of the University Address
Chancellor James Moeser
October 1, 2003
Hill Hall Auditorium
the address: PDF
Thank you all for being here. Let me begin by taking this opportunity
to recognize some very special guests and ask them to stand: the
chairman of our Board of Trustees, Richard "Stick" Williams
of Charlotte, and Trustees John Ellison and Roger Perry.
I am also
pleased to recognize UNC President Emeritus William Friday; and
our past chancellors and their spouses, Nancy Sitterson, wife
of the late Chancellor Carlyle Sitterson, Chris and Barbara Fordham,
Bill and Sarah McCoy, and my wife Susan as they stand.
me in welcoming our newest administrative colleagues: Kenan-Flagler
Business Dean Steve Jones; Pharmacy Dean Robert Blouin; Education
Dean Thomas James, who arrives later this fall; and General Counsel
Now, I recognize
all of the academic deans, our vice chancellors, and members of
the Chancellor's Cabinet. Please stand.
I also want to recognize our student, faculty and staff leaders:
Student Body President Matt Tepper; Graduate and Professional
Student Federation President Dan Herman; Faculty Chair Judith
Wegner; and Employee Forum Chair Tommy Griffin.
Just a few
weeks ago, the vice chancellors and deans participated in a planning
retreat led by Dr. James Duderstadt, president emeritus of the
University of Michigan. This is his assessment of the state of
our world, in expressly Dickensian terms:
many ways these do indeed seem like both the best
of times and the worst of times for higher education. Universities
are increasingly seen as key sources to the new knowledge and
educated citizens so necessary for a knowledge-driven society.
After two decades of eroding public support at the state and federal
level, there is an increasing call for reinvestment in higher
there is great unease on our campuses," Duderstadt continues.
"Throughout society we see erosion in support of important
university commitments such as academic freedom, tenure, broad
access, and racial diversity. Even the concept of higher education
as a public good is being challenged, as society increasingly
sees a college education as an individual benefit determined by
values of the marketplace rather than the broader needs of a democratic
society. The faculty feels increasing stress, fearing an erosion
in public support . . . and being pulled out of the classroom
and the laboratory by the demands of grantsmanship."
As we reflect
on our own situation in North Carolina, and as we glance over
our shoulders at the difficulties faced by public universities
in the other states, we can see many signs of trouble a
national economy that is less than robust with signs of an economic
recovery that may be accompanied by continued loss of jobs to
other parts of the world.
we must factor in the incredible commitment of the people
of North Carolina to support public higher education, as reflected
in the voters' decision to support, by an overwhelming margin,
the Higher Education Bond Issue in 2000, and in this most recent
budget cycle, the strong efforts of Governor Mike Easley and the
General Assembly to shield our state's universities from the full
force of budget cuts to state government. We enjoy a far greater
level of support historically in North Carolina than almost every
other state, and when we compare our budget cuts with those
meted out in other states, we know we have much for which we must
we adopted Carolina's
academic plan, which maps out the priorities that should guide
us in our day-to-day and year-to-year decisions supporting our
vision of becoming America's leading public university. The plan
acknowledges that, although state support remains essential to
the University's future, it has steadily declined as a percentage
of our total budget as other sources have grown faster. State
appropriations account for a quarter of our operating budget
down from more than 30 percent just a few years ago.
we are generating new revenue sources to help meet some of our
most pressing needs. We rely more today on our faculty's skills
in attracting research funding, as well as on generous private
giving. However, we cannot assume that research grants will continue
to rise at the same 10 to 12 percent levels we have seen in the
past as increases for federal funding begin to level off. Our
progress in private fund raising will depend, at least in part,
on the nation's economy. Further, we cannot predict how North
Carolina's continuing budget difficulties will affect our campus.
assessment of the current trends is accurate, I think we must
note that North Carolina is a special case. The loss of jobs in
the manufacturing sector will hit our state harder than many others.
The Pillowtex plant closing and the thousands of textile jobs
lost in the Kannapolis area underscores the need for economic
transformation. Research universities can lead in creating a knowledge-based
economy, and in a state that is so dependent upon manufacturing,
we must lead.
