Turmoil continued through 2019 among the leadership of individual UNC campuses and the UNC System itself. A new state budget for 2019-21 still hasn’t been adopted; raises for K-12 teachers and higher education faculty are still on hold.
And the fate of a statue continued to divert energy from the university’s more noble pursuits.
Yet many of our public institutions in North Carolina still found ways to distinguish themselves for their research, for elevating the economic futures of tens of thousands of students, and for improving the human condition of thousands more North Carolinians.
2019 saw more turnover among leaders of both UNC System campuses and the System itself.
UNC System campuses continued to distinguish themselves, though, in everything from national rankings to outreach efforts to explore their many connections with North Carolina and its people.
K-12 public school teachers made salary gains last year. But without agreement between the governor and the General Assembly on a budget for 2019-21, education funding remains flat, at best.
Whether through collaboration across disciplines to help children with cystic fibrosis, or collaboration with companies like Cisco Systems and agencies like RTI International, UNC System campuses continued to make gains and distinguish themselves in research.
North Carolina community colleges have a strong story to tell as more and more students find them an affordable way to launch a post-secondary education or pick up the skills needed to land a solid job. Some have even proposed expansion of “free” community college in North Carolina. Faculty salaries continue to languish, though, and still need attention from state policymakers.
Turmoil continued among campus and UNC System leadership. A Board of Governors member goes rogue in an investigation of an interim chancellor. Students are shot and killed at UNC Charlotte. The governor and legislature couldn’t come to agreement on a state budget and raises for teachers at every level. Student debt continues to rise.
These are all signs the higher-education system North Carolinians have prized for generations is at risk.
But here’s to the optimism that accompanies a new year – and a more promising 2020. Please help us spread the word by inviting a friend to subscribe to our newsletter.