Higher Ed

Higher Ed

Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Protesters say university is exercising a double standard on free speech by absolving employee with alleged white supremacy links

Melanie Flowers had a lot to do this week, and a protest was yet another item on her list. The student body president at N.C. State University was beginning classes, juggling her studies and student government commitments in an ongoing pandemic that makes everything harder. “There’s ... a lot going on...”

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC students: Are you ready to return to campus? The administration says yes.

With UNC System schools looking ahead to the spring semester, tensions over COVID-19 planning and the question of returning more students to campus have have intensified between students, staff, faculty and administrators. While most of the system’s 17 universities kept students on campus for the fall semester, the largest schools — N.C. State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina University — sent students home after just a week of classes.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Faculty members revolt over UNC plans to triple number of students living on campus next semester

With clusters of campus COVID cases, the fall semester was a failure. In the spring, history could repeat itself. Faculty members and administrators in the UNC System are butting heads over pandemic planning for the spring semester, as some schools consider bringing more students back to campuses.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Monday Numbers: UNC’s race and diversity problems

Last week the American Medical Association made international headlines by declaring racism an “urgent public health threat,”  warning that it perpetuates health inequities and calling for systematic change to combat it. “The AMA recognizes that racism negatively impacts and exacerbates health inequities among historically marginalized communities. Without systemic and structural-level change, health inequities will continue to exist, and the overall health of the nation will suffer,” said Dr. Willarda V. Edwards, an AMA board member, in a public statement.“Declaring racism as an urgent public health threat is a step in the right direction toward advancing equity in medicine and public health, while creating pathways for truth, healing, and reconciliation,” Edwards said.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

In voting to change chancellor search policy, UNC Board of Governors could expand System president’s power

Trustees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities oppose the change over concerns that conservative white leadership is often at odds with HBCUs' mission UNC System President Peter Hans could further consolidate his power if the Board of Governors votes Thursday on a major and fundamental change to how chancellors are chosen for UNC system schools.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As the largest UNC System schools move online, who is next and who decides?

While the largest schools within the UNC System have moved to online learning after widespread COVID-19 outbreaks, at smaller institutions, disagreements over reopening plans are fraying relations to the breaking point. Students, faculty and administrators are debating whether to go online now — and avoid the same fate as their larger counterparts — or try to make it through the semester unless the number of infections makes it impossible.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at rising COVID cases on NC college campuses

Over the weekend East Carolina University and UNC-Charlotte became the latest UNC System schools to move their undergraduate courses online in the face of COVID-19. UNC-Charlotte says it intends to resume in-person classes Oct. 1. It is the first UNC System school to move classes online before they have actually begun.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As COVID clusters mount, university dashboards provide incomplete and outdated information

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is being rocked by a series of COVID-19 infection clusters  just one week after the start of classes. Four such clusters — defined by the state Department of Health and Human Services as five or more infections in a related area — have been identified in student housing since Friday.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC-Chapel Hill leaders come under fire at emergency faculty meeting

Chancellor's failure to share health department reopening recommendations called a "breach of trust" The Orange County Health Director has urged the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to move to online education for the fall semester and keep on-campus housing to an absolute minimum as the COVID-19 pandemic in the county worsens. The campus will be doing neither of those things, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said Wednesday.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC’s ‘worst-case scenario’ plans could be just the beginning

Enrollment drops. Employee furloughs and layoffs. Faculty cuts. Shuttered athletic programs. UNC System schools could see all of these things, according to a new report on campus plans to deal with the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. And experts say this could be just the beginning.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: UNC System exploring worst-case scenario budget cuts of up to 50%

The UNC System is preparing for possible budget cuts of up to 50% at its 17 campuses, according to an email obtained by Policy Watch this week. The email, from UNC Board of Governors Chairman Randy Ramsey to the system’s chancellors, cites the potential impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the possibility that campuses may again close after reopening next month.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Parents struggle with question of return to UNC campuses

Last semester, as the COVID-19 pandemic closed all UNC System campuses, Samantha Pilot welcomed her son home early from his freshman year at UNC-Chapel Hill. At the time, she felt like the university was on her side. It was expensive and complicated to close the campuses and shift to online-only education for the balance of the spring semester. The fact that the UNC System did it anyway made her feel proud to be part of a Carolina family.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at COVID and the return to the state’s college campuses

As COVID-19 cases continue to reach new record highs in North Carolina, students at UNC system schools are about a month away from returning to their dorms and classrooms to resume on-campus instruction.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: Prof. Mike Adams’ wild ride finally comes to an end

Firebrand conservative academic opts for early retirement in light of latest controversies and provocations Combative, confrontational and litigious, UNC-Wilmington professor Mike Adams has long aggressively courted controversy, seeming to revel in contradictions.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Senate approves wealthy Republican donor Art Pope for UNC Board of Governors

Art Pope — Raleigh millionaire, ex-state budget director, former House member and financial underwriter of controversial arch-conservative and libertarian causes — has been appointed to a seat on the UNC Board of Governors.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Momentum swells in NC to remove Confederate, white supremacist monuments and symbols

The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to lift its self-imposed moratorium on the renaming of buildings and historic places on campus, setting the stage to remove the names of Confederate and white supremacist historic figures from places of honor there. The vote comes after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, which sparked weeks of international protest against police violence against Black people and systemic racism in America.

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