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As Universities and educational institutions in today’s world, tolerance cannot be obtained without appreciating and welcoming the different branches of diversity and culture. Greensboro and UNCG has been reputably known for the vibrant culture that’s created through the various backgrounds of its students and citizens.
The Carolinian had the chance to speak with Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam on April 13, where he discussed the diversity and future of UNCG. Formerly serving at UCLA for nearly 30 years, Gilliam discusses his plans on how he intends to bring more diversity to campus. During his time at UCLA Gilliam “shepherded a transformative $50 million gift that named [UCLA] the school in hour of [their] generous donors Meyer and Renee Luskin” according to the UCLA Newsroom . Chancellor Gilliam redefined the focus of The Luskin School to target some of the world’s pressing social issues such as “immigration, drug policy, transportation, national security, health care financing, and the environment” (UCLA Newsroom). Since his departure from UCLA, he brought those passions of reform to UNCG to help redefine the future of this institution.
What has been the most rewarding interaction you’ve had while being chancellor?
“It’s always fun interacting with the students. Going to games, Yum Yums is very fun”
What does being chancellor mean to you?
“I think it means being able protect the tone of the campus and defining what we are trying to be. We want to be a place where students can achieve the highest level of excellence”
Our school has been called the ‘hidden gem’ of the UNC system- how do you hope to increase public knowledge of UNCG and its standing as a university?
“One of my main goals has been to promote the campus. We are going to put banners up and down Spring Garden, College Ave and downtown. We are going to promote ourselves in Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham”
UNCG has grown physically, in population, and in academic performance since the institution opened its doors to women in 1891. How would you like to see UNCG continue to grow?
“We have a lot of students who are the first person of their family to go to college and I think we are really making a difference in their and families life. The school is big enough for us to really make an impact. We have 20,000 students and that’s a large enough of a number to really make a difference.”
UNCG has been commended for our student diversity and performance- what goals do you have for maintaining this high performance?
“I still see separation amongst groups when I go to the EUC. I like to see more organizations on campus more integrated.”
There has been controversy surrounding President Trump’s nomination of DeVos as Secretary of Education. Do you foresee any impact on UNCG?
“We are concerned about some actions that the Secretary is taking around servicing of student loans. There is a lot concern around what the government is going to do. I think that college students and their families should place close attention to what’s happening. It’s a sensitive question considering the President has been in the for-profit industry. But so far, the signs coming out have not been promising when benefiting the students”
Predictions of the impact that policies the current administration will take are still too early to call. However, President Trump’s financial budgets will determine the true cost that college students might pay for their future.
The Carolinian stands with the Chancellor’s efforts in making UNCG a more diverse, unified, and impactful institution. We are excited to see these policies and efforts in action in the upcoming years.