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UNC Strategic Initiative plan lacks campus input

By Samantha Langley
Asst. Around the Town Editor

November 29, 2012

Inforgraphic by Samantha Langley

A forum was held in the Dial building on Nov. 7 from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. to discuss what UNCP wants from the larger Universities of North Carolina Advisory Committee put together as part of the Strategic Planning Initiative.

The Strategic Directions Plan Committee is a group that is creating a plan for all UNC schools for the years of 2013 to 2018. It is made up of businesses leaders and politicians from North Carolina and representatives from different schools in the UNC system.

The plan revolves around different aspects that influence UNC schools, including budgets, regulations for curriculum requirements and helping create colleges that prepare students for the workforce.

Dr. Susan Cannata, faculty senate chair, led the forum and said that there are four categories that UNCP hopes that the committee will focus on:

  • General Education
  • Strengthening and assessing the university's needs
  • Faculty research impacts on student learning
  • Mission of the university system and individual campuses
According to Dr. Cannata, she hopes that the Strategic Directions Committee will begin getting more feedback from students and faculty, especially those within smaller campuses such as UNCP.

"We hope to get more information about our needs as a university to the committee so that they will pay attention to our needs," Dr. Cannata said.

According to Dr. Cannata, only two students attended the forum, both of whom were graduate students.

"There is some concern that not everyone on campus is aware of the plan or the fact that they [the Strategic Directions Committee] need to listen to our university," Cannata said.

Robert Nunnery, student body president, said he has looked over points of the plan and said that it could have a positive impact on students.

"As I understand part of the plan brings the process of deciding who gets in-state residence status to individual campuses…. I believe this will help with some of the problems that we have been having lately with this," Nunnery said, referencing the residency case of Army Sgt. Hayleigh Perez that received national attention last month.

However, Nunnery is concerned that the Strategic Directions Committee is not bringing in enough student input from the campuses.

"There is a lack of student representation in the committee, and there's really no clear process about how to bring in student input," Nunnery said.

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