.

032311Headline_EndevourWhen local middle-schoolers needed help with a tiny experiment that would go into outer space, who better to assist than the experts in tiny, right?

Researchers in the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) deal with and create the tiniest of experiments and engineering. Dr. Adam Hall, who leads the microscope lab at the joint school, explains that with their powerful microscopes you are “seeing individual components of the molecule.”

Students in five Guilford County middle schools competed last fall to see who would launch an experiment aboard the space shuttle Endeavor in April. Commanded by astronaut Mark Kelly, the mission will be the final Endeavor one, as the shuttle missions come to a close.

The space they were allotted on the shuttle for their experiment: a miniscule one-eighth inch³.

This Student Spaceflight Experiment Program was initiated by The National Center for Earth and Space Science Education and NanoRacks LLC. JSNN is a joint academic program of UNCG and NC A&T.

Jacqueline Oates, outreach coordinator at JSNN, learned about the competition. She contacted the national center’s regional office, and told several of JSNN’s researchers, such as Dr. Adam Hall.

Hall is keen on science outreach to schoolkids – especially related to nanoscience. He will help lead an outreach at NanoDays in Raleigh later this year, when thousands of children will congregate at a kids’ museum to learn about nanoscale science.

Students in five Guilford County schools competed in the Shuttle challenge. JSNN researchers invited them to the joint school for a day of lab tours and an introduction to all things nano. They acted as mentors, and ultimately the young students created about 40 experiment proposals. “It was a fun experience,” Hall says.

He served as one of the local judges, as did Dr. Shyam Aravamudhan, assistant professor of nanoengineering. Three experiments were selected locally, to be submitted for final judging by the center.

Two graduate students, Richard Vestal and Adam Boseman, served as advisors for the young scientists. And Dr. Joseph Starobin was a key facilitator and advisor, as he discussed and helped clarify the link between possible options of the experimental design and related scientific background.

As Starobin reflects on his work with the students, he notes a particular discussion about physics and nanotechnology. “It was like an improvised interactive class with a positive very creative feedback. It was obvious that kids got used to this type of conversation during their routine science classes with their teacher Ms. French.”

The winner? An experiment involving what many people would refer to as “Sea-Monkeys,” but are more accurately called “brine shrimp.” One specimen of the miniscule brine shrimp will be on the shuttle, one will be a control group back on planet Earth. The experiment will look at the effect of gravity on their life cycle.

“The winners have needed help with samples,” Hall said. They needed to provide their materials to NASA for toxicology testing, so JSNN faculty showed them how to mathematically quantify measurements in microliters and make saline solution to NASA’s specification.

“When the day came to go back to JSNN (to do this), the kids were very excited,” recalls Lenny Sue French, the Mendenhall teacher leading the team. “The doctoral student and Dr. Shyam Aravamudhan led them through the measurement and the math. We left JSNN with a feeling of having just accomplished something very important.”

Nine children at Mendenhall Middle School are on that winning team.

Across America, 16 experiments were chosen – and 20,000 grade 5 through 12 students participated in the competition, says the center’s director, Jeff Goldstein.

As Goldstein said about these 20,000 students in an open letter announcing the winners, “They rose to the challenge, gently slipped on the shoes of real scientists, rolled up their sleeves, and did remarkable things. They are ALL winners.”

As the local schools’ statement on the center’s web page explains, Guilford County schools is committed to working with area universities to provide students with opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

JSNN is reaching out to be a part of that. And their work with these particular middle-schoolers has not ended.

“After the return of the shuttle and our experiment, the JSNN has volunteered to help us compare the ‘space born’ brine shrimp with their ‘Earth born’ brothers that we will be hatching simultaneously in a hotel room in Cocoa Beach, Florida,” French says.

The middle-schoolers have been invited to watch the launch from the same area where the family members and NASA staff will be.

Adam Boseman, a graduate student, recalls his own middle school classes, with his friends’ parents who worked in science fields coming to his school to give demonstrations. One time, he and a group were challenged to create a new invention. But that doesn’t compare to doing something with NASA, he adds.

“Nothing quite as cool as this happened when I was a middle-schooler.”

By Mike Harris
Photograph courtesy NASA

Mac Banks Is Bryan School’s New Dean

031611Headline_McRaeBanksDr. McRae C. “Mac” Banks II, a professor of entrepreneurship and former management department head at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, is the new dean of the Joseph M. Bryan School of Business and Economics.

Banks’ appointment is expected to be approved Thursday, March 17, by UNCG’s Board of Trustees.

Dr. David H. Perrin, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, said that Banks was the top candidate to emerge from a national search. Banks will succeed Dr. James K. “Jim” Weeks, who has been dean of UNCG’s largest academic school since 1990.

“Mac Banks will oversee the development of a focused niche for the Bryan School that will build on its already strong reputation throughout the state, region and nation,” Perrin said. “He is the right person to create an excitement in the community for the Bryan School through a new culture that emphasizes active and sustained engagement with the business and entrepreneurial communities.”

In commenting on his appointment, Banks said, “I am honored and delighted to have the opportunity to lead the Bryan School. From my visits to other business schools on behalf of AACSB, it is clear to me that Jim Weeks and his colleagues have built one of the best functioning business schools in the U.S. By combining that operational excellence with some of the amazing initiatives UNCG is pursuing in education and research and an extremely supportive business community, I expect the Bryan School to have significant impact within UNCG, the Piedmont Triad area, and the nation. I am looking forward to joining all of my new colleagues.”

At Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), located in Worcester, Mass., Banks served from 1995 to the present as professor of entrepreneurship and strategy in the WPI School of Business. During that time, he also served as head of the Department of Management through 2010, a dean-level position that had oversight for all business and industrial engineering programs.

Under his leadership, the Department made tremendous leaps in quality. With a vision that focused on educating students to understand both technology and business, WPI began offering differentiated business education. The new Industrial Engineering major was accredited by ABET in 1997, and the business programs were accredited by AACSB in 2003. Accreditation permitted WPI to be considered for national rankings and ratings, which started in 2004. These have included:

  • #1 ranking by BusinessWeek as the best part-time MBA program in the U.S., 2009-11.
  • #9 ranking in the U.S. (#1 in the Northeast) by BusinessWeek for the part-time MBA program in 2007-09.
  • #4 national ranking for the industrial engineering program in Academic Analytics for 2006.
  • Top 10 rankings for the MBA program by Princeton Review for Best Career Prospects and Greatest Opportunities for Women.
  • Top 10 ranking for the MBA program by Business 2.0 in the category, Where Your Career Prospects are Brightest.
  • Top 10 ranking for the entrepreneurship program by Entrepreneur.com in the 2005 entrepreneurship emphasis category.
  • Top 15 rating in finance by Entrepreneur magazine for 2009.

Behind the rankings and ratings were a strong focus on high quality research and teaching, as well as innovative programs. Faculty members substantially increased their research productivity and began publishing in top journals, while remaining among the best teachers in the university. They also increased their sponsored research, including about $2 million in grant activity during the most recently completed fiscal year. Among the innovative programs created under his leadership was the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which Banks founded in 1999. In his decade as the program’s director, it provided more than 100 programs, events and activities annually for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, entrepreneurs, service providers, venture capitalists and angel investors, plus a weekly radio show that averaged more than 8,000 listeners.

From 1987-95, Banks was at Mississippi State University, where he rose through the academic ranks to the level of Professor in the Department of Management in the College of Business and Industry. He began his academic career at Radford University’s College of Business and Economics, where he also created the Radford University Small Business Institute and Radford University Management Center.

His business experience includes serving as general manager of Britton Enterprises in Fredericksburg, Va., from 1978-79, and as assistant to the marketing vice president of Singer Safety Products from 1975-78. He also served as head women’s track and cross country coach at Virginia Tech from 1979-82. Banks earned his B.A. and Ph.D. at Virginia Tech and his M.A. at Northwestern University.

Founded in 1970, the Bryan School is UNCG’s largest professional school and the largest business school in the Piedmont Triad. The school’s 86 faculty members teach 2,426 undergraduates and 363 graduate students in four departments: Accounting and Finance, Business Administration, Economics and Information Systems & Operations Management. Undergraduate degrees are offered in nine areas of study, master’s degrees in four areas and doctorates in two areas. The school has more than 19,000 alumni. The school achieved initial accreditation in 1982 by the premier accrediting agency for business schools, the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), and accreditation has been maintained ever since.

The Corner Has Closed for Good

030211Headline_TheCornerAfter 60 years on Tate Street, The Corner has closed its doors.

Its last day was Friday, Feb. 25. Grant Snavely, who’d owned the store on the corner of Tate Street and Walker since 1982, made his way to the door at 4:45 p.m, bade good-bye to everyone and to the store, and made his way to the car. A worker walked over and shut off the “OPEN” neon sign beside the door – “out of respect,” he said.

The afternoon saw longtime customers coming by – some not knowing this was the last day. Outside, a big sign advertised “Everything $1 – cash only.” And, as customers had come to expect for three decades, Grant Snavely sat behind the register next to the big glass window, greeting everyone who ventured in. He knew many by name.

Tiffany Garrett, a sociology major, sat behind the long lunch counter. A self-described “super-senior,” she had worked at The Corner for a year. The store was fairly empty, aside from lots of greeting cards still for sale. For many young students, cards through snail mail are a relic of the past. The remaining stock will be liquidated, Snavely said.

What will happen to the store? He says Matt Russ, owner of Tate Street Coffee House, bought the building from his dad, Hugh Snavely, years ago. Snaveley does not know what will be there next.

How did The Corner come into being? Snavely’s father had worked for his father at an Old Salem bookstore in the 1940s. “They were looking for a place for my dad to open. This space became available.” It had been a restaurant.

His father tore out the booths and tables. “He starting selling sundries.” School supplies. Cards. He did keep the soda fountain as it was. That was in 1950.

In 1982, Grant Snavely took over. He had graduated high school, graduated from East Carolina, served a year in Vietnam, then returned in the early 1970s to work there. Though he doesn’t consider it work. “I never had a job.”

He reflected that Friday afternoon on the “hundreds of thousands” of flowers they had sold over the years – their peak was in the early ’90s, before grocery stores cut into their flower sales. One Valentine’s Day they sold 6,000 roses. The Cokes and fresh-squeezed orangeade and lemonade sold at the counter. The cards they’ve sold. And the many friends he’s made over the years. The people he’s known have been the highlight, he said.

