The university for North Carolina

Meeting the needs of our state

As a university built for the people, public service is at the core of Carolina’s mission. Tar Heels are dedicated to serving North Carolinians from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Crystal Coast.

Students, faculty and staff dedicate thousands of hours each year to helping our communities by performing service projects and participating in outreach programs while also making community-changing discoveries and creating a better future for all of North Carolina through research.

A female student places cans on a shelf at a food bank.

This past spring, the University reaffirmed and broadened its commitment to public service when we launched the Carolina Across 100 initiative, which is working to identify challenges across the state, then leverage Carolina’s expertise to address them.

The five-year pan-University project will identify common themes and use interdisciplinary teams to partner with community leaders in creating solutions to complex issues.

Learn more about Carolina Across 100

Carolina Across 100

At every juncture in our history when the state has most needed its flagship university, we have raised our hands to be there. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, many communities will face a similarly critical need to rebuild education, economic and other important supports.

Anita Brown-Graham
Gladys Hall Coates Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Government in the School of Government and leader of Carolina Across 100

Anita Brown Graham standing outside.

While we are formally known as the University of North Carolina, we might better be known as the University for North Carolina. We want our state to be a place where small towns and cities live side-by-side, working together and benefiting one another. We want the people of our state to live healthy, productive, secure lives.

Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz

Kevin Guskiewicz

Tar Heels in the community

Driving our state's economy

Tar Heels are building better opportunities for all residents by creating jobs and bringing business to our state.

Our $1 billion research enterprise alone employs more than 10,000 North Carolinians in 81 counties, conducts business with 6,000 companies in 95 North Carolina counties and brings new industries to rural parts of the state.

The University has also been home to nearly 800 startups — more than half of which are still headquartered and operating in our state, bringing in more than $14 billion in annual revenue and creating thousands of additional jobs.

  • Franklin Street

    Last week, UNC-Chapel Hill and Town of Chapel Hill leaders announced a new university partnership with startup co-working pioneer BioLabs, downtown beautification initiatives, next steps for an innovation hub space, and plans for a downtown innovation district.

    Learn more
  • Painting that reads

    The Carolina Economic Development Strategy will increase the University's economic impact in Chapel Hill and across the Triangle region by leveraging Carolina’s capabilities to develop talent, translate innovation and create vibrant places.

    See how
  • Antonio McBroom holds a milkshake at the Chapel Hill Ben and Jerry's shop.

    Carolina’s more than 336,300 alumni live across the country and around the world, but some have stuck close to home, and their presence here has enriched the Carolina community. Get to know some of the Tar Heels whose businesses help make Chapel Hill one of the best college towns in the country.

    Meet Tar Heel Business Owners