“We have gained about 4,600 students since 2009,” UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois says in the accompanying video. In fact, UNC Charlotte alone accounts for 35% of the growth in enrollment in the entire 17-campus UNC System since then.
Dubois attributes the enrollment gains both to growth in the region and to growth in UNC Charlotte’s reputation; he notes that more and more students come from outside Mecklenburg County.
The NC General Assembly Enrollment funded even during worst days of the Great Recession, Dubois says, though the university had to give back many of those dollars to budget cuts.
Not surprisingly, programs at UNC Charlotte are oriented to Charlotte’s major economic sectors: Business and finance. Health care. Engineering.
“We have a large liberal arts college as well, so about half of our students are graduating with liberal arts degrees – and, frankly, many of us think that that’s the best kind of preparation for many employment opportunities that don’t even yet exist,” Dubois says.
The chancellor notes that for the first time, UNC Charlotte surpassed $50 million in external research dollars this year. It also recently added a football program for a complete college experience. And next spring, a light rail connection to Uptown Charlotte.
“We think those things are all to the good, particularly for an institution that’s trying to serve a rapidly growing region which needs a major public research university,” Dubois says.