A graduate student, Stephanie Turner ’08, walks in. Her mother, Martha Turner ’60, had frequented The Corner as a student. “She used to come in here and buy cards.” Stephanie recalls her return to UNCG to complete her bachelor’s and get her master’s. “My first day back to school, I stopped in here to get a drink.” Grant Snaveley had given her some encouraging words that day. “I told him I was nervous. He said, ‘Oh no, you can do it!'” She’s never forgotten that. She’ll receive her master’s in library science this May. This afternoon, as she makes her last purchase at The Corner, she reminds him of that day.

Sarah Dorsey, a Music librarian, pops in with a friend. She used to go in a lot, when the Music library was in the building across the street. She and Grant chat for a moment.

A customer asks about the balloons.

There’s no helium in the store, Snavely says. “But you can have the balloon.”

How much are cards? “One card? Fifty cents.”

The most valuable thing in the store is a fixture at the back – a round, black clock that says “The Corner – Books, Gifts, Stationery.” Snaveley says it resided in the movie theater down the street [now Addam’s Bookstore] in the lobby, as an advertisement for The Corner, and his dad brought it into the store when the theater changed hands and was renamed Cinema Theatre. It will hang on the wall of Snavely’s home now. “That neon’s been burning since 1950,” he says of the clock. He adds that the neon behind the lunch counter is still glowing as well.

The store was very profitable for decades, but much less so in recent years. The students stopped coming in for cards and sundries, he explains. He’s retiring. Tate Street is losing a part of its history.

“What I’m going to miss is sitting here in my window, watching the people go by.” Those are his best memories, the many people over the years he’s known.

“End of story. End of The Corner.”

After he pulls away in his car, another customer comes in. He asks Tiffany behind the lunch counter, “Did I miss Grant?”

A lot of people will.

See a one-minute video clip from the final day of The Corner. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAs-3vDsbT0

Ed note: As a graduate student in the early 1990s, I regularly bought inexpensive flowers for my girlfriend, now wife of 17 years, from Snavely at The Corner. Mark Unrue, CW art director, would stop in and pick up cards there for all occasions: “Valentine’s Day, birthdays, Mother’s Day, even sympathy cards – plus they had ‘off-the-wall’ things other places wouldn’t have.” What are your memories of The Corner? Email us.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris

President Ross Pays Visit

022311Headline_TomRoss

Tom Ross, president of the UNC system, visited UNCG Friday, Feb. 18.

The EUC was just a couple of miles from where he grew up in Sunset Hills, he said.

He is visiting each of the system campuses, in the first months of his tenure. He anticipates completing the visits by the end of spring, according to his chief of staff.

Friday afternoon was filled with 45-minute meetings with Faculty Senate, then Staff Senate, then the Student Government Association.

John Gamble, chair of the Faculty Senate, provided an overview of what the Faculty Senate had done the past several years. Ross then told a bit about himself and fielded questions.

Ross commended the work in giving faculty credit for engaging in the community as part of P&T – that corresponds with UNC Tomorrow’s thrust, and he said that he’d like to see a copy of that work. He also commended UNCG getting out in front in looking at academic program review.

He told of the value the UNC system brings to the state. “It’s allowed our economy to grow.”

The jobs of tomorrow are going to take higher education, he said.

The state’s population with no high school diploma have 17.4 percent unemployment. Those with a four year university degree have 4.2 percent unemployment, he said.

He discussed the budget. “There’s going to be pain” for the universities, he said. “We need to minimize permanent damage.”

He talked about something he says does not get enough recognition: the teaching. “For students, it’s life-changing.”

He described how a faculty member in Classics changed his life when Ross was a student at Davidson.

In meeting with Staff Senate, chair Jason Morris introduced all the senate’s leadership, and presented its mission. Morris provided examples exemplifying that mission, such as soliciting hundreds of suggestions for improving staff morale.

Ross asked that Staff Senate send to his office the suggestions they’d received regarding staff morale.

He acknowledged the staff’s work. “We would shut down if it were not for you,” he said.

As in the Faculty Senate meeting, he talked budget realities. “I know you’re interested in budget. It’s going to be a hard year.”

But he anticipates that the coming fiscal year may be “the worst of the worst.” The following year may be better. The economy is improving.

He asked for questions. The topics ranged from efficiencies gained from not having to work through other state offices in purchasing, etc, to concerns about universities serving under-represented populations. From early retirement options as part of proposed budget to online education.

He noted that there’s more to education than content, but online education is “an important area where we can improve.” He mentioned the advantage that online courses can provide to the armed services, for example, as well as to individual students who may get deployed during a semester.

In his final meeting of the afternoon, with the students, he again discussed the budget. He spoke of fewer sections, larger classes, etc. He acknowledged that they were at UNCG at a far-from-ideal budgetary time. “You couldn’t choose when you were born,” he said.

Nevertheless, “You are all fortunate to be here at this place,” he said. “It’s really a strong place.”

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Chris English

Happy Birthday! You’re Going to Cambridge!

021611Headline_CambridgeMargaret Carpenter said her birthday week was a great one.

On Feb. 13, she turned 22 and sang in a major concert that her choral group had been rehearsing for a month.

But earlier in the week, there were widespread congratulations because this fall she’ll enter the University of Cambridge in England as a 2011 Gates Cambridge Scholar. She is UNCG’s first student to win the award.

Carpenter was notified on Feb. 6, two days after her interviews in New York City. She called her parents, woke up her roommate, and the word got around in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance during the week. She got a round of applause when it was announced at a rehearsal.

A senior from Charlotte, Carpenter will pursue a Master of Music degree in choral studies at the prestigious university, which is the second oldest in the English-speaking world.

“I’m getting used to it, but it’s still a little surreal,” said Carpenter. “I am incredibly excited about this opportunity, and I feel that my being selected to receive such an honor reflects well on the education I have received at UNCG. In my four years of study at UNCG, I have not only come to appreciate the tremendous quality of the music program, I have made close connections with a number of faculty members within the program. My experience with the UNCG music faculty has been wonderful.”

An academic standout, she is expected to graduate with honors in May with majors in voice performance and organ. She also has a concentration in choral conducting, and is currently the assistant conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale. She is an Ethel Virginia Butler Merit Scholar.

She has already spent time in England. In the spring of 2010, she studied at Keele University where she was a student conductor of the Keele Bach Choir and the Keele Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir.

The Gates award gives her a huge step toward her career goals of becoming choirmaster of a church and establishing or maintaining an existing choir school program. Before leaving for Cambridge, she has an extensive performance schedule this summer which includes engagements with the Simon Carrington Singers in Kansas City, Mo., and at the Young Performers Festival in Boston, Mass.

Faculty members who have worked with Carpenter praised her academic and musical skills.

“Margaret is motivated in a way I rarely see in undergraduates and has taken it upon herself to get more out of the degree here than is required,” said Dr. Nancy Walker, Carpenter’s voice teacher and advisor. “She works so independently, and she often brings music to her voice lessons that she has chosen and which she has already learned. Her voice is quite beautiful, but it is her musicality that allows her to communicate in many styles of music and with lovely success.”

Dr. Carole Ott, a conducting faculty member, said, “As a person, Margaret is a joy. Her maturity, intellect and drive make her a natural leader and her enthusiasm is contagious. Her intellectual and musical curiosity are at the level I usually expect of my graduate students. As a conductor, Margaret is readily adaptable, making changes in her gesture to most effectively convey her musical ideas.”

Carpenter is among 30 new U.S. Gates Cambridge Scholars, including three others from North Carolina at UNC Chapel Hill, Wake Forest and Duke. Although the scholars will study a variety of disciplines, other students come from ranking institutions such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Brown, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. The 30 were whittled down from an initial field of 800 applicants. They will be joined by 60 more Gates Scholars from other parts of the world, and all will study for Master’s or Ph.D. degrees.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship Program was created in 2000 through a $210 million donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The aim is to set up an international network of scholars and alumni who will have a transformative effect on society. Since 2001, almost 1,000 Gates Scholarships have been awarded to students in more than 90 countries.

More details on the Gates scholarships are at http://www.gatesscholar.org/.

By Steve Gilliam
Photograph by Chris English
Visual of Carpenter in a practice session with Dr. Nancy Walker (Music)

Facebook a Force for Democracy?

020911Headline_DemocracyThe revolution will not be televised, the old song goes. In the Middle East in recent weeks, protests have been tweeted on Twitter, liked on Facebook, and blogged and YouTubed as well. UNCG’s lecture series “Democracy: On the March or on the Ropes?” will launch with a lecture about the “Tunisia Effect,” specifically about social movements and social networks in the Arab Region. “I’m not sure that the first talk could be timed any better given the popular unrest in Egypt right now,” says Dr. David Holian (Political Science), director of UNCG’s Center for Legislative Studies.

“The successful overthrow of Tunisia’s autocratic regime, which has been followed by mass protests in Egypt, Yemen and Jordan, raises the question of whether we’re beginning to see the start of a trend in the Arab world whereby young people take to the streets to protest and potentially overthrow unpopular governments. The success or failure of such protests will no doubt have far reaching effects across the region and the world.”

What kids of effects? “U.S. influence in the region will no doubt be affected, as will our efforts to encourage peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, and to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” he says.

The series will provide a greater understanding of the immense change that is affecting governing regimes around the world in the 21st century, he says. “The speakers in the spring series will provide perspective, not only from the United States’ point of view, but from that of those coping and trying to survive these changes in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.”

The spring series is presented by the Center for Legislative Studies. The three lectures are:

“The ‘Tunisia Effect’: Social Movements and Social Networks in the Arab Region”
Dr. Michaelle Browers
Associate Professor of Political Science, Wake Forest University
Wednesday, Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m.

“Political Transformation in Africa: the Quality of Progress”
Dr. Julius Nyang’oro
Professor and Chair, Department of African and Afro-American Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tuesday, March 29, 7:30 p.m.

“Contemporary Latin America: Evolution and Challenges to Democracy”
Dr. Jonathan Hartlyn
Kenneth J. Reckford Distinguished Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Wednesday, April 13, 7:30 p.m.

The talks will be held in the Weatherspoon Art Museum Auditorium. There will be free parking behind the museum.

A reception will follow each talk.

Those with questions may contact Carrie Klamut at ceklamut@uncg.edu.

By Mike Harris
Visual of demonstrators in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, January 29. Photograph by Ramy Raoof.

Agee Nears 600

020211Headline_LynneAgeeLynne Agee currently stands at 599 career wins, one shy of her 600th career victory. CW spoke with the women’s basketball coach last week, and it was clear she was interested in talking about her players, not about career wins.

“This is not a goal,” she said, adding that everyone wants to win. But the players win the games. “They have to put the ball in the hole.”

“It’s an honor, that I’m approaching this milestone,” she’d said. It speaks to the quality of the players and the program, she said. “I’m indebted to them.”

