New members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors visited UNC Pembroke on February 19 as part of an orientation tour of the state’s 16 public universities.
Nine of the newly appointed members met with UNCP students and toured campus and the Regional Center with Chancellor Kyle R. Carter as their guide.
“We have a lot of things we want you to know about us as you are deliberating policy for the UNC system,” Chancellor Carter said. “We are an institution in transition that is building capacity for the future.”
The tour included stops that looked to the future of the university, including the Entrepreneurship Incubator on Main Street in Pembroke. The tour also traveled back in university history at the Museum of the Native American Resource Center, located in Old Main, UNCP’s oldest and most historic building.
The afternoon tour began with UNCP students who presented aspects of student life and studies, including community engagement, research and athletics.
The tour ended at the Regional Center with tours of UNCP’s two biotechnology labs. Alzheimer’s disease research scientist Dr. Ben Bahr talked about his work. Dr. Bahr was recently named the recipient of the 2013 UNC Board of Governor’s James E. Holshouser Jr. Award for Excellence in Public Service.
“What we do here is study the repair mechanisms of the brain,” Dr. Bahr said. “We would turn up the volume of compounds that remove harmful proteins.”
Two special guests joined the tour. Robert Nunnery is a UNCP student and president of the UNC Association of Student Governments. He has a seat on the 32-member Board of Governors. Board of Governors member Dick Taylor of Lumberton also joined in the afternoon-long tour. He is a former UNCP trustee.
“They are very impressed by what they see here,” Taylor said. “When I was on this tour a couple of years ago, it was very important for me to see all the universities, especially the smaller schools that I had not visited before. UNCP has many positive attributes which need to be brought out to the board.”
New member Laura Wiley of High Point, N.C., had never been on UNCP’s campus. “It’s been great; I got a very welcoming and warm feeling on campus,” she said. “I understand why, for so many students, this is perfect fit.”
In wrapping up the afternoon, Chancellor Carter summed up UNCP in 2014. “We are a transformational institution that is committed to academic quality,” he said. “We believe that growth is not the only measure of quality. We are very focused on student success and becoming the institution of choice.”
Members of the board serve four-year terms. New members on the Pembroke tour included: W. Marty Kotis III of Greensboro, Scott Lampe of Davidson, Steven Long of Raleigh, Joan MacNeill of Asheville, Dr. Joan Perry of Kinston, Therence Pickett of Greensboro, Robert Rippy of Wilmington, G.A. Sywassink of Hilton Head, S.C., and Laura Wiley of High Point.
They were accompanied by Matthew Rascoff, UNC’s vice president for learning innovation, Ann Lemon, secretary of the university and Dr. Steve Leonard, chair of the UNC Faculty Assembly.