A continuity of people – and purpose

Members of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees are sworn into office at the board's July meeting.

Board of Trustees listen to speaker.
Chancellor Carol L. Folt and UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees chairman Haywood Cochrane listen to a speaker at the Board's July meeting. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

The University Board of Trustees on July 27 elected a new chair and five current trustees began new four-year terms along with newcomer Richard Stevens, a former trustee who previously served as board chair.

Chancellor Carol L. Folt echoed the words of Mark D. Martin, the chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court who swore the six trustees into office, when she said public service is the highest calling.

“I am reminded of that every time we meet,” said Folt, who also said she looked forward to working with newly elected chair Haywood D. Cochrane Jr. of Elon.

Cochrane, a former chair of the board of directors of DARA Biosciences Inc. was reappointed to the board along with Charles G. Duckett of Winston-Salem, partner with Battle & Associates Inc.; Jefferson W. Brown of Charlotte, partner with Moore and Van Allen law firm; Kelly Matthews Hopkins of Charlotte, life coach and consultant; and Dwight Stone of Greensboro, president of D. Stone Builders Inc. who served as chair the past two years.

Duckett was elected vice chair and William A. Keyes IV of Washington was elected secretary.

“Following the examples of great leadership set by Dwight Stone and Lowry Caudill, we will continue to have a hard-working board, helping as we can in our delegated authorities, and always with a collaborative focus on the future,” Cochrane said

The reappointment of five incumbent trustees on the 13-member board, Cochrane said, gives the board the benefit of their collective knowledge and experience, including that of three past chairs in Stone, Caudill and Stevens.

Stevens, of Cary, is an attorney with the Smith Anderson law firm who served five terms in the North Carolina Senate from 2003 to 2012. The three-time Carolina graduate served on the University Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2003, including a term as chair from 1997 to 1999. Stevens also served on the Board of Visitors from 1991-1995.

A seventh new board member is senior Elizabeth M. Adkins of Fayetteville, who was sworn in May 25 and fills the ex officio seat held by Carolina’s student body president.

Under his leadership, Cochrane said, the board will continue to support Folt and her team as work continues on the University’s strategic framework and its alignment with the UNC System’s strategic plan.

At the top of the strategic framework are the words, “of the public, for the public,’ a phrase that history professor Lloyd Kramer seized upon in his presentation to the board about Carolina Public Humanities, which he directs. The program, which was established in 1979 as the Program in the Humanities and Human Values, is vital to that mission, Kramer said.

“We are the bridge between the people in the humanities and the liberal arts at Carolina and communities all across North Carolina,” said Kramer.

Kramer said most people in the state understand how the medical and business schools and other professional schools serve their needs. Through a variety of outreach programs, such as weekend seminars and lectures, Carolina Public Humanities works to show the ways humanities can also serve North Carolinians.

“That is, the humanities help people understand their history, their communities, their values, their traditions, their commitments to a democratic public life,” Kramer said.

The program also serves K-12 teachers throughout the state with teacher workshops, youth events and a website for lesson plans and teaching materials.

To learn more, visit the Carolina Public Humanities website.