She quickly moved the topic to this year’s team, and the challenge at hand.

It’s a special team, “a hard-working team.”

The three seniors on the team, Monique Floyd, Kendra Smith and Amanda Leigh, are a special group. “Big hearts, these three seniors.”

Monique Floyd was SoCon defensive player of the year as a sophomore, and in addition to her tenacious defense has been their leading scorer this year. “Clearly our go-to player,” Agee said. “[She] takes it on her shoulders.”

On Monday, Jan. 31, Floyd reached the 1,000 point mark for her career.

As Agee spoke with CW last week, the team had just completed its first round of SoCon play. They won their first five and currently stand at 7-6 in the SoCon. At the same time, she has secured two great guard recruits for next year to blend with a maturing group of post players, who are gaining experience as the season progresses. The team looks good for the next few years, she said.

Why is she a coach? She has always been a teacher, she said – “all I wanted to be.” Her degree was in Phys Ed. She taught high school phys ed for seven years and began to coach tennis and basketball at a college.

With coaching, more so than with regular school teaching, you get to share what’s going on in the young persons’ lives, she said.

There’s a bond.

“Like the surrogate mom – we’re someone they can come to.”

Her focus is not on milestones – it’s on the challenge at hand.

As for the prospective 600-career-victory milestone – one that only 13 active Division I women’s basketball coaches possess?

“I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had terrific players.”

All women’s basketball games are free for faculty and staff with UNCG ID.

You have several more opportunities to cheer on the players and Agee, including the next home game, which features a special offer for faculty and staff:

  • Monday, Feb. 7, at noon, “Faculty/staff lunch with the Spartans” Faculty and staff are invited for a free lunch on Monday, Feb. 7, at noon as UNCG hosts Western Carolina in Fleming Gym. The free lunch will be provided during pregame to all faculty and staff who RSVP by Feb. 4 to Lauren Beasley at lebeasle@uncg.edu. All faculty and staff receive free admission to all women’s basketball regular-season home games. Lunch will be offered starting at 11 a.m. – you can get it on the second floor then enjoy it as you watch the game – and continue through halftime.
  • Saturday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m., PinkZone breast cancer awareness – The team hosts the College of Charleston, as all donations collected will benefit breast cancer research. Giveaways for the first fans to arrive will include pink T-shirts and pink pom-poms.
  • Saturday, Feb. 19, Chattanooga at 2 p.m. – Special recognition of three seniors (Senior Day), plus it’s the annual Pack the House Challenge
  • Monday, Feb. 21, Samford at 3 p.m. – Final home game of season

By Mike Harris
Photograph courtesy UNCG Athletics

Black History Month Events

012611Headline_KenanMore than a month of activities is scheduled on campus to commemorate the legacy, history and heritage of African Americans during Black History Month 2011.

All events are open to the public at no charge unless noted.

  • Jan. 31, Lecture, “An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C.,” by historian Dr. Kate Masur, Northwestern University, 4:30 p.m., Room 1215 Moore Humanities and Research Administration (MHRA) Building. Sponsored by the UNCG History Department. For details, contact Dr. Lisa Levenstein, levenstein@uncg.edu, 4-5992.
  • Feb. 8, Lecture, “Bags, Brooms, Bottles and Bedcovers: Hoodoo Folk Beliefs in African American Art,” discussion led by Bamidele Demerson, 6-8 p.m., UNCG Faculty Center, College Ave., Sponsored by the UNCG African American Studies Program. For details contact Bruce Holland, 4-5507.
  • Feb. 10, Lecture: “Preparing the Black Community for Social Change,” by Dr. R. L’Heureux Lewis, assistant professor of sociology and black studies at City College of New York, 7 p.m., Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House. This talk will deal with the need to shift dynamics within the Black community to accomplish greater social change. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. [This item was updated Feb. 2]
  • Feb. 10, Lecture, “Love in the Time of Oprah: Why America Loves to Save Africa,” with cultural anthropologist Dr. Kathryn Mathers of Duke University, 4:30 p.m., Room 106, Graham Building.
  • Feb. 10, Artist Lecture: Stacy Lynn Waddell, 5:30-6:30 p.m., as part of the exhibition “The Evidence of Things Unseen” by North Carolina artist Stacy Lynn Waddell, Weatherspoon Art Museum.Feb. 15, The Black History 101 Mobile Museum: A traveling table top exhibit with over 3,000 items of Black memorabilia spanning from slavery to Hip Hop, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House. The museum collection includes original documents from historic Black figures whose contributions helped shape the United States, along with items from the categories of slavery, Jim Crow era, Civil Rights and Black Power era, music, sports and popular culture. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the National Pan Hellenic Council and the Neo-Black Society. [This item was updated Feb. 2.]
  • Feb. 21, Panel Discussion, “Our Voice, My Voice: Writers Discuss the Relationship between the Group Self and the Individual Self,” featuring writers Randall Kenan of UNC-Chapel Hill, UNCG MFA creative writing graduate Quinn Dalton, and Dr. Mark Smith-Soto of UNCG, exploring the degree to which they write as representatives of a particular ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation; 4 p.m., Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House; sponsored by the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts, the University Libraries, the Friends of the UNCG Libraries, and the MFA Writing Program.
  • Feb. 21, Fiction Reading, North Carolina author Randall Kenan, associate professor of English at UNC-CH, whose works include “A Visitation of Spirits” and “Let the Dead Bury Their Dead”; 7 p.m., Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House, College Avenue; sponsored by the Center for Creative Writing in the Arts, the University Libraries, the Friends of the UNCG Libraries, and the MFA Writing Program.
  • Feb. 24, Concert, “A Celebration of Black History,” by Divine Harmony, 7 p.m., Curry Auditorium.

Extended events, exhibitions:

  • March 15, Discussion Forum: “Choosing to Get on the Boat: Early Black Women as Global Travelers,” led by Dr. Willie Coleman, 6-8 pm, EUC Claxton Room, contact: Bruce Holland at (336) 334-5507 or email at bjholla@uncg.edu. Before, during and after slavery black females had their own reasons for choosing to embark on voyages taking them outside of the United States. This presentation will focus on one or more specific women.
  • March 25, 13th annual Shades of Color Conference: “The Voices of Many,” the Shades of Color Conference is an annual event that aims to create a safe, empowering, inclusive space for all UNCG community members to discuss, reflect on and mobilize around issues of multiculturalism. For details, contact Dr. Mark Villacorta at mark_villacorta@uncg.edu.
  • Through April 22: “The Evidence of Things Unseen,” exhibition by North Carolina artist Stacy Lynn Waddell, Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNCG Campus.

By Steve Gilliam
Visual: writer Randall Kenan

Pracademics, a Plan for Practical Caring

011911Headline_WineburgA Jewish professor from New York state meets an African-American trucking manager from Charleston, S.C., on a basketball court. The men become friends, launch a nonprofit that puts people to work and reduces welfare dependency to the tune of $8 million over the past 13 years.

Sound like a screenwriter’s pitch for the feel-good film of the year? Maybe. Only this story isn’t too good to be true.

Dr. Bob Wineburg, Jefferson Pilot Excellence Professor in the Department of Social Work, and the Rev. Odell Cleveland, who made the shift from the trucking industry to the ministry, tell the story of their partnership and the economic engine they created in a new book, “Pracademics & Community Change.” It is the story of an unlikely friendship but, more importantly, the success story of a grassroots nonprofit, the Welfare Reform Liaison Project, founded and grounded in Greensboro.

“The lesson of our story is, to paraphrase, John Donne, that no institution is an island,” Wineburg says. “No community organization can thrive if it stays isolated from the rest of the organizations in a community’s sisterhood of care.”

To hear Wineburg and Cleveland talk, they were fated to meet. Cleveland, a big guy with a big smile, sits at the head of the conference table in Welfare Reform’s offices in Revolution Mills downtown. Welfare Reform is run like a business, with polished professionalism, and Cleveland is clearly a businessman.

“I knew a lot about welfare but not a lot about business,” says Wineburg. “Odell knew a lot about business but not a lot about welfare.”

“I thought, who am I to question why God put this bald-headed Jewish professor in my life?” Cleveland chimes in. He calls Wineburg “Wine.”

The story begins with Cleveland’s thesis, “Some Black Churches’ Response to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act,” written for a master’s in theology from Hood Theological Seminary. In it, he outlined a prescriptive program to help women move from welfare to work.

Then Cleveland was challenged by the senior pastor at his church, Mount Zion Baptist Church in Greensboro, to put his ideas to practice. But how to go about it? Would the primarily white business community he needed take him seriously in the board room?

Enter Wineburg. Wineburg mentored Cleveland, helping him write grant proposals. Cleveland gave Wineburg and his students access to the people who most needed help – poor, unskilled, living on the fringes, sometimes in trouble with the law.

Cleveland serves as president and CEO of Welfare Reform.

From his years in the trucking industry, he knew that manufacturers and stores needed a way to shed slightly damaged goods, and he knew tax breaks were available to those businesses. His operation steps up, brings those items – diapers, electronics, personal hygiene supplies – to a warehouse, and repackages them. The people who repackage and sell them are Welfare Reform trainees; the people who buy them at new, low prices are financially needy.

And Cleveland’s operation has formed other partnerships and programs as well. Welfare Reform trains people in writing skills, interviewing skills, digital photography and video production (as seen in visual); provides free classroom goods to Guilford County school teachers; relabels out-of-fashion suits from Men’s Wearhouse and distributes them to markets across the country and around the world.

The list goes on. In 2010, Welfare Reform enrolled 198 low-income clients, up from 147 in 2009. Nearly all live below the poverty level, and most are African-American. More than a third were recently homeless.

Clients go through an assessment and evaluation when they come to Welfare Reform. The goal is to prepare them for entry-level jobs or help them to start small businesses – a route to self-sufficiency.

The $8 million figure reflects wages earned, fewer financial demands on social services and less stress on the prison and court systems.

Cleveland is adamant that hard work and job training opportunities are the remedies for poverty.

“We were so poor, we didn’t have the ‘o’ and the ‘r’; we were just ‘po,’” he says of his childhood.

“Growing up in Charleston in the 1960s, you had to do the work of two white folks to keep the job. You had a real sense of proving one’s self. I tell people, you can win but you have to work. It takes a spirit of being driven to take out your demons – your doubts and fears – and other people’s demons.”

Wineburg, who grew up in Utica, N.Y., in a financially secure family, didn’t experience the prejudice and racial division that Cleveland saw in the South. He worked at his dad’s store, which sold to both blacks and whites. “I knew everybody who came through that door as a person,” he recalls.

