Updates from the UNC Board of Governors

Dear UNCSA Community,

I am writing to share with you my report from the January 2024 meeting of the UNC Board of Governors, which I returned from yesterday at the UNC System headquarters in Raleigh. As I have mentioned previously, the purpose of these messages is to highlight some of the important UNC System initiatives and decisions coming out of these meetings, giving quick access to topics that may be of particular interest to the UNCSA community. All materials from each meeting are published on the web, and all committee and full board meetings are livestreamed on PBS North Carolina. The full board meetings are also archived for later viewing.
As a reminder, each year two of the annual meetings of the UNC Board of Governors are hosted on the campuses of constituent institutions, and this year UNCSA will be one of those institutions. Later this semester we will welcome the UNC System leadership, members of the Board of Governors and institutional delegations to our campus for the meetings on April 17-18, 2024, and look forward to the opportunity to show them the vibrancy and importance of the work that we do at UNCSA. 


Brian Cole 

General Meeting of the Board of Governors

Jan. 25, 2024 – full agenda and meeting materials

  • The consent agenda was passed.
  • In his report, President Peter Hans focused on the “Foundations for American Democracy” initiative. The full text from his report can be viewed in the January 2024 President’s Report.  

Educational Planning, Policies and Programs Committee  

Jan. 24, 2024 – full agenda and materials

  • Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David English and Faculty Assembly Chair Wade Maki presented the work on a proposal to create a new UNC System requirement to “ensure that undergraduate students acquire a shared foundation in American democracy in a manner that emphasizes academic rigor and freedom of inquiry and that is implementable across all UNC System institutions.” (See agenda item A-6 for full slide presentation.) The initiative is being led by a workgroup of five faculty members from five UNC institutions, which have proposed that the requirement be implemented through two student learning outcomes (SLOs): 
    • SLO No. 1 focuses on documents and concepts related to America’s founding as an independent nation, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. 
    • SLO No. 2 focuses on the effort to implement the nation’s ideals through the engagement with the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” 
  • Chair Maki emphasized that this represents an opportunity for UNC to proactively take up public concerns about substantial deficiencies in this knowledge. He stated that academic freedom is at the core of what we do, that the faculty ultimately have primary responsibility for teaching and curriculum, and that the goal for the initiative was to allow for different approaches that worked best for the different campuses across the System. He indicated that the working group is creating a draft proposal that will be sent to campuses for feedback, which will be discussed during the next meetings of the Board of Governors in February and March. They plan to bring the final proposal to the full board for a vote in April, with the goal of implementation in fall 2025. Once we receive the proposal and official guidance on the initiative, we will share it with faculty and staff and organize opportunities for discussion and feedback, particularly in the Division of Liberal Arts. For further information, please see materials listed below for the General Meeting of the Board of Governors.
  • English and Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy Andrew Kelly led a discussion on the need for the Board of Governors to vote on whether the UNC System will extend its waiver on required SAT and ACT test scores for prospective students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the board voted to allow schools to waive the test scores. That waiver will expire after the current fall 2024 admissions cycle. They welcomed Nathan Kuncel, a professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota, to give a presentation on standardized testing, what it effectively measures, and what it does not measure. The presentation was for discussion only and the committee will vote on the matter in a future meeting this spring (see agenda item A-7 for full presentation). 

Joint meeting of the committees on Strategic Initiatives and Educational Policy, Planning, and Programs    

Jan. 24, 2024 – full agenda and materials

  • Last November, the Board of Governors reviewed the UNC System Return on Investment (ROI) study commissioned by the General Assembly and conducted by research consultants at Deloitte Higher Education. That study was discussed and accepted by the Board of Governors and submitted to the General Assembly. The study is available via a public dashboard. By studying the average income of graduates alongside the cost of attendance of their education, the methodology and data set that Deloitte selected for use in this study reported that more than 93% of programs in the UNC System had a positive ROI. That being said, the methodology used gives an incomplete view of the programs at UNCSA due to the following factors:
    • It only measures graduates who have wage data in the North Carolina Department of Commerce database, and most UNCSA graduates pursue careers outside the state.
    • It only utilizes income reported by employers for graduates and not for those who are self-employed or artists who participate in the gig economy, which as we know is a vast component of the arts and entertainment industry.
    • These two substantial limitations of the study as applied to UNCSA have been acknowledged by UNC System leadership. 
  • Senior Vice Presidents English and Kelly led a discussion about the next steps and implementation of the Board of Governors response to the study. On Jan. 10, chancellors received System guidance for a required review and response for programs the study reported as having an ROI of zero or below. For UNCSA, the report listed five undergraduate and three graduate programs that required our review. Our response will demonstrate how the previously stated limitations of the methodology as applied to UNCSA’s population of graduates do not give an accurate ROI calculation for these programs. That institutional response is due to the UNC System Office in March (see agenda item A-2 for full slide presentation).
  • Senior Vice President Kelly also discussed how ROI data should be used in the future by the System and campuses for academic program approval and review. The presentation included a summary of UNC’s current approval policy, how program review could be approached with more consistency, and examples of how other university systems are approaching it across the country.

Budget and Finance Committee   

Jan. 24, 2024 – full agenda and materialsadditional materials

  • SVP Kelly and guest expert Mona Moon gave an update on a study assessing the possibility of the UNC System moving to a self-funded insurance plan for students, particularly regarding questions about how current North Carolina Medicaid expansion could impact the potential cost-savings of such a move (see agenda item A-2 for full slide presentation).
  • Chief Financial Officer and the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Jennifer Haygood reviewed proposed tuition and fees increases submitted by campuses, which will be presented for a vote in March. As a reminder, UNCSA has not submitted any tuition and fee increases this year (see agenda item A-3 for full slide presentation). 
  • Vice President for Finance and Capital Planning Katherine Lynn presented the proposed list of maintenance repairs and renovation capital projects for FY2023-24 from the State Capital Infrastructure Fund (SCIF), which was approved. It contains a large number of important repair and renovation needs for UNCSA’s campus (see agenda item A-6 for full list). 

Past BOG Updates

January 26, 2024