More than 30 legislators from the Charlotte region attended a dinner hosted by Chancellor Philip L. Dubois in Raleigh, N.C., in early March. Attendees included UNC Board of Governors members Philip Byers and David Powers; UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees members Karen Popp ('80), Michael Wilson ('93), Laura Schulte and Sharon Decker; UNC Charlotte Foundation Board member Teross Young ('93); UNC Charlotte Student Body President Fahn Darkor ('17); UNC Charlotte Student Body Vice President Carrie Nowell ('17); and UNC Charlotte Student Government Association Secretary for State and Federal Relations Vincent Cahill ('17).
(Photo above: Student Body Vice President Carrie Nowell ('17), Rep. Becky Carney, UNC Charlotte Student Government Association Secretary for State and Federal Relations Vincent Cahill (‘17), Rep. D. Craig Horn and Student Body President Fahn Darkor ‘17.)
Legislators heard an update from Chancellor Dubois and rallied around the 2017 legislative priorities: funding for enrollment growth, faculty recruitment and retention, an increase in management flexibilities and salary increases for University employees.
Alumni legislators in attendance included Rep. Dean Arp ('99), Rep. Mary Belk ('06), Rep. Bill Brawley ('78), Rep. Kelly Hastings ('09), Rep. Linda Hunt Williams ('96), Rep. Jason Saine ('95), and Rep. Joyce Waddell ('73).
(Photo at right - Front row, l to r: Rep. Mary Belk ('06) and Sen. Joyce Waddell ('73) Back row, l to r: Chancellor Phil Dubois, Rep. Dean Arp ('99), Rep. Kelly Hastings ('09), Rep. Bill Brawley ('78) and Rep. Jason Saine ('95).
The University is requesting $15 million to keep up with enrollment growth. UNC Charlotte has seen a 33 percent increase in enrollment over the past 10 years and will exceed 29,000 students in fall of 2017. The University also accounts for 50 percent of the entire system’s growth since 2009.
The University also is seeking $3 million for the Faculty Recruitment and Retention Fund. Over the past 10 years, 75 outstanding UNC Charlotte professors and researchers were recruited with these funds, including Dr. Steve Ott. Previously the director of the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate, Ott is now the dean of the Belk College of Business and has raised nearly $30 million in private funding. Another example is Dr. John Ziegert, who was recruited from Clemson University in 2009 and is the 2017 recipient of the Society of Mechanical Engineers prestigious international research award.
(Photo above - l to r: Rep. John Autry, Rep. Mary Belk ('06) Student Body President Fahn Darkor ('17), Rep. Bill Brawley ('78) and Rep. Andy Dulin.)
Increasing the carryforward authority from 2.5 percent to 5 percent and increasing approval authority from $300,000 to $1 million will result in greater efficiency and savings, allowing UNC Charlotte to address critical campus repairs and renovations. These include roof repairs to campus buildings, improvements to South Entrance, elevator replacement in Reese Building and HVAC upgrades in Burson Hall.
Want to help?
As an alumnus, friend or supporter, you can help by educating and advocating for UNC Charlotte with the N.C. General Assembly. Do you know any of the legislators featured in the article? Are you willing to contact them when an issue arises? Please email Betty Doster, special assistant to the chancellor.