But Wineburg says he and Cleveland share a common passion – eliminating poverty. “We both care about poor people, we have this deep spiritual care. Some of these folks are in such minefields they never get out of it. “

The title of their book, “Pracademics & Community Change,” reflects the need for academics to put their knowledge to work in the greater community and for social service practitioners to educate themselves.

“Pracademics. That’s the perfect word for it,” Cleveland says. “Practitioners and academics, how often do the two work together? It’s a community.”

By Michelle Hines

As 2011 Begins: Brady on Budget, Restructuring, Student Success

011211Headline_CHAInterview

Chancellor Linda P. Brady sat down last Thursday with Campus Weekly editor Mike Harris to provide updates and respond to questions on some of the most top-of-mind news topics on campus.

Chancellor Brady, I know you were a part of two discussions with students as the semester drew to a close – the forum for students about tuition/fees and your fireside chat with students. [Click here to view article about the Trustees approving a hike in tuition and fees – subject to Board of Governors approval.] Aside from the dollars and cents coming out of students’ pockets, what do students tell you about how the budget crunch is affecting them?

Obviously, students and their families are concerned about the rising cost of higher education. But they are equally concerned about the importance of maintaining access to the classes they need to graduate and the importance of maintaining quality for the institution. While there are concerns about rising costs, students also understand that we remain in the bottom quartile of our peers [regarding cost], and that we remain a very good buy. They do not want us to sacrifice the quality of the education they receive and therefore the value of their degrees.

My understanding is that UNCG submitted a budget proposal with 5 percent cuts and also with 10 percent cuts. What is the status of those proposals? Could cuts be higher? Is there a timeline?

Yes, just before the holiday break, the chancellors received a memorandum jointly from Erskine Bowles and Tom Ross, as the outgoing and the incoming presidents of the system, talking about budget management for the remainder of the current fiscal year and looking ahead to 2011-12.

In terms of the current fiscal year, we have been asked to reduce our spending by an additional 2.5 percent. This is something the governor has mandated for state agencies, and while the universities do not report to the governor – they are not a cabinet department – President Bowles and President Ross agreed to hold the universities to the same standard.

That would be the fiscal year through June 30, 2011?

That’s correct. And indeed we have allocated out those cuts. The memo I sent out is on the Budget web site. For UNCG, that will be $4.3 million in additional cuts that we will take between now and the end of the fiscal year. I have allocated those cuts out to the divisions, and they are in the process of identifying how they will cut expenditures by $4.3 million.

Because revised assessments suggest the budget deficit that may be as high as $3.7 billion in 2011-12, the universities have now been asked to plan for a 15 percent cut, as well as 5 and 10 percent cuts. Indeed, if the $3.7 billion deficit occurs – and if the cuts were applied uniformly across all state agencies – the universities would have to be reduced by 19.5 percent.

19.5 percent?

Yes. I have now also asked the vice chancellors and the provost to suggest strategies for how they would take an additional five percent cut over and above the 10 percent cut they have already planned for.

Once you get to 15 percent, it becomes very, very difficult. We have been asked by President Ross to prepare strategic cuts that will focus on curtailment or elimination of programs and services, rather than attempting to cut across the board. And indeed I have asked the vice chancellors and the provost to begin thinking about what programs and services they would recommend we would curtail or no longer deliver, if we have to take a cut of that magnitude.

Is there a particular timeline you have in mind for that process?

The chancellors will have an initial discussion with President Ross about strategy on January 24. I’ve already had one conversation with Executive Staff. I’ll be talking with Staff Senate Executive Committee today [Jan. 6] to get some input from them. And there will be opportunities to engage with others on campus and with the Board of Trustees over the next several weeks.

At this point, we have not been asked to prepare specific plans. The first conversation with President Ross will focus on strategies. For example, we believe that the university system needs to make a very strong case for one-time as opposed to continuing cuts. One-time cuts, if authorized by the governor, enable us to do furloughs, rather than having to lay off as many employees. From a business standpoint and an economic standpoint, I do not believe that it helps the state recover if we simply lay off 150, 200, 250 UNCG faculty and staff. That doesn’t make good economic sense, because if people are not working they are not paying taxes, they are collecting unemployment, and there are additional burdens on social services. And it makes it extremely difficult to rebuild.

I think the consensus not only here but across the university system is that we would like to have the ability to take at least a portion of our cut as one-time rather than continuing – even if we might have to consider extending those “one-time” cuts for an additional year. We would much prefer to have that flexibility rather than to have to take a permanent cut of that magnitude.

There are a number of updates and documents recently posted on UNCG’s Budget web site. I’ll link to those. Are there any other key things perhaps faculty and staff may want to keep in mind, in the coming months, in relation to budget?

The timing of all of this will be difficult, because we are going into a long [legislative] session that will begin January 26. With a change in leadership and with a shift in control from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in both the House and the Senate, that means new leadership, new committee leadership and many people in new roles.

We may not know until after July 1 what cuts we will have to take and what the budget will look like for 2011-12. And that’s why we’re beginning to think now about strategies for approaching those cuts, even though we may not be able to actually execute a plan until after the beginning of the next fiscal year.

Let me ask you about the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village. I know a lot of work – and discussions with the Glenwood community – has gone into this. Why is this project important at this time? Is it a matter of raising student retention and success rates?

We have been charged by the Board of Governors of the UNC system and General Administration to raise our retention and graduation rates. We do know, from national research and from the experience of our own students, that students who live in university-managed housing are more successful academically. They tend to be retained at higher levels. They tend to have higher graduation rates. They also tend to be more actively engaged on the campus in leadership roles. Improving retention and graduation rates is one of the goals of our expansion.

We also want to restore the residential character of the university. In the 1960s we housed about 80 percent of our students on campus. Now we house approximately one-third. We needed to expand and also wanted to preserve much of the remaining green space on the current campus. So over a period of three years we have looked at demand, we have looked at opportunities – whether to expand to the south or to the west. Both options were highlighted as possibilities in UNCG’s Master Plan. The Board of Trustees approved an expansion to the south, and we have indeed been working for the last year with the Glenwood neighborhood to develop and refine a plan that will address our needs in terms of the number of beds and the need for a new indoor recreation center – while addressing their concerns about a growing university presence.

What are some of the first things people will see?

The design for Phase 1 of the mixed-use village began in December [2010]. That will be a plan for 800 beds and mixed-use retail space.

Will the entryway under the railroad tracks be part of Phase 1?

Yes, there are two other components to Phase 1: The design of the pedestrian underpass is already under way. The design for a central police station, which will also be located on Lee Street, will begin early this year.

Let me ask about academic restructuring. I understand you and the provost met with HES and HHP staff around the first of December to hear concerns and answer questions. Can you talk a bit about those meetings?

The provost and I met separately with staff in each of those schools.

Staff are obviously concerned about their status. It’s a difficult time to engage in academic restructuring because we are involved in this at the same time that we’re trying to deal with a very difficult budget environment. One of the challenges has been separating those two issues.

Even if we were not in the current budgetary environment, this restructuring would be going forward. It is extremely important to position UNCG with respect to academic programs related to health and human development in a way that will build on our strengths but also enhance our competitiveness with other institutions.

I think there has been some confusion about the fundamental purpose of the restructuring. The purpose of the restructuring is not for us to be able to take a $17 million budget cut, because obviously that won’t be the case. Will there be savings? Absolutely. We estimate, at a minimum, a million dollars in recurring administrative costs. We won’t know precisely what the savings will be until a decision is made on the structure of the new unit and the transition committee has an opportunity to address needs.

The goal that the provost and I had in meeting with the staff of the two units was to hear their concerns, and to correct some misperceptions that are out there. Once we know what the new structure will be, we’ll move into the creation of a transition team that will include staff from all of the functional areas that will need to be addressed, including Student Services, IT support, Development and others.

Now we are planning a joint meeting of the staff from HES and HHP probably later this month, and there will be representatives from HRS at that meeting, to address any specific concerns that SPA staff in particular may have. But we thought it important to meet separately with the two groups first, because they do indeed have different issues and concerns.

[To read Chancellor Brady’s column about UNCG’s academic restructuring that appeared in the Dec. 23 News and Record, click here.]

Can I ask you about timeline and how the work of the Academic Restructuring Committee is proceeding?

The provost and I had a meeting with the committee before the winter break. The committee has met, I believe, five or six times. They are posting summaries of their meetings on the Academic Restructuring web site, which can reached from the university home page. I understand that they have developed several options. They are beginning to address the strengths and weaknesses of each of the options. And the members of the Restructuring Committee are taking those options back to their constituencies to get additional feedback. I believe the committee is making good progress and I would expect within the next month to six weeks they will have a preliminary report for the provost. At that point we will engage broader input on the options.

On the timeline: our goal is for the committee to issue its report, for the provost and me to receive additional input, for Executive Staff to consider the options, and for me to make a recommendation on an option to the Board of Trustees at the May meeting. Assuming the Trustees approve the recommendation, we would then endeavor to get it on the agenda of the Board of Governors as early as the June meeting. That enables us to put together the transition committee that will look at all the issues related to implementation of the new structure. That committee would begin work over the summer. But, indeed, we expect that it will be Fall 2012 before we will actually implement the new unit.

And that really parallels the approach that we took with the creation of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. We went through a very similar process.

One last question, chancellor. Over the last days, the students have been returning to campus, and you can sense that energy as they look to a new year. As we begin 2011, are there one or two things that you most look forward to in this new year?

All you have to do is look at the campus and know that there is a great deal of excitement and forward progress.

We will open the new School of Education building this spring. That will be an incredible facility. It will enable us to offer programs in which UNCG students are using the technologies that they will actually use in the classroom. It’s a very great help to us in recruiting the very best faculty and students into the School of Education.

We also continue to move forward on the implementation of our Strategic Housing Plan, which not only relates to the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village but the new residence hall, Jefferson Suites, going up across the street from the School of Education building. That will open next fall. At that point we will begin renovation of the Quad.

I think there are many positive things going on. Last fall we admitted our first class of graduate students in Nanoscience. The JSNN building at Gateway University Research Park will open this time next year.

A lot of exciting things happening.

We’re also developing proposals for learning communities, which will be associated with each of the new residence halls that we build. We are already receiving proposals from the faculty – one from the Bryan School to create a learning community focused on global entrepreneurship and sustainability. The investment in learning communities should contribute significantly to improvement in our retention and graduation rates.

Anything else, perhaps, I have not asked you that I should?

I think we’ve covered a lot. I know budget is on everyone’s minds. It’s difficult because of all the uncertainties. It’s pretty clear that we will be in a much more challenging situation next year. Things are beginning to improve in other states. We’re a little bit behind [in our state’s recovery] … So there will continue to be challenges. But UNCG is a remarkable community of dedicated faculty and staff, and we will weather the storm.