In that light,
one of the most pressing challenges facing Carolina is this: Can
we remain true today to two centuries of commitment to public
higher education and, at the same time, aspire to be the nation's
leading public university? What does it mean to be "the University
of the People" in the 21st Century? Or, as I asked
in last year's address, can Carolina be both great and good? Can
we achieve excellence while honoring our tradition of doing what
is right? Later in this address, I will announce an exciting new
initiative that will help us answer some of these questions.
The Academic Plan:
A Roadmap for Future Success
want to explore some additional context provided by the academic
plan, intended to guide our decision-making over the next
five years. Among the plan's priorities are for the University
to provide the strongest possible academic experience for our
Carolina from our major national peers? UC Berkeley, Michigan,
and UCLA. We, to a greater extent than our peers, have retained
a special blended culture of learning and discovery, with faculty
who are involved in research, often at the cutting edge, but still
deeply engaged in teaching.
investments in improving the undergraduate experience, including
First-Year Seminars and the Office of Undergraduate Research,
are paying powerful dividends in the lives of our undergraduates.
The Honors Program provides another fundamental example of what
is right with our undergraduate education. It is recognized nationally
for its accessibility to all undergraduates eager for the challenge
of an honors experience students working with faculty in
small-group settings. As part of the Carolina First campaign,
we aim to double the size of this program. A $25
million endowment would create 14 new faculty positions in key
departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. That would create
enough new honors sections for another 150 students in each entering
class. This alone would dramatically increase the yield of high-ability
students enrolling at Carolina.
seminars are a critical component of the excellence we provide
for undergraduates. I call on us to commit the resources so that
every first-year student can enroll in at least one of these seminars.
newest student residence halls on south campus are designed to
integrate learning and living, recognizing that today's students
tell us that they learn best in small cells of students working
together outside of class. Let us increase the number of seminars
and discussion groups being offered in the residence halls themselves,
really integrating living and learning. This is another strong
recommendation from the academic plan that is important as we
see the campus master plan come to life.
plan also calls for sustained but modest enrollment growth
as Carolina does its share to educate the rising number of high
school graduates in North Carolina. This was our commitment
to the citizens who supported the bond referendum. Every year
for the next five years, we will admit more first-year North Carolina
At the same
time, the University of North Carolina system is considering a
plan articulated by President Broad that recognizes that the current
18 percent cap on out-of-state freshmen may impose a barrier to
our enrolling more academically outstanding students. We strongly
support this proposal to adjust the cap on out-of-state enrollment
because it can help stem the "brain drain" leading
many of North Carolina's best and brightest to attend out-of-state
colleges that enroll more geographically diverse student bodies.
Of the North Carolina students admitted to Carolina who decline
our offer, between 43 and 51 percent of them leave our state.
President Broad's plan would permit us to exempt from the
current cap 40 to 50 National Merit Scholars, named merit scholarship
holders, and valedictorians from other states. By doing so, we
can create a more geographically varied and more intellectually
stimulating environment that will be more attractive to these
exceptional North Carolinians as well. Several studies show that
those states that attract and retain intellectual capital will
be the most successful in creating the knowledge-based economies
that produce new jobs.
This is good
public policy for North Carolina. Our vision of becoming the nation's
leading public university is for the greater benefit of the people
of North Carolina. If our state is to flourish in a 21st
Century world economy, it must have an excellent global university
whose students experience the world, rubbing shoulders with students
from other backgrounds and cultures.
Each of these
initiatives will help us in achieving excellence, in becoming
great so we can better serve the people. But how do we ensure
that we are also good that is, supporting our traditional
core values of being the "University of the People,"
of standing for justice, equity, and access?
The Carolina Covenant:
Connecting with Core Values
higher education is engaged in a national conversation about the
affordability of a college education. Tuition, fees, and other
costs are rising; the unmet needs of low-income students and their
families are growing. Too often, these trends send a message that
attending college is not possible, particularly to prospective
first-generation students. The time is right again for Carolina
to lead, as we did two years ago in taking the bold step
of eliminating binding early-decision admissions.
am proud to announce a new commitment to access for our most needy
students that we call the Carolina Covenant, a college-financing
agreement between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
and low-income students from across the state and nation.
Covenant promises to our most needy students the opportunity to
graduate from this University without any debt.
Here is how
it works: First, this opportunity will be available to students
who are admitted to Carolina, who qualify for federal student
aid, and who come from a family with an income at or below
150 percent of the federal poverty level, indexed by family size.
