Emily Bruzzo Lauren Cherry
Editor-in-Chief Staff Writer
Last Wednesday, newly-elected Chancellor Frank Gilliam Jr. addressed the UNC-Greensboro Faculty Senate for the first time, using the opportunity to frame his aspirations for the university.
Gilliam highlighted UNCG’s strategic plan, which is still under development, having been slowed in its initial phases last academic year in order to allow Gilliam to contribute to its design. Gilliam explained that the next few months would be a time for refining the plan and honing in on what university areas need more focus.
He asserted that he is an “anti-strategic planning” administrator, saying that he worries the process of planning can often overshadow the actual execution of the agreed upon plans.
Despite his reservations, however, Gilliam argued that a strategic plan that “airs on the side of simplicity” would benefit the university, allowing it to enhance its already successful units and bolster its lacking areas.
Gilliam used his discussion of the strategic plan as a platform to “preview an idea.” Gilliam proclaimed that he aspires to make UNCG “the best regional university in the United States,” saying that the goal for UNCG is to “provide a world-class educational experience and world-class research that has as one of its many goals serving this broader region.”
Gilliam alluded to his recent days as a UCLA dean — the university he left to assume his position at UNCG — and talked about the institution’s struggle to transcend Harvard as the best higher education establishment in the nation.
Though on a smaller, more regional level, Gilliam argued UNCG faces a similar struggle, saying, “We’re not going to be Chapel Hill and we’re not going to be State — I don’t care what you say.”
He continued, saying, “We will be players nationally and we will be players globally. But our value proposition is that we can be the best in the country at something, and we can be world class. And at least if we don’t get there, it’s not a bad place to fall short.”
Gilliam also stated that he wants UNCG to stay true to its roots, referring to its origins as a women’s college. “I think we’ve gotten a little away from reminding ourselves of that,” Gilliam said.
Gilliam talked about how unfortunate it is that the K-12 education system is often pitted against the higher education system in the struggle for resources in North Carolina.
One faculty senator then asked what resources could be made available to make education more affordable for students. Gilliam answered that his biggest source of funding for students is scholarships and grants.
“Nobody wants to raise tuition,” Gilliam said. “I hope that we can raise a lot of money for students. I think that’s one of my number one goals.”
Gilliam officially assumed the chancellor position Tuesday.
Provost Dana Dunn spoke on enrollment numbers. Dunn stated that UNCG was up 751 students in enrollment this year.
“We have gone over the 19,000 cap,” Dunn stated.
Dunn gave a brief update of the budget, stating that there still was no approved budget for UNCG. There will be a continuation to the deadline until Sept. 18 when the Board of Governors meets.
Interim Vice Chancellor of University Relations Jim Thornton gave an overview on the goals for University Relations. One of those goals is to work harder on integrating social media into the university’s branding.
“We obviously have a lot more to do,” Thornton said.
Morgan Glover was recently hired as the social media coordinator. University Relations plans to develop UNCG’s online branding further through the use of personalized logos for each department and school.
In regards to media coverage, the university has decided to use the site Meltwater News to track mentions of UNCG.
This program is designed to find anything from social media hits to alumni promotions. The university will also be reinstating the Alumni magazine after it was eliminated due to budget cuts.
Toward the end of the meeting, Kim Record addressed the issue of the NCAA sanctions that created a stir in June.
Several faculty members had concerns about how they should answer questions regarding the investigation.
Record responded by saying that the major error was simply administrative.
There was an error in which some incoming students did not check a box stating that they were not professionally paid athletes.