Interviewed by Mike Harris
Visual from an archive photo

Sailing with the Pilot, Using Starfish

120810Headline_StarfishYou’re a freshman. A few of your classes are pretty large. Your initial grades – or perhaps your spotty attendance in class – show you need some help. But will you seek it out? A new pilot program helps prompt you to get it, in time to achieve success in the class.

The program is Starfish. And it is part of UNCG’s efforts to boost retention rates and graduation rates, as UNCG endeavors to significantly raise them by 2013. “I think it’ll make a real impact,” Dr. Steve Roberson, dean of undergraduate studies, said last week.

The pilot began on campus a year ago, and data on their effect on retention are not available yet. But Dean Roberson ran down preliminary numbers for the Faculty Senate on Dec. 2.

So far this semester, through Starfish:

  • 1,567 instructor-initiated flags were raised for 452 students.
  • The most raised flag was “Low Grade Concern,” which generated an automatic email.
  • Out of nearly 7,000 Student Success Center tutoring appointments that resulted from Starfish notifications, the most were scheduled for BIO 111: Principles of Biology, BIO 277: Human Physiology, and CHEM 111: General Chemistry.
  • More than 3,900 advising appointments campus-wide were made through Starfish.

“It’s Big Brother at its best,” said Roberson, as faculty-determined “tripwires” are used to automatically help students.

UNCG’s idea actually originated at Purdue University, where Dr. Ray Purdom, UNCG’s director of the Teaching & Learning Center, received his doctorate. Purdom saw a reference in an Purdue alumni publication to Purdue Signals, a software system Purdue had built to improve retention.

“I got on the phone with the folks mentioned in the article,” said Purdom, “and I got on the phone with our Blackboard representative,” who found a newer, very promising system, Starfish. And a year ago, UNCG moved ahead with a pilot using Starfish.

What does it do for UNCG students and faculty?

“You can ID students who need assistance. And [they can] get the assistance in timely fashion,” Purdom explained last week.

There are two components at UNCG: Early Alert and Connect.

Early Alert “raises flags,” to call attention to students who need help. It can read grade and attendance information on Blackboard to raise the flags. And the faculty member can set the criteria for flagging. Low exam score? Low overall grades? Student hasn’t logged into their Blackboard account in five days? Some combination of these?

Once the criteria is set, there is not much extra work for faculty, if any, Purdom says. The student, as well as perhaps the advisor and academic support services, will receive an email. Its general thrust – “We’re concerned about you.” Faculty can compose that mass email as they see fit. And that simple email can make a huge difference.

Faculty members can also use manual flagging, to reach particular students, if they choose.

The response from faculty members so far? Purdom says they like the idea, particularly those with large classes. It saves them time. “Three hundred students? It’s hard to monitor them all. And we have more and more large classes.”

He notes that “flag management” can be a challenge. It’s something the university is working through, as the pilot program continues.

UNCG was the first in the UNC system to use Starfish, which has been in existence about three years. ECU has also begun using it, and NC A&T State is thinking about it, Purdom says.

Starfish now serves about 50 universities, including University of Pittsburgh, University of Chicago and Seton Hall.

Its chief software engineer has recently moved to Greensboro, Purdom says. “It’s kind of reassuring that he’s here in town.”

Early Alert can make a huge difference for a freshman. “A lot of them have never had an email come from a faculty member. And they really like the ability to schedule appointments.”

Scheduling appointments with advisors and tutors is a second component of Starfish. That component is called Connect. UNCG is pilot testing this with the Starfish company; it is not fully implemented. The Lloyd International Honors College, School of Nursing and Bryan School have been involved. The College of Arts and Sciences Advising Center is now using it with all of its students, Purdom says.

Connect simply makes it very easy for students to make appointments, instantly. They don’t have to make a call or find an email address or walk to an office to sign up for a time slot.

“It does get students in to see advisors,” Purdom explains.

The Student Success Center tutoring center in McIver pilot tested it with an introductory biology course in Spring 2010, moved to 24 courses in the summer, and this semester have used it with all the courses for which it offers tutoring.

Starfish integrates with Blackboard seamlessly. “Students think they’re at Blackboard,” but part of what they’re seeing is actually Starfish.

For a student? They can see their courses on Blackboard and a note under each course, such as “Introductory appointment overdue by 5 days” or “Make appointment” – with a link to set the appointment.

“We’re truly a pioneer in this,” Purdom says. “We were maybe the tenth or twelfth university in the country to use Starfish.”

Purdom reflects on how this would have been helpful when he was a freshman or sophomore in college. “Easy access to offices and people that will help me? I’d find that beneficial. And it would’ve gotten me over that barrier to see a faculty member, too.”

He explains that office hours can be the loneliest hours of the week for faculty members. “If [students] come once, they’ll come again.” Easy scheduling and prompts gets students over that barrier.

Early Alert may be used for all freshman gateway courses in Fall 2011, but there is one technical hurdle. Banner does not yet “talk to” Starfish, so currently a lot of manual inputting and updating of advisor information is required. Once the appropriate software is created on campus, the Connect pilot will be able to fully expand, and many more students can be helped.

Those with questions may contact Dean Steve Roberson or Dr. Ray Purdom. Additional information may be found at the Starfish web site.

Visual:  Sean Simpson, a tutor of economics at the Student Success Center, assists an undergraduate on Dec. 7.

By Mike Harris
Photography by David Wilson

Holiday Got-Tos and Get-Togethers

120110Headline_HolidaysA great number of “holiday happenings” are scheduled for the next two weeks.

Holiday choral concert An estimated 200 singers and musicians will present the annual holiday choral concert at 5 p.m. on Dec. 5 in First Presbyterian Church at 617 N. Elm Street. The free, public event includes all of Music’s student vocal groups and will include both sacred and secular selections.

The concert features the University Chorale, Women’s Choir, Men’s and Women’s Glee Clubs, and UNCG Chamber Singers. Traditional and contemporary choral music will be showcased and more than 200 voices will be heard during the concert. The audience can join in such traditional favorites as “Joy to the World,” “Angels from the Realms of Glory” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” All choirs will sing together in a performance of Mack Wilberg’s arrangement of “Angels We Have Heard on High.” The processional will feature Lara Hoggard’s “Personent Hodie.”

“This concert is the School of Music, Theatre and Dance’s holiday gift to the community,” said Dr. Welborn E. Young.

Luminaires The campus will glow by candlelight when the 41st annual luminaire display takes place on Tuesday, Dec. 7. Up to 7,000 luminaires will burn from 5-10 p.m. The holiday tradition began on campus in 1969 and is always held on Reading Day to close out the semester. Members of the fraternity and sorority communities have already pledged their time to arrange the luminaires, with guidance from the Order of Omega Greek Leadership Honour Society.

Holiday Reception Holding to tradition, the chancellor’s Holiday Reception is the same evening. It will be from 4-6 p.m. on Dec. 7, as it returns to cozy and warm Virginia Dare Room in Alumni House. Enjoy the tasty holiday treats of hot chocolate and cookies, seasonal music, and the fellowship of colleagues and friends, as faculty, staff and friends of the university ring in the holidays.

Many additional holiday events are scheduled as well:

Art, Tea & Song at Weatherspoon today (Dec 1) At 4 p.m., visit the Weatherspoon for tea in the atrium. Then at 4:30 p.m., enjoy a performance by the University Chorale, directed by Dr. Carole Ott, featuring the lush harmonies of a cappella music by Eric Whitacre, Herbert Howells and Sarah Hopkins.

Bookstore Faculty and Staff Appreciation Sale today (Dec. 1) Find something for all the Spartans on your holiday shopping list. In addition to your current 20 percent Faculty/Staff discount, take an extra 10 percent off non-book items (magazines, bargain books, sale items, computer hardware and software not included.) Present your SpartanCard to receive your discount.

EUC Holiday Social on Thursday, Dec. 2, 9:30 – 11 a.m., Cone Ballroom, EUC. The campus community is cordially invited to celebrate the season with the staff of Elliott University Center and Campus Activities & Programs. Enjoy refreshments, festive music and holiday cheer.

International Programs Center Holiday Open House IPC hosts their open House, Friday, Dec. 3, 2 – 4 p.m., 206 Foust Building.

Holidays Around the World features student organizations illustrating and expressing the different ways they celebrate holidays, traditions, or customs throughout the year. Performances usually include poetry, prayers, singing, skits and dancing. The program will take place on Friday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. in Curry Auditorium. It is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Family Day at Women’s Basketball Who knew Santa was a basketball fan? Come to HHP Building Saturday, Dec. 18. The fun starts on the second level of HHP at 1 p.m. with a visit from Santa, cookie decorating, hot chocolate, reindeer games and fun holiday crafts. Santa has to leave at 2 p.m., the Office of CAP explains, to check on his elves at his workshop, but don’t worry, the UNCG Women’s Basketball team tips off against Wofford. Tickets will be on sale at the door. Faculty and staff get in free with their Spartan Card. You and your little ones can go into the game or stay until 3 p.m. to continue to play or make crafts (while supplies last). UNCG students, parents, faculty, and staff are invited to bring their little ones out for this fun holiday event. Parking will be free in the Walker parking deck. A parent must be present in the Family Day area with their children. The pregame event is sponsored by Office of Campus Activities & Programs.

Want to give, this holiday season? Various departments and groups take on projects. For example, Athletics will collect toys for children at the Monday, Dec. 6, men’s basketball game vs. Furman. Fans may bring new, unused toys for the Fox 8 Gifts for Kids campaign. With each toy donated, you can receive two discounted tickets at $5 each. With any ticket purchased on the day of the event, $2 will be donated to Fox 8 Gifts for Kids. Another example? One new campuswide program to help several UNCG families enjoy a holiday beyond the basics – including some things (clothing and toys) the children might like – is under way. Learn more here.

By Steve Gilliam and Mike Harris
Photography by Chris English

Academic Restructuring: The Provost’s Perspective

111710Headline_PerrinLast Friday afternoon, Dr. David H. Perrin, provost and executive vice chancellor, sat down with Mike Harris, Campus Weekly editor, to speak about – and respond to questions about – academic restructuring at our university.

Provost Perrin, can you give a brief overview of the academic restructuring here at UNCG over the past months?

We began a conversation about the potential of academic restructuring this past June. I, at that time, appointed a subcommittee of the Dean’s Council, to really focus on two charges. The first would be to explore potential models around the country that might help to inform our conversation at UNCG about restructuring. And the second was to formulate the plan by which faculty would lead that process. Fairly soon after appointing that subcommittee, we added faculty representation, in particular a senior faculty member from HHP and a senior faculty member from HES – professors Dan Bibeau and Gwen O’Neal.

Admittedly, we got off to a rocky start. That particular approach generated some concern about the extent to which it would be a transparent process, the extent to which the faculty would be involved. If I had it to do it again, I probably would have started with the faculty/staff/student committee we now have, rather than a sub-committee of the Deans Council. But that said, thankfully, we are where I had hoped we would be at this point in time, which is, having a restructuring committee of faculty, staff and students that are really leading the process.

And the list of that committee is online?

Yes, we have a web page, and the committee is listed online as is the charge of the committee and why we are engaging in academic restructuring at UNCG.

So, we have two units – two academic units, both schools, both very strong, that have historic strengths in health and human development – as well as some other very strong departments, by the way, that have real strengths in health and human development. We think there are some very exciting opportunities to enhance collaboration.

Which two units [for those new to this discussion]?

Health and Human Performance and Human Environmental Sciences. So we think we have some very exciting opportunities to consolidate, if you will, two schools into one – and that might even involve other programs on campus, or departments or schools – and to enhance collaboration through interdisciplinary approaches to curriculum, community engagement and research.

So, our goal here is to create a single academic unit that could be either a school or a college, that would build on our strengths in health and human development. And the charge of the committee is to create several options, with an accompanying narrative for each option, identifying the advantages and disadvantages and challenges of each option, for consideration – that I can consider and discuss with the chancellor and the board of trustees.

Can I ask you a question about the timeline: When do you think you will have recommendations from this committee to you?

Ideally, the committee will be able to share with me a preliminary draft of their work by the end of this semester. I could then provide them some feedback which could be helpful to them in refining and completing their report by the end of this academic year, by the end of the spring semester. At that time, we would consider the options, consider the possibilities and bring forth to the board of trustees, ultimately, a recommendation for what the restructured unit would look like.

We would also need approval of the Board of Governors. And once approved, we would then appoint a Transition Committee of faculty and staff from that unit – from departments and programs that would be in the restructured unit. They would work on implementation of the transition through the 2011-12 academic year, so we would actually be fully operational and implemented the fall of 2012.

Along the way, we are – and I am – communicating very closely with the Faculty Senate leadership –

That’s a question I have. How are faculty involved, and how is Faculty Senate involved?

Well, the faculty are essentially leading this, through the committee. It’s co-chaired by Professor Bibeau and Professor O’Neal who have facilitation being provided by David Altman from the Center for Creative Leadership. There is representation on the committee from each of the departments in Health and Human Performance and Human Environmental Sciences, as well as representation from the School of Nursing, the School of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School, and the chair-elect of the Faculty Senate is a member of the committee. We also have representation from Staff Senate, and a staff member and student from each of the schools, Health and Human Performance and Human Environmental Sciences.

The committee – how many times has the committee met?

The committee has met three times. I think they are making great progress. The chancellor and I met with them this week [week of Nov. 8], at their third meeting. They had some questions.

Can I ask, what are some of the questions they had? And how did you respond?

There were some questions about the charge of the committee and the timelines for completing the work. I provided some clarification related to the charge: that we’re looking for multiple options, with a narrative to accompany each option. A very important point is that each narrative for each option would need to address – or identify – the home for any departments that would not be a part of the restructured unit.

So this process is not about program elimination or elimination of departments. That’s a very important point to make, I think.

What are some other questions that they – ?

Well, we talked about the timeline (and I talked you through the timeline already). I provided some clarification there. There were some questions about whether the unit should be a school or a college. And we encouraged them to think about options that would include both. We did remind them that the process must reduce, not add, to administrative costs, so that would be something they would need to consider as they thought about this. Related to whether it’d be a school or a college was the question: What other units on the campus or what other departments or programs on the campus should be a part of the conversation, beyond Health and Human Performance and Human Environmental Sciences?

For example, “Should Nursing be a part of that conversation, or should Biology, or…” Was that the question?

Yes, exactly, and I think the units and the departments that were being discussed most about were Psychology, Biology and Nursing.

What we’re trying to create here would be a professional school or a professional college. So I don’t think it makes sense to think about moving basic disciplines like psychology and biology into this professional unit. Now the School of Nursing should be a part of the conversation. But I think it’s important to note that the School of Nursing is accredited as a school. Human Environmental Sciences and Health and Human Performance are not accredited as schools. They have programs and departments within their school that are accredited, but they would continue to be accredited regardless of how they were configured or where they were housed.

So, if the School of Nursing were to be a part of this, we would probably be talking about “college,” under which could be a School of Nursing and multiple departments around “health and human development.” But, the committee may determine it doesn’t make sense for a college to put Nursing – and one of their options may be a school that would not include it. So they can go either way and I’ve encouraged them to think about this either way.

At Faculty Convocation, you said twice, maybe more, “Imagine the possibilities.” Does that still hold, is that still a key message here?

Absolutely. You know, anytime you engage in change of this magnitude on a university campus, it raises lots of concerns and fear. I’ve been in higher education 30 years, and I’ve never seen change, at a university, where there is 100 percent consensus and support for it. And that’s actually a good thing, that’s a healthy thing. That keeps us all honest. It requires us all to think very carefully about what we’re doing. So I think that’s a good and a healthy thing. But I think we have the opportunity here to create something very exciting for UNCG. Something that will optimally prepare our students to compete for positions in these fields, careers in these fields – something that will foster more collaboration. I think a good example where we have some real opportunities here is we have some real strengths in these two units around community engagement and sustainability. And I think there could be some very innovative things done with curriculum and with outreach and community engagement, around those things, as we build a new unit.

So it sounds like it would not only be good for UNCG, but also – in a wider scope – for the community and possibly North Carolina? Is that accurate or – ?

Yes, I believe that is accurate. Many universities around the country are reorganizing around these kinds of strengths. I think it’s going to be real important for us to do this, to be able to compete, to bring greater visibility to the strengths that exist on this campus around these fields. I would expect there to be enhanced opportunities for community engaged scholarship and, again, a lot of the interdisciplinary things I think will evolve from this.

This discussion I hear mixed in with the discussion about budget. There’s also the component of making UNCG a better university. Which is a greater factor here?

The primary motivation here is an academic one and a programmatic one. To restructure in a way that will maximize our strengths.

That said, we are facing some extraordinarily challenging budget times, and we need to be proactively preparing as best we can for what promises to be some very significant budget reductions. This process will reduce administrative costs without having to eliminate faculty positions or close programs.

It obviously, alone, isn’t going to be sufficient to meet our budget cuts, but it’s a secondary purpose. It’s a reality that we need to be thinking about how this can help us prepare for budget cuts.

Provost Perrin, is there anything that I have not asked you that maybe I should ask, at this point?

I know that there is concern among alumni who are fearful of losing this important part of our history at UNCG. You know, HHP started as Physical Education. And HES started as Home Economics. And from my understanding of the history of the university, there were some real outcries when those two moved from Home Economics and Physical Education to something broader than that. So I understand the concerns. I respect very deeply the history of the institution.

But I think it’s very important for alumni to consider, Is it more important to have a structure that meets the needs of students from the past, or to have a structure that best prepares students for the future?

And that’s what this is all about for UNCG. How to best position ourselves for the future, how to best prepare our students for the future. We will honor the history of these academic units. But we have a real opportunity here, I think, to do something very exciting, moving the university forward.

Photograph from UR archives by Chris English.

Last SECC Envelopes Are Coming In

111010Headline_SECCThe SECC comes to a close at the end of this week. The goal of $235,000 has not yet been reached.

Campaign solicitors for each department are collecting envelopes and making last minute reminders. Friday, Nov. 12, is the final day of the SECC, the official workplace giving campaign for employees throughout state government and the university system.

Through donations, the campaign assists more than 900 agencies and groups.

Here at UNCG, nearly 100 solicitors volunteer to distribute and then collect SECC envelopes each year. Many volunteer year after year.

For example, Lennie Alexander volunteers in University Advancement. “I have been an SECC solicitor about 10 years and love it,” she said, adding, “I am a believer that the more you give the more blessing you receive.”

Dr. John R. Locke (Music) has been an SECC solicitor at least that long. “I very much believe in the mission of the SECC and I have always contributed, myself.” He says he is completely relentless, utilizing an arsenal of emails, hand-written notes, phone calls and personal office visits. “I enjoy pestering my colleagues – 74 on my list this year – until I get an envelope back!”

He is known for giving a reward, as well. “When I get a pledge envelope back, I send that person a thank you note and a pack of M&Ms.”

Dr. Susan Andretta has been the Department of Anthropology’s solicitor for five years. “I do it because I believe in giving and giving back to the community.” She notes that her colleagues in the department are very generous and want to help in ways they can, making her job very easy for her.

Mary Katsikas (Chemisty/Biochemistry) has been a solicitor for four or five years. “All I do is send out a reminder once a week to those who have not handed in their envelopes. It is not really what I do but the fact those in my department want to help me do this. I am fortunate to work with people like this.”

A common refrain from the solicitors was the ready participation from individuals in their departments, such as in Communication Studies, where Dr. Chris Poulos has been the solicitor for three years. “I do it to make a small difference,” he says. Any secrets? “Just regular follow up,” which, he explains, “could be called nagging. It seems to work.”

Karen Christensen (Accounting Services) has done it for several years. The fellow solicitors she sees at the beginning of the campaign – as Peggy Woods gives instructions – and at the end as the campaign chair announces the total, are friends from all parts of campus she always enjoys being with. “Before Peggy sends the email, I create a list of the people in Cashier’s Office, Accounting Services and Fixed Assets. On the list I write ‘date handout packet’ and ‘date receive return envelope’. Then I create emails to send to everyone – one for the start, one for the middle, and one to remind when the last day to turn in envelopes. I have given candy some years when they hand in envelopes, [but I wanted to do] something different this year, since so many are trying to be healthier.” She also prints out the news about the SECC in Campus Weekly to hang on the office bulletin board, “with a picture of the thermometer to watch the contributions grow.”

Why does she do all this?

“Everyone needs help sometime in their life, so it is very important to give back to others where you can,” she says.

Visual: SECC solicitors received information and instructions Sept. 17.  Two solicitors quoted in story, Mary Katsikas (in white sweater) and Chris Poulos (in dark blue shirt), are in center of photo.

By Mike Harris
Photography by Mike Harris

Dean Petersen Will Step Down

110310Headline_PetersenDr. James C. Petersen, who has been dean of the Graduate School since 2002, is stepping down from the position effective June 30, 2011.