Using those criteria, that means a student from a family
of four with an income of approximately $28,000 in 2002-03 would
qualify. The University will meet 100 percent of this student's
financial need through a combination of federal, state,
campus-based, privately funded grants and scholarships, as well
as his or her participation in the federal work-study job program.
We know of
no other public university and only Princeton among the
privates that has taken a comparable step to guarantee
access to higher education. The covenant begins with next year's
entering class and will be phased in over four years. Because
we now meet 100 percent of the financial need of our students
who apply on time, it will require only modest reallocations
of existing funds in the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid.
sends a powerful message about Carolina's core values, of its
commitment to access as well as excellence. It expresses who we
are. We are America's first public university, and these values
are in our genetic code. The covenant embodies what we proclaim
to be, "The University of the People." To paraphrase
the late Governor Terry Sanford, it says to people of limited
means everywhere, "If you have the will, we have the way."
come from great people, and I want to acknowledge the commitment
and vision of Shirley Ort, associate provost and director of scholarships
and student aid, and Jerry Lucido, vice provost for enrollment
management and director of admissions, in crafting this new initiative.
value at Carolina is honor and integrity, which we are celebrating
with a yearlong emphasis, following the first revisions in 35
years of the Honor Code last year. I want to thank Judith Wegner
and Randi Davenport for their leadership on this issue, as well
as Student Attorney General Jonathan Slain, and many others who
have worked to restore the culture of honor on this campus. Now,
more than ever, our students need to draw upon the ethical code
of behavior, which they learn here, as they prepare to enter a
world facing so many challenges. I encourage us all to participate
in these worthy activities this year.
Let me also
emphasize, as does the academic plan, the University's resolve
in seeking continuous improvement with respect to diversity. I
was so proud last spring with the response of our Law School faculty
supporting the University of Michigan in its landmark affirmative
action case. The U.S. Supreme Court's decisions reflected our
faculty's views about the special role a public university has
in developing future leaders. The court also affirmed
our own admissions practices, which have served us so well in
building a diverse and highly qualified student body. While we
have achieved much, we must not become complacent. There is still
much to be done.
Research and Strategic Opportunities
In the area
of research, the academic plan identifies five broad interdisciplinary
themes of strategic opportunity: (1) biological, medical, and
technology sciences; (2) fine arts, humanities, and social sciences;
(3) global citizenship; (4) social problem solving; and (5) ethics,
leadership, and public life. Within each of these themes, our
University has achieved notable areas of recognized excellence,
others in which we are building strength based on new investments,
and still others that promise multi-unit capacity to address pressing
issues facing North Carolina, the nation, and the world.
We must target
available resources to the academic plan's designated areas of
strength and potential, adopting the principle of expansion by
substitution, recognizing that in an era of constrained resources
we may be able to take on new programs only by shedding old ones.
This is not something that comes easily, but we have reached a
time when we cannot avoid it if we are going to continue to grow,
improve, and not slip behind our peers. We must be rigorous in
our internal review and evaluation of graduate programs, particularly
doctoral programs, and willing to eliminate those programs that
are not nationally competitive or critical to our mission.
We have made
substantial progress in convincing state policy-makers of the
importance of retaining all of our facility and administration
reimbursements from the federal government, funds commonly known
as overhead receipts. Because we have reinvested these funds back
into research facilities, infrastructure, and people, our research
funding has risen steadily, by 10 percent to more than $537 million
last year. Please join me in applauding our outstanding faculty
for this remarkable achievement.
academic and research partnerships are another key to our future
success, and this is another area of emphasis in the academic
plan. One example is our role in a consortium that was just awarded
a $45 million federal grant for biodefense. Some of our leading
infectious diseases and immunology experts will work with colleagues
at Duke University and other Southeastern institutions to develop
the next generation of vaccines, drugs, and diagnostic tests against
emerging infections such as SARS and to defend against organisms
that could be used in a bioterrorist attack.
At the same
time, we continue to build upon close ties with North Carolina
State University, most recently through a joint graduate degree
program in biomedical engineering that began this fall. We need
to keep strengthening relationships with other UNC system campuses
especially North Carolina Central University here in the
Triangle as well as others across the state.
state and the nation, we want to extend Carolina's global presence,
research, and teaching. Area studies and global health are among
the interdisciplinary areas of strategic opportunity noted in
the academic plan. We aim to build and integrate global issues
and perspectives into our undergraduate curricula, graduate and
professional student experiences, and the overall research enterprise.
