In a "good news, bad news" kind of situation, I'm definitely a "bad news first" kind of guy. Some might interpret that as a pessimistic approach, but I just prefer to get the negative out of the way so I can end on a more positive note. So with that in mind...
- For years now, we've been looking forward to the expansion of Light Rail which will finally connect our campus to uptown Charlotte. We have just received word from the Charlotte Area Transit System of a possible delay in the opening of the Blue Line Extension. They were targeting an August 2017 completion, but it is possible that the opening may be as late as March 2018. We should know much more about the actual opening in the next 60 days. We'll keep you posted as we learn more.
- This week found me in Raleigh visiting with several key state representatives and senators, making the case for what UNC Charlotte needs from the legislature during its current session. Their support is crucial, so it's important that we stay in front of them so they never forget about the great things we are doing.
- I also spent a couple of days in Chapel Hill this week at the monthly Board of Governors meeting. Hot topics during this meeting included the review and approval of the tuition and fee rates to be paid by students in the 2017-18 academic year. Also on the docket for approval was our new Early College for prospective teachers, which will admit 55 new high school freshmen next fall in the College of Education Building. Dean Ellen McIntyre and I have been working closely together to identify a donor who can help provide some of the funding we need to build a permanent facility for this new Early College and our existing Charlotte Engineering Early College, which is located in modular facilities erected three years ago on the Charlotte Research Institute side of campus. A new permanent facility, if we can pull it off, would be located on the CRI campus between the EPIC Building and the Grigg Building.
- Next week is Spring Break, and much like our students, I plan to make a break for it. I'll be spending a few days at the beach with the hope of finally breaking 90 on the golf course. Shortly after our return, Lisa and I will be heading to Birmingham, Alabama for the Conference USA basketball championships for both men and women. It has been more than ten years since my schedule permitted me to cheer our teams on in person, so we plan to attend and work in a little fundraising and alumni development while we’re there.
- When I return to campus, we'll hit the ground running with a major gift announcement on Monday, March 13. Stay tuned for some exciting news from the Exponential Campaign.
Have a great Spring Break, be safe, and Go Niners!
Phil Dubois, Chancellor