“My remarks expand upon our installation theme: “Honoring Traditions; Securing our Future,” he said. “UNCP’s heritage marks its character and shapes it future. UNCP is unique in this regard. Many institutions leave their past behind as they mature and change. Understanding UNCP’s past matters as we move into the future.”
“Our institution grew out of a local idea,” Dr. Carter said. “Leaders within the American Indian community of Robeson County viewed education as a means to improve the quality of life for their people. There is a great deal of ownership in this school by this community. The history of this institution is inextricably entwined with the Lumbee Tribe.”
Chancellor Carter described UNCP as a youthful institution that has experienced great changes in its past and in the past decade when enrollment doubled. A commuter school has grown into a modern regional university, he said. What began as school for American Indians has grown into one of the most diverse institutions in the nation. Student education has been transformed and is now characterized by student research, experiential learning and distance education.
“We are now one of the most important economic engines in the region,” Dr. Carter said. “Our faculty are resources who can apply their talents to regional issues. As we plan for the future, we must make sure our systems, practices and culture are aligned to meet new expectations.”
From his first University Address at the start of the 2010-11 academic year, Chancellor Carter has consistently driven home three themes for the future: becoming a “university of choice,” enhancing student success and growing regional engagement - all to be accomplished in an environment he describes as the “new normal.”
“We are challenged to do more with less; to be more efficient and effective in the way we use resources,” Dr. Carter said. “We must engage this region. We must assist the Town of Pembroke in its revitalization its downtown; to work with the county to bring businesses to the areas; and to collaborate with the Tribe in areas of mutual benefit. UNCP must be an engaged partner with regional leaders to improve the quality of life. And we will.”
Chancellor Carter promised to restructure and reorganize administrative policies and functions to respond to the challenges of the future. He pledged to improve student success. He noted year-over-year retention of freshmen reached an all-time high this year. He said he would increase standards for student admission - without closing the door of opportunity - to ensure that incoming students are capable of success. He pledged to improve student services that support academic success.
Chancellor Carter heralded the new “teacher-scholar” model of faculty instruction and said diversity will enhance it. “Our institutional trademark must continue to be ‘Where Learning Gets Personal,’” he said. “We must foster increased interaction between students and faculty in as many ways as possible. And we will.”
“Historically our expectations for students have been too low,” Chancellor Carter said. “We have ample evidence that our students are capable of outstanding achievements. We must continue to raise expectations. We must help them to do as Chancellor (Joseph) Oxendine said more than 10 years ago: ‘Seek the Hawk Within Yourself.’ And we will.”
UNCP’s diversity will help make UNCP an institution of choice, he continued. “We must take advantage of our diversity. We must incorporate it into our instruction, making it a UNCP trademark.” Chancellor Carter said UNCP should use its “locational advantage” and history to become the leading research institution on American Indians of the Southeast for history, literature, culture, art and social issues. And he pledged to increase minority faculty by growing new faculty from within.
In concluding, Chancellor Carter identified four core values derived from the past that remain relevant, regardless how large the University becomes:
- “provide educational pathways to a better life regardless of one’s station in life;
- “address the needs of the region through academic programs, cultural opportunities and our intellectual capital;
- “be a safe haven for racial minorities where racial and cultural diversity is celebrated; and
- “retain our sense of place by embracing our American Indian heritage.”
“Each of these core principles is as important today as it was 124 years ago when this institution was founded,” he said “They allow us to ‘Honor Traditions and Secure our Future.’”
“Although we face substantial financial challenges today and in the near future, I am confident we will continue our upward trajectory,” Dr. Carter said. “We will do so openly and collaboratively. We will do so using our students’ educational experience as our compass. Working together, we will create an even better future.”
Joining the processional were representatives of 23 universities. Also represented was the Office of the Governor, North Carolina General Assembly, UNC Board of Governors and local governments, public schools and community colleges. Offering greetings during the ceremony were: Hannah Gage, chair of the Board of Governors; Dr. Ramin Maysami, chair of the Faculty Senate; Howard Lee, Office of the Governor; David Burns, chair of the Staff Council; and Sylvia Pate, president of the Alumni Association.
Special events were held throughout the week for the University and community. There were art exhibits, concerts, the spring football game, a research symposium and an ice cream social. Patricia Fields, coordinator of Chancellor Installation Week estimated more than 5,000 attended the events.
“April 11-16, 2011, will certainly go down as being one of the most exiting weeks in the history of UNCP,” Fields said. “Not only was our 5th Chancellor, Dr. Kyle R. Carter, officially installed on Friday, April 15, there were over 30 other events focusing on our campus, our faculty, staff, students and our community. Delegates from other institutions attended the Installation Ceremony on Friday and each of them walked away in awe of our campus and our UNCP family.”
“However, none of this would have been possible without the countless hours of time and endless energy and enthusiasm that the Installation Committee members and various subcommittee members put into planning this week,” she continued. “I am so proud to have been a part of this wonderful team and will forever be indebted to them for everything they did to make Installation Week a success.”
Three generations of the Carter family stood together on April 15 at the swearing-in of UNC Pembroke’s 5th Chancellor, Kyle R. Carter.
The installation ceremony took place in the Givens Performing Arts Center amid a weeklong flurry of activities involving students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community that celebrated the University and its new leader. Delegates from universities across North Carolina and beyond attended the event.
UNC President Thomas Ross presided over the installation, saying “there is no doubt in my mind that Kyle Carter is the right person to lead this University today and in the years ahead.”
In his remarks, Student Government President Arjay Quizon said Chancellor Carter, who took office on July 1, 2010, is working hard for UNCP’s students. “Chancellor Carter calls me frequently to discuss issues at length,” Quizon said. “He made sure to single me out, not because I’m his favorite, although I think I am, but because I am a student.”
Guest speaker Robert C. Dickeson, an educator, consultant and president of Northern Colorado University when Dr. Carter joined the faculty there, offered an insight to his character.
“Thirty years ago I was a new university president when Kyle Carter and a group of faculty members came to my office,” Dickeson said. “Dr. Carter and the group, who became known as the ‘Young Turks,” insisted we raise academic standards. They said our programs ‘lacked rigor.’ It took genuine courage for an assistant professor without tenure to stand up for high standards.”
The ceremony was marked by music from UNCP’s Concert Band and Choir and Native flute. Chancellor Carter was joined on stage by his wife, Sarah; son, Dr. Travis Carter, daughter, Dr. Heather Hamner; her husband, Daks; and new son, Ryland. Robeson County Superior Court Judge Gregory Bell administered the oath. President Ross and Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Freda Porter presented the Chancellor’s Medallion.
Then, it was Chancellor Carter’s turn. He demonstrated an in-depth understanding of a University in its 125th year and a powerful vision for its future success. He affirmed that he would carry the torch of the institution’s remarkable history into a bold new future, that will be loaded with challenges and possibilities.
A UNIQUE PAST
“I am pleased to be the fifth chancellor of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke,” he began. “It is an honor to be chosen to lead this University at this special time in its history. Over the last nine months, I’ve had the opportunity to learn just how much this University means to all of you, especially this community.”