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Collaborating to serve our state: A message from the chancellor

This week, Carolina and N.C. A&T announced the first round of winning research teams in a partnership to tackle grand challenges and support more collaboration between the campuses.

Aerial shot of students crossing Polk Place quad
(Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Dear Carolina Community,

Amid summer here in Chapel Hill, it’s a little quieter on campus, but that doesn’t mean that our work to serve the state of North Carolina slows down. Yesterday, we announced the first round of winning research teams in the Looking Forward program, a partnership between N.C. A&T and UNC-Chapel Hill to support more collaboration between our campuses. North Carolina is home to an extraordinary collection of public universities, and we’re better at tackling the grand challenges of our time when we work together.

From helping emergency planners better predict future catastrophic events to a sharper understanding of environmental cancer risk, this initial round of shared projects will have a direct impact on the quality of life for North Carolinians and those beyond our borders. That’s exactly what N.C. A&T Chancellor Harold Martin and I envisioned when we launched the program, and I’m excited to see it move forward.

Public support makes possible almost everything that we do. At the General Alumni Association’s annual legislative reception last week, I had the chance to thank policymakers for their commitment to our University and explain just how profoundly that investment pays off for the people of North Carolina. Anita Brown Graham, professor in the School of Government and leader of Carolina Across 100, showcased how Carolina is hard at work in every county of our state. Jenny Levy, coach of our national champion women’s lacrosse team, shared stories about their fantastic season and how the experience of competition shapes our student-athletes and connects fans across the country.

We’ll celebrate Carolina’s connections beyond campus during our next Tar Heel Bus Tour, which kicks off during fall break on Oct. 19. It’s a great experience, with stops from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the coast, and I hope our faculty from across the University will apply to take part. Seeing how our work extends beyond Chapel Hill and leads to real-world impact has helped inspire my work over many years, and I love being able to meet and thank so many of the people who support Carolina.

In the meantime, whether you’re working, interning, researching, writing, traveling or getting ready for the academic year ahead, I hope your summer is off to a great start.


Kevin M. Guskiewicz