A search committee will be named soon, said Provost David H. Perrin, who praised Petersen’s work.

“The new doctoral and master’s degree programs established during Jim’s tenure as dean helped UNCG attain its current Carnegie classification as a Research University with High Research Activity,” Perrin said. “His tireless advocacy for additional support for graduate students has enhanced our competitiveness for the top students throughout the state and nation.”

Petersen is a tenured professor in the Department of Sociology and plans to teach after stepping down as dean. He came to UNCG from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he was dean of the Graduate School and associate provost for research 1999-2002. He holds a doctorate from the University of Iowa.

In addition to his administrative duties, Petersen worked with UNCG’s academic leadership to develop and expand graduate programs. As dean, he formulated and implemented policies to facilitate the work of faculty in graduate education, provided leadership in recruiting and retention of graduate students, and developed criteria for evaluating and for guaranteeing quality in UNCG’s graduate programs. He also worked to further UNCG’s research mission.

During Petersen’s years, UNCG has added 12 doctoral programs, six master’s degree programs and 22 graduate certificates. From May 2003 to May 2010, the annual number of graduates increased 64 percent for doctorates, 69 percent for Education Specialist degrees, 9.5 percent for master’s degrees, and 226 percent for graduate certificates.

There was also a substantial increase in support for graduate students. Between the 2002-03 and 2009-10 academic years, the total value of graduate assistant stipends increased by 76 percent and the total value of tuition waivers increased by 73 percent. During this period the university also began providing health insurance for all categories of graduate assistants.

The Graduate School has installed new software to improve the handling of inquiries about graduate education opportunities and a new system for online applications to graduate programs. It has established a development program for private giving and hired our first Director of Development. The Graduate School also established a newsletter, Eunomia, to increase the visibility of graduate programs and the accomplishments of our graduate students.

Visual: Dean Petersen (right) presenting an award to a student at the 2005 Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards Convocation.

By Steve Gilliam

Photograph by David Wilson

New Education Dean: Karen Wixson

102710Headline_WixsonAfter a national search, Dr. Karen K. Wixson, professor of education at the University of Michigan, has been named dean of UNCG’s School of Education.

Wixson’s tenure begins Jan. 1, when she will succeed the current dean, Dr. Dale H. Schunk. Schunk has held the position since 2001.

“I was immediately attracted to UNCG because of its reputation as an engaged institution, in general, and specifically in the area of education,” Wixson said. “My meetings and conversations with university administrators and School of Education faculty, staff, students and alums served to reinforce this impression and helped me gain an appreciation for the collaborative, collegial environment at UNCG. These are the values and priorities needed to make a difference and I’m delighted to be joining the team effort to ensure high quality educational opportunities for all.”

“As former dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan, Dr. Wixson has proven leadership with administrative management, budgetary responsibility, fund-raising, and grant-getting experience,” said UNCG Provost David H. Perrin. “She is the right person to encourage and inspire our diverse faculty and staff both as individuals and as an academic community with a demonstrated commitment to academic excellence, diversity, equity, and educational opportunity.”

Wixson served as dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan from 1998-2005. Prior to receiving her doctorate in reading education at Syracuse University, she worked as both a remedial reading specialist and a learning disabilities teacher. She has published widely in the areas of literacy curriculum, instruction, and assessment in books and journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, The Reading Teacher, Elementary School Journal, Review of Research in Education, and the Handbook of Reading Research. She is also an author on the Scott Foresman reading program and co-author of a popular text on the assessment and instruction of reading and writing problems.

Wixson co-directed the federally funded Michigan English Language Arts Framework standards project, and served as co-director and principal investigator of the U.S. Department of Education’s Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement. She has been a long-time consultant to the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading tests, and recently served as a member of several National Research Council committees, and as a member of the extended work for the Common Core English-language Arts standards. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Reading Conference and the International Reading Association and is currently co-chair of the Reading Association’s Commission on Response to Intervention.

Wixson is especially enthused about the recent Common Core State Standards Movement, a state-led effort to define clear and consistent benchmarks for students across the nation. The Common Core initiative is coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

“North Carolina has adopted the Common Core State Standards and is a member of one the two assessment consortia,” she said. “An area of particular importance to the success of these efforts is preparation of both pre-service and in-service education professionals and I am committed to helping the UNCG School of Education play a leadership role in this arena.”

By Michelle Hines

Cabbage and Tomatoes and Beans and …

102010Headline_GardenThe vacant lot at 123 McIver will soon be a hotbed of activity. Or approximately 18 raised beds, to be precise.

A campus garden, announced by Chancellor Brady in her State of the Campus address, will be under construction within days. Work days begin next week.

The first significant plantings will be in March. Until then, “the soil is working,” says Dr. Susan Andreatta, co-director of UNC Greensboro Gardens with Guy Sanders. The soil, compost and worms will be active this winter, even on days passersby see little new activity.

What you will see in coming months is a place to house the wheelbarrows and benches used for outdoor classroom learning. And work will begin on a fence “to keep ground critters out,” says Andreatta.

It’s an organic garden, with no use of synthetic chemicals. And the weeding and work will be done by those who sign up to be a part of it.

The UNC Greensboro Gardens group, affiliated with the campus Sustainability Committee, envisions mostly edibles, with a few flowering plants to attract beneficial insects. Perhaps sunflowers in corners, Andreatta says.

Interested in being a part of the garden?

Applications can be picked up at the UNC Greensboro Gardens table at today’s Sustainability event at the Traffic Circle. Additionally, the registration form can be accessed at the left side of the Sustainability home page at sustain.uncg.edu and at uncgsustainability.wordpress.com. The application deadline is Nov. 5, allowing faculty who are interested to consider incorporating into their classes next semester.

Priority for the beds will be given to faculty for use with particular classes, which could range from Biology to Religious Studies. Many types of classes and disciplines may be interested.

One class has already been hard at work. An Interior Architecture class led by Dr. Anna Marshall-Baker broke into teams this semester to create designs for the layout of the beds, seating for an education area, a storage area for wheelbarrows, an arbor and the fencing. [Some of their design work can be seen at the bottom of the visual.] Two additional teams are collecting materials (such as reclaimed barn board) and organizing the fabrication and on-site installation of the beds and furnishings, while other students in the class developed a UNC Greensboro Gardens blog and are generating fundraising and publicity for the project.

The City of Greensboro is donating the dirt and compost for the garden. Davey Tree is donating the wood chips for in between the beds.

All on the campus are invited to volunteer for work days at the campus garden. Bring work gloves and, if you have one, a shovel. Work days will be:
Thursday, Oct. 28 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 29 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 30 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Information meetings, in which faculty and staff members can learn about the campus garden, will be:
Thursday, Oct. 21, 12:30-1:45 p.m. in 215 Stone
Thursday, Oct. 21, 5- 6 p.m. in 423 Graham

Applications will be available at these meetings, as well as at the HES Sustainability Event “Small Steps to Big Ideas: Sustainability on Campus” Oct. 29 from 11-30-1:30 in 401 Gatewood Building.

There are a limited number of plots and they will be assigned to faculty first who incorporate the raised beds into their curriculum.

Visual: What 123 McIver looks like now. Inset, a few drawings created by an Interior Architecture class as they worked to design the garden site.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mark Unrue

A School of Their Own, in Ghana

101310Headline_GhanaAnna Will, a senior interior architecture major, came home from a Habitat for Humanity trip with a mission. She wanted to design a school for the Kyekyewere village she had visited in Ghana, Africa.

Anna had seen the lust for learning in the Kyekyewere children, who had to walk several miles to school in neighboring villages. [One of these distant schools is in visual.]

“It was upsetting to hear children explain that they probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to see the future they dreamed of just because they didn’t think they were capable of making it to university,” she says. “Witnessing this determination to learn made me realize how important it was to bridge the gap between reality and dreams to better the futures of these children.”

The children’s dreams are fast becoming reality. Hannah Rose Mendoza (Interior Architecture) and Anna’s fellow design students quickly embraced Anna’s idea. The project represented the same community-engaged social activism that Interior Architecture had invested in earlier projects like Our Sister Susan’s House, a home for single teen moms and their children.

Anna and other students worked under Mendoza, adopting the school design project as part of their coursework. Final designs will be chosen, and several of the students will travel to Ghana in January to help build the school.

“The world is much smaller than we realize; students at UNCG need to understand the importance of global involvement and thinking beyond our school, state and country,” Anna says.

Mendoza has put in countless extra hours on the project. She has written to ambassadors, Nestle, even Oprah, to raise funds for the project. She has recruited help and advice at UNCG and beyond, engaging local businesses as well as structural engineering students and a Ghana-born professor of agricultural economics from NC A&T.

“We’re trying to build as broad a coalition as possible,” Mendoza says.

In designing a school for Kyekyewere where there is no phone service, no electricity, no plumbing, no air-conditioning, and no means to replace broken glass, Mendoza’s students are facing unique challenges.

“They are having to step outside of their own experience of what a school is,” she says.

Mendoza looks on the Ghana project as a pilot for future global design projects, hopefully building a school somewhere in the world every two years.

Follow the Ghana project, Building Hope, or make a donation by visiting http://iarcghana.wordpress.com/. Numerous fundraisers, including a benefit concert, are detailed on the site.

Visual: A school the students currently walk miles to attend
By Michelle Hines
Photography by Anna Will.

P&T and the Love of Reading

100610Headline_PTBooksAt 13, Maria Carla Sanchez was devouring young adult fiction at a rate that was straining her family’s budget. So her mother gave her six meatier books to enjoy, including Thomas Hardy’s “The Mayor of Casterbridge,” Joseph Conrad’s “Lord Jim,” Jane Austen’s “Emma” and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

Although she still has her worn copy of “The Mayor of Casterbridge,” complete with the “Who” band logo she doodled inside and underlined words she needed to look up, a new copy on the shelves of the UNG University Libraries bears Sanchez’s name and a message for future readers. She selected the book to celebrate her promotion to associate professor of English.

Her message reads, in part: “It felt as if whole new worlds opened up for me. I was challenged, which I hadn’t been in a while, and I responded – I didn’t go back to the ‘kid stuff.’… I truly, madly, deeply fell in love with Thomas Hardy and the Victorian era, and that love has never abated….Whenever I think of this novel, I think of how my mother was ambitious for me, in ways both large and small, and how she has always supported my love of reading. I am very, very lucky to have her as my mom, so I choose this book in her honor.”

Starting in 2006, the University Libraries and the Provost’s Office came up with a fresh way to recognize and celebrate faculty who achieve tenure and/or promotion. Each newly tenured or promoted faculty member selects a book for the library’s collection that is then bookplated to commemorate her or his achievement. Faculty members choose a book with special meaning to them and write a brief statement about why they selected that book.