We just took an important step in coordinating these
international activities by naming Peter Coclanis, chair of the
history department, to the post of associate provost for international
affairs as part of new efforts made possible by a generous private
Investing in Carolina's
critical investment we have to make is in our own people, both
staff and faculty. Outstanding students and impressive buildings
by themselves do not help transform an already great American
research university. But, when combined with a faculty and staff
of the caliber we have and want at Carolina, we can realize our
vision for the future.
those goals, we must work more diligently among ourselves, within
the UNC system, and with our state's elected leadership, including
the General Assembly, to address vital compensation and benefit
issues that are adversely affecting our ability to retain and
attract the best faculty and staff.
exceptional staff are full partners with the faculty in many of
the core activities of the campus. Many staff have gone three
years or more without any meaningful salary increases while facing
rising costs of living 17 percent for health insurance
just this year. Regrettably, we are losing some of our best staff
as a result, and we cannot permit that trend
have funded modest salary increases for faculty from
campus-based tuition increases, we have not been able to provide
central campus resources for staff salary increases. I
do want to commend those departments and units that have
reallocated their own resources to recognize excellence with in-range
salary adjustments for qualified employees. But we must address
across the campus this urgent concern about compensation and work
with the university system in taking this message to the General
And the issue
is not just salary. Our benefits packages are not competitive
when compared with our public and private peers. This is true
for faculty and staff. We attach a very high priority to this
We are examining
a host of issues through the Chancellor's Task Force for a Better
Workplace, which I am co-chairing with Tommy Griffin. The task
force is working hard to identify areas where all of us can improve
the quality of the workplace for our employees. I expect our final
report to be completed later this fall.
I am pleased
that four outstanding employees could join us today. They represent
the very best of our community's high standards as 2003 recipients
of the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Awards, one of the
most prestigious honors our University can bestow.
Virginia Bailiff, housekeeper, facilities services; Neal Cheek,
maintenance mechanic, facilities services; Asta Crowe, administrative
manager, Department of Public Policy; and Joseph Ferrell, Albert
Coates Professor of Public Law and Government and secretary of
I wish I
could take the time to read to you their award citations, which
are the stories of dedication and commitment to excellence. When
you applaud them you honor all Carolina employees.
Now let me
focus on some of the most serious issues affecting the faculty.
For several years we have been charting our success in faculty
retention, and here we are beginning to see very troubling signs.
From 1991 until 2000, we successfully retained 60 percent of the
college faculty who received offers from other institutions for
whom we made counter-offers. In the first two years of this decade,
we succeeded in about half of those cases in the college. Last
year, however, the percentage of losses in the college climbed
to 60 percent, while across the university at large it was even
higher. This is a trend that we cannot allow to continue.
We must convince
the state that regular appropriations for merit salary increases
are essential, lest we create a culture in which our best faculty
are shopping for offers as the only means of improving their individual
situations. We could quickly lose the essence of what has made
Carolina great a real community of scholars who invested
their lives in a deep and lasting commitment not only to their
scholarship, but to the community itself.
that the quality of the faculty is the key to excellence, the
leadership of the Carolina First campaign has rallied around the
need to support resources for the recruitment and retention of
outstanding faculty as the campaign's number one objective. Our
donors are responding. The campaign has secured commitments approaching
$1.1 billion toward its $1.8 billion goal by 2007. Campaign funds
have created 105 new distinguished professorships, more than half
our total goal of 200.
also seeks to provide research and program support for faculty,
as well as for the bricks and mortar essential to their work.
Every campaign goal strengthens in one way or another the over-arching
objective of improving faculty support. We have secured funds
to establish more than 350 new scholarships and graduate fellowships;
our goal is 1,000. These help us bring the brightest and best
students to Carolina, creating the stimulating intellectual climate
that draws and retains great faculty. They, in turn, attract great
students, creating a reinforcing loop that builds excellence.
importance to the human infrastructure is our physical infrastructure.
We are making great progress with our capital construction program
using the higher education bonds, overhead receipts from research
grants, and private gifts. The science complex, the largest construction
project in our history, and research facilities in several health
science schools will put cutting-edge facilities and equipment
in the hands of our faculty and students for research and discovery.
