Dear Carolina Community,
With fall semester underway, I want to express my appreciation for the effort each of you have expended to enable us to continue fulfilling our mission of teaching, learning, research and service amid these difficult times. I know that the past several months have not been easy, and I continue to be impressed with the ways in which our community has come together to facilitate distance learning, further critical research activities and provide expertise and services to the people of North Carolina and beyond.
While we continue to work with our faculty and staff to execute a successful fall semester, we have also turned our attention to spring. Along with our own experience in preparing and implementing our fall plan, we have paid close attention to what is taking place at other institutions around the state and nation. Many institutions are finding similar outcomes to ours, while others are taking different routes and seeing varying results. We are studying those and will identify the best path to take for Carolina. While many of us continue to believe that the best Carolina experience is one that happens in person, it remains to be seen whether public health conditions will enable us to resume full on-campus operations in the spring.
As I discussed at last week’s Faculty Council meeting, our planning efforts will seek input from multiple groups, including our public health and medical content experts, our roadmap implementation team, as well as the state and Orange County health departments, and the UNC System.
We are also expanding our planning teams to ensure we have as many opinions and recommendations from different sectors as possible in a tight planning timeframe. I am convening a Campus and Community Advisory Committee comprised of students, faculty, staff and community members to examine how we can provide the best Carolina experience for as many students as possible, with safety and well-being as a priority. This group will reflect on the past six months and the Fall 2020 Roadmap, provide input related to specific considerations as identified by myself and my leadership team and seek input from broader constituencies on campus and in our neighboring communities. As I have stated before, we will incorporate the input and feedback from this group while developing our plans, but the final decisions delegated to our campus and responsibility for those decisions rests with me, in consultation with my leadership team, our Board of Trustees and the UNC System.
The committee will be co-chaired by Mimi Chapman, chair of the faculty; Shayna Hill, chair Employee Forum; and Reeves Moseley, student body president. Other members of the committee include:
- Taya Jackson Scott, vice dean, Gillings School of Global Public Health
- Paul Lanier, associate professor, UNC School of Social Work
- Tom Kelley, James Dickson Phillips, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the UNC School of Law Institute for Innovation, UNC School of Law
- Martinette Horner, clinical assistant professor, UNC School of Education
- Joy Renner, clinical associate professor, director, Division of Radiologic Science, UNC School of Medicine
- Seth Noar, James Howard and Hallie McLean Parker Distinguished Professor, Hussman School of Journalism and Media
- Rich McLaughlin, professor and chair, Department of Mathematics, College of Arts & Sciences
- Sharon Holland, Townsend Ludington Distinguished Professor and chair, Department of American Studies, College of Arts & Sciences
- Donna Gilleskie, professor and chair, Economics Department, College of Arts & Sciences
- Aaron Bachenheimer, executive director of Off-Campus Student Life and Community Partnerships, Office of Off-Campus Student Life
- Jennifer Gerz-Escandon, associate dean for interdisciplinary education and fellowship programs, The Graduate School
- Elizabeth Hall, assistant director, Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office
- James Holman, crew leader, Housekeeping Services
- Chloe Russell, assistant dean, Academic Advising Program
- Kim Stahl, senior policy and process lead, Information Technology Services
- Michael Vollmer, associate dean for administration and operations, UNC School of Government
- Richard Watkins, program coordinator, Chancellor’s Science Scholars
- Maian Adams, UNC School of Law
- Ryan Collins, UNC School of Law
- Kira Griffith, undergraduate
- Ethan Phillips, undergraduate
- Lamar Richards, undergraduate
- Kathy Atwater, community advocacy specialist, Marian Cheek Jackson Center
- Jamil Kadoura, owner, Mediterranean Deli, Bakery and Catering
- Mary Jane Nirdlinger, assistant town manager, Town of Chapel Hill
- Aaron Nelson, president and chief executive officer, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce
Thanks to each of the committee members for agreeing to serve the University with this important work. The committee will begin its work immediately and is expected to convene its first meeting later this month. We will share additional details on their work soon.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz