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UNC hire of acclaimed journalist sparks conservative ire

Groups with close ties to two Board of Governors members issue blistering attacks on Nikole Hannah-Jones When UNC-Chapel Hill announced the hiring of Nikole Hannah-Jones last month, it was cause for celebration among students, faculty and administration at the school.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

Pushback against ‘vaccine passports’ puts colleges in a quandary

WASHINGTON — Florida’s Nova Southeastern University joined a small group of U.S. colleges on April 1, when the private research university announced that it would require all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Bill would allow state lawmakers to exert even more control over UNC Board of Governors

Two new bills, if they become law, would change the face of the UNC Board of Governors. One would bar members of the  General Assembly and lobbyists from serving on the board. The other measure would directly appoint state lawmakers themselves to the board as non-voting members.

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Higher Ed Top Story

Democrat Joel Ford, straddling the political fence between right and left, elected to conservative UNC Board of Governors

Former State Sen. Joel Ford was elected to the UNC Board of Governors Wednesday, becoming the conservative-dominated board’s only Democrat. The N.C. Senate chose Ford to replace Darrell Allison, who stepped down from the board to become the new chancellor of Fayetteville State University.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC proposal would add funds for campus police, cut budgets for student groups

Student leaders at UNC System schools are opposing potential fee changes they say could cut funds for student groups and student government while expanding budgets for campus police. At the end of January, student leaders at UNC-Chapel Hill sent a letter to the Board of Governors and UNC System President Peter Hans to express concern over ongoing discussions of the Student Activity Fee.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: How did Darrell Allison cut in line to become the new chancellor at Fayetteville State? It’s a secret.

Allison's political connections and loyalty might have helped him get the job. Darrell Allison did not make the final cut in the search process for Fayetteville State University’s next chancellor, according to sources directly involved in the process. Instead, the former UNC Board of Governors member was added at the last-minute to the list of finalists submitted to the UNC System.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Student leaders: Systemic racism remains a pervasive problem across the UNC system

Report, statistics document a significant diversity problem, but questions persist as to whether there is a genuine commitment to address it A report on racial equity in the UNC System exposes the depth of the diversity problem in leadership at most of the state’s universities. For many Black students, faculty and staff the problem is not news. But it is, they say, at the heart of many of the system’s problems.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

New ‘Silent Sam’ revelations contradict past public assurances offered by UNC Chancellor Guskiewicz

In December 2019, Kevin Guskiewicz, then the new UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor, appeared before a concerned and angry Faculty Council. The UNC System had just announced its Board of Governors had settled a lawsuit with the NC Sons of Confederate Veterans. The settlement would not only give the group the controversial Silent Sam Confederate monument but also $2.5 million in trust to care for it. 

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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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