The Global Education Center is another key project bringing a
growing variety of international activities in schools and units
together in one physical location.
Engagement: A Cornerstone
of a Proudly Public Tradition
is an engaged university. In his inaugural address in 1915, President
Edward Kidder Graham declared that "the state university
is the instrument of democracy for realizing all [these] high
and healthful aspirations of the state."
transforms people's lives each and every day across North Carolina.
Earlier this year, in Windsor, I saw a remarkable health-education
success story connected with our North Carolina Breast Cancer
Screening Program, led by faculty in our School of Public Health
and based in the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Volunteers
are at the heart of this program for women in eastern North Carolina
dedicated to reducing late-stage diagnosis of breast and cervical
cancer in older African-American women. Over the past decade,
this federally supported research program has succeeded in bringing
more at-risk women in for mammograms.
Each of our
professional schools has a reach that fully meets Edward Kidder
Graham's vision of the campus being coterminous with the borders
of the state. Whether it is one of the five health science schools,
or journalism and mass communication, law, business, education,
social work, or information and library science, or government,
Carolina reaches all 100 counties of North Carolina and beyond.
We are dealing with the real problems and opportunities of the
state and the region.
is equally engaged. As just one example, I cite the nationally
recognized efforts of Biology Professor Skip Bollenbacher's team
in collaborating on innovative science education and distance-learning
programs. This excellent work is occurring in the public schools
and through a consortium joining us with seven historically minority
colleges and universities across the state. Those projects include
the highly successful Traveling Education Science Laboratory and
the Partnership for Minority Advancement in the Biomolecular Sciences.
Through them, Carolina is promoting the promise of science careers
to the next generation of leaders and helping fellow faculty more
effectively teach the latest science from new fields. UNC-Chapel
Hill is sharing expertise and technology with other students and
teachers who would not otherwise have access to this knowledge.
It is but one example of how the University can help North Carolina
prepare the science-literate workforce our state will need in
begins at home. The University is now turning its attention to
working together with the Town of Chapel Hill on maintaining Franklin
Street and the downtown business district.
Street is not only the vibrant heart of Chapel Hill, it is the
front door to our campus. We share with the town a vital interest
in its economic and aesthetic vitality as a destination in its
own right. Our physical plan for the arts common, as well as our
plans for a more ambitious program of presenting the performing
arts, can help make downtown a destination. The University is
committed to partnering productively with the town to help local
businesses thrive downtown.
As the University
grows physically, we must continue to be sensitive to the
impact our development has on the local community. Let me shine
some light on one little-known example. Last fall, as part of
our commitment to traffic mitigation, we launched a commuter alternatives
program, which provides incentives to commuters to use transit,
park and ride, bike or walk. Our goal was 750 participants, which
we exceeded by 250 percent. Those results earned the program a
major national honor designation as a 2003 Best Workplaces
for Commuters by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S.
Department of Transportation. That award speaks to the University's
commitment to being a responsible employer and community member.
Let me acknowledge
the leadership of Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy in working with
Trustees "Stick" Williams and Roger Perry in guiding
recent discussions about the University's plans and in affirming
our desire to be an excellent neighbor. Their skills helped move
us forward. We expect and look forward to a similar
collaborative approach to guide future discussions about our plans
to develop Carolina North.
than three years as your chancellor, I can tell you that Carolina
remains as magical a place to me as it did from the moment I first
set foot on this beautiful campus. The people in this room today,
and the other members of the Carolina family who are not here,
are responsible for whatever success we enjoy. Your dedication
to excellence to students learning, teachers teaching,
and all of us serving the people of North Carolina and beyond
is truly inspirational.
current short-term obstacles, I am supremely confident about Carolina's
future. My optimism is grounded in your dedication. I place a
great deal of trust and faith in the history of this place, the
light on the hill, and a shared sense that it is our destiny to
succeed. The people of Carolina have always found ways to do the
remarkable, the right, the just thing. That is a characteristic
that will forever mark this University.
are translating the vision of those leaders who came before us
and the language of two centuries of commitment to public higher
education into new ways of thinking about being public, committed
to access and public service. We are doing so while pursuing
our vision of being a world-class university. Let us resolve
to be both great and good; to lead and to serve; to build both
the mind and the spirit; advancing both human knowledge and human
values; that we shall be for the 21st Century
as we were meant to be, The University of the People.