The Pine Needle
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Trustees Discuss Regional Impact

Trustees Discuss Regional ImpactFieldhouse

By Jonathan Bym, Editor

Tomeka Sinclair, Around the Town Editor

Elizabeth Gagne, Copy Editor

The UNCP Board of Trustees discussed the university’s regional impact in many different ways during its meeting on Feb. 20.

A study from the UNC General Administration was released at the meeting showing the economic impact of UNCP on the surrounding counties. In the 2012-2013 fiscal year, UNCP created 6,622 new jobs and created $389.9 million in state income through the spending of its students, alumni and visitors along with construction.

In Robeson County alone, the university created 3,178 jobs and added $152 million in revenue for the county. The study also found the impact in other outlying counties.

In his chancellor’s report, Dr. Kyle R. Carter reported how he and Dean of the School of Education Dr. Zoe Locklear attended the summit on teacher education. The summit was to address the severe teacher shortage in North Carolina. Teacher education has been a focal point of the university since its inception, and recent trends have seen the number of education majors drop by 30 percent in the last five years.

Dr. Locklear also said that vast majorities, “75-80 percent” of Robeson County teachers have at least one degree from UNCP.

The recent renaming of the Regional Center to the Office of Regional Initiatives and the Native American Resource Center to the Museum of the American Indian was explained further to the board. The reasoning behind the name change has been because legislation has questioned funding for centers and institutes and they could have been susceptible for cuts in funding.

After optimism of the possibility of a border county proposal passing at the Board of Governors (BOG) level, the trustees felt that the proposal would have a very small chance of being voted on by the BOG in its next few meetings. The proposal was to allow students in S.C. within a 50-mile radius of the school to have a discounted tuition rate.

It is not believed that it will be discussed in the next few meetings, according to Dr. Carter. The proposal was mainly made for Elizabeth City State who has seen its enrollment numbers drop in recent years, and this is seen as a way to help its enrollment numbers.

“Its unfortunate because it would have a lot of benefits,” Dr. Carter said.

According to Admiral Michael Holmes’ committee report, if it does go forward, it is predicted to bring 144 new students in a six-year period with a revenue projected at $1 million.

A new position room in the Bob Caton Fieldhouse is under construction and will be named in honor of Faye Caton, wife of Bob Caton who the building is named after, after the Caton family’s donation to the football program.

Also in the chancellor’s report was the proposal to have an official policy on students or student athletes missing class. UNCP professors usually have their own in-class policy.

Board of Trustees Chair Willie G. Barret supported the proposal and expressed the importance of having an official policy on the matter.

Photo by Colby Jones. Work is underway in the Bob Caton Fieldhouse to make a new position room named after Faye Caton.