Each year, honorees enjoy a late September celebration reception. The books selected, along with the personal statements, are displayed on the first level of Jackson Library.

“It is meant to give a personal glimpse into the faculty member and to inspire students and others in their scholarly pursuits,” says University Libraries Dean Rosann Bazirjian of the new tradition. “It honors faculty and recognizes the importance of libraries and the role they play in the scholarship of the academy.”

Log on to http://library.uncg.edu/info/events_and_awards/promotion_and_tenure.aspx to read this year’s faculty book selections as well as those since 2006.

Here’s a sampling from this year:

  • Dr. Dorothy G. Herron (Adult Health) chose “Notes on Nursing” by Florence Nightingale. Herron, a clinical professor, says, “In this little book the person responsible for establishing nursing as a science-based profession managed to identify the elements of nursing that are still the core of the profession today. Only the technologies have changed.”
  • Dr. Stuart Marcovitch (Psychology) chose “Timequake” by Kurt Vonnegut . Marcovitch, an associate professor, says, “I was pleasantly surprised when I read “Timequake,” as I didn’t expect a comedic science fiction book to demonstrate strong connections to my research on the development of the conscious control of actions. A timequake has caused the last 10 years to repeat, forcing people into an automated mode as they replay their actions exactly as they occurred the first time around. When the timequake abruptly ends, mayhem ensues as people have forgotten how to execute an intentional and deliberate response. Vonnegut’s work was inspiring to me, as it produced the ultimate thought experiment on what life would be like without conscious control. Perhaps more importantly, it made me laugh out loud.”
  • Dr. Yu-Chin Jerrie Hsieh (Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality Management) chose “Einstein’s Dreams” by Alan Lightman. The associate professor says, “‘Einstein’s Dreams’ is a novel that explains elements of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity in a series of short vignettes. The author imagines how Einstein may have grappled with these abstract, and often counterintuitive, concepts as he refined his greatest work while provoking the imagination of the reader. There is inspiration to be gained from the realization that even ordinary minds might accomplish extraordinary feats when imagination is well cultivated.”
  • Dr. Stephanie Irby Coard (Human Development and Family Studies) chose “Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou. The associate professor says, “It’s the author’s first original collection of writing to be published in ten years … anecdotal vignettes drawn from a compelling life. Beginning with her childhood, Angelou acknowledges her own inauguration into daughterhood. This volume is filled with wisdom and warmth, with sound advice, vivid memory and strong opinion (typical Angelou). ‘Letter to My Daughter’ is a gem of wisdom and inspiration. Every woman, daughter (father and son) should read it at least once. This book has become a permanent fixture in my personal library.”

Visual: Dr. Stephanie Coard
By Michelle Hines
Photograph by Audrey Sage

Big Upgrade for the Dining Hall

092910Headline_GatewayArcadeThe Dining Hall will undergo a makeover starting next fall.

The campus’ project manager for the renovation, David Reeves (Design & Construction), explains that it will be a comprehensive renovation of the entire facility, with many new features. The interior will be reconfigured, and it will be “more student-centered and customer-friendly.”

For example, Reeves says, to get to the second floor dining area, you currently have to go to the center of the building, go through doors, and climb the circular stairs. “It poses a staging problem.” With the renovation, there will be two new access points to the second floor. As you enter from College Avenue, you will not have to go through the tunnel (though you can). There will be stairs there, leading to the dining floor. In addition, there will be stairs as you enter from the west side.

On the second floor, the concept of one large cafeteria will be replaced by “a lot more dining venues – perhaps 11, [presenting] a lot of choices.”

The project is primarily intended to modernize the service points in the cafeteria to continue to allow for high-volume food service while improving the customer experience, according to Reade Taylor, vice chancellor for business affairs. It is also intended to maximize the use of retail and administrative space and update internal mechanical systems and American Disabilities Act (ADA) access issues.

Jeff Huberman, principal architect, spoke and presented renderings at the Sept. 16 Board of Trustees meeting. He said the Dining Hall, adjacent to the Fountain area, “truly is the center of campus, a nexus.”

Gantt Huberman Architects were selected in February 2009 to be the architects of the Dining Hall renovation.

Construction of the oldest parts of the Dining Hall began in 1906, Huberman noted. Some construction was much more recent.

As part of the renovation, the large white “birdcage” currently adorning the West entrance of the Dining Hall will be removed. It was created in 1985.

The new west entrance will feature a large archway and also a glass canopy. (See visual.)

Also, the topography will be raised in front of the building, Huberman explained.

He spoke of the brick and banding. “We want to make it look as compatible as possible with the rest of the campus.”

Much of the side facing the Fountain will be glass. Some seating is expected outside, on the entrance floor. And balconies, with seating, can be enjoyed on the second floor. The balconies will be open.

The idea is “to bring more guests in the space and improve [their] experience,” Huberman said.

Entryways to a food store and convenience store are planned for the front as well, drawing students even when the dining hall is not serving.

Trustee Richard “Skip” Moore addressed his fellow trustees, after Huberman spoke. “A lot is terrific,” he said, but he presented several concerns about the design. Most notably, he was opposed to the west entrance’s archway, calling it “overly modernistic.” After hearing his concerns as well as statements from other board members, the board took a “field trip” to the site, accompanied by staff and Huberman.

When they returned, Chair Randall Kaplan suggested each member express their views about the design.

Some comments:

Kate Barrett said, “I like contemporary things facing traditional things. I think the students will love it.”

Carolyn Ferree said, “I think students will be drawn to it. I love it.”

William Pratt said, “I particularly like the balconies.”

After the trustees and the chancellor spoke, the trustees voted. The exterior design was approved.

    The project budget is $31.5 million. It will be paid for over time by a portion of the students’ meal plan fees, says Reeves.

    Renovation is scheduled to begin in Fall 2011, though work to enhance storm drainage capacity may begin next summer. The entire project is scheduled to last 24 months, with some parts completed before others.

    The Dining Hall will remain open during renovation.

    Visual: Plans for the west side of the Dining Hall. The Fountain is out of frame, to the right.

    By Mike Harris
    Visual courtesy Design & Construction

    Homecoming for All Ages

    092210Headline_ChildrensFestHomecoming Saturday is fun for all ages – and certainly for the kids and the kids at heart.

    Fun, exciting educational opportunities are in store at the Children’s Festival and Health Celebration, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at “Spartan Village” on the EUC’s Kaplan Commons. Offerings for children include games, inflatables, music, dancing, cheering, arts and crafts.

    One popular attraction is The Big Bang Boom Children’s Band, performing 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    The Children’s Festival is sponsored by the School of Education and the North Carolina Teaching Fellows.

    Those with questions specifically about that festival may email dpcarson@uncg.edu for more information.

    Spartan Village on the commons offers lots for adults as well, especially as the day goes on. UNCG alumna, former soccer starter, and rising Nashville music artist Karla Davis performs songs from her debut country album Saturday from 1:45 p.m.-2:15 p.m.

    Other featured events are:

    The Parade of Chariots at 3 p.m.
    Fuzz Band performs at 4 and 5:30 p.m.
    Coronation of Homecoming King and Queen at 6:30 p.m.

    Sports fans may enjoy the free volleyball game in Fleming Gym at 5 p.m., UNCG vs. Chattanooga.

    The Homecoming Game – men’s soccer vs. Wake Forest – will be at 7 p.m.

    Homecoming was previously known as Fall Fest, but alumni response to the name change has been overwhelmingly positive, says Linda Carter, executive director of the UNCG Alumni Association and director of the Office of Alumni Relations.

    “There will be something for everybody,” Carter says. “Homecoming is meant to be casual, spontaneous and fun.”

    Details about the week’s activities are at www.uncg.edu/ure/homecoming/map_biglist.html.

    By Michelle Hines and Mike Harris
    Photography by David Wilson

    Restructuring, Entrance Standards Topics of Faculty Convocation

    091510Headline_ProvostConvocationUNCG will be raising entrance standards for Fall 2011. And the university will look at academic restructuring in the area of health and human development, to leverage UNCG’s strengths and competitiveness and prepare UNCG for the future.

    As Chancellor Linda P. Brady spoke at Faculty Convocation Sept. 8 in the EUC Auditorium, these were two areas she addressed.

    “I am very concerned about how we will sustain academic quality,” she said, before speaking of more learning communities and a greater residential character; academic restructuring; and raising entrance standards. She said that enhancing students’ academic profile is an important step.

    She told the faculty that she welcomed the resolution passed by the Faculty Senate that calls for a strong faculty voice as academic restructuring is considered. The restructuring would position the university for future success, she told the faculty.

    After Faculty Senate Chair John Gamble spoke, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David H. Perrin spoke. He gave a detailed presentation, and then took questions.

    In his presentation he acknowledged accomplishments of the past year and the challenges of the coming years, particularly in light of the looming budget uncertainties.

    He noted the number of undergraduates is up 3.2 percent.

    There are 98 new faculty members – 37 are tenured or tenure-track.

    In the past four years, we’ve doubled the number of full professors who are ethnic minorities.

    He announced that this year, UNCG will establish awards to recognize excellence in the creative arts.

    He presented the rationale for academic restructuring: to position UNCG to respond to emerging disciplines/fields and the changing needs of the state and nation; to create an academic unit that builds on existing strengths in health and human development in HHP, HES and possibly other academic units, departments and/or programs; to strengthen the connection between graduate education and UNCG’s research mission; to enhance administrative efficiencies in preparation for significant budget reductions

    He discussed who would be on the committee looking at restucturing, which will be chaired by Dr. Dan Bibeau (HHP) and Dr. Gwen O’Neal (HES). There will also be a facilitator from the Center for Creative Leadership.

    He anticipates a recommendation from the committee during the spring semester, for implementation next fall.

    The UNCG Strategic Plan goals activitated for this year were presented, as well as new initiatives for student success.

    He said that low‐achieving undergraduate students are increasingly attracted to UNCG while interest in UNCG by high‐achieving students has declined. He noted that SAT scores have dropped 19 points since Fall 2005. “Without aggressive intervention, entering classes will continue to decline in academic preparedness.”

    He noted that UNCG’s retention rate, four-year graduation rate and six-year graduation rate must rise significantly by 2013, to meet General Administration goals.

    After the presentation, he fielded about 10 questions, ranging from upcoming budgets’ impact on staff [“It’s a very challenging environment,” Perrin acknowledged] to the best ways to express ideas and views about restructuring [the committee should address best ways, he explained].

    View Provost Perrin’s presentation.

    By Mike Harris
    Photography by David Wilson