I don't know about you, but the boost of energy brought about by my refreshing spring break lasted until about 10am on the first day back. But as they say, there's no rest for the weary...so we've been charging full-speed ahead. Here's a little of what's been happening and what is coming up:
- Last week we celebrated the announcement of a major gift from Bank of America which will support our Data Science Initiative and will sponsor the UNC Charlotte Civic Series, a series of marquee lectures which highlight UNC Charlotte's role as a thought leader. The Exponential Campaign continues to make impressive progress toward its $200-million goal, thanks to the support of good friends and corporate partners like Bank of America.
- This week I had the pleasure of participating in a luncheon honoring the accomplishments of several of our staff members who were selected as Employee of the Year in five categories. I was reminded once again that we are fortunate to have some incredibly talented, devoted, generous, innovative, and even heroic people on our staff. These five individuals - and countless others - leave their mark on the lives of our students, our community, our city, and far beyond, and they make me very proud to be a Niner. We also had the opportunity to recognize the service anniversaries of employees who have worked from five to forty years at UNC Charlotte. When we added up all of the service anniversaries, we found that they amounted to over 3,400 years of service. Wow.
- I met yesterday with a group of faculty members to brainstorm opportunities in the area of legal education. With the widely publicized struggles of the Charlotte School of Law, many in our community are looking to UNC Charlotte as a natural solution to provide legal education in our region. We are diligently exploring all of the possibilities and potential challenges, and I'll keep you posted on any developments. Although it is not likely that the market for newly-minted lawyers is going to improve any time soon, there may be ample opportunities for us to offer a certificate or master's program in legal studies for folks who need legal-related preparation but not the terminal J.D. degree.
- This weekend marks the first of what I hope will become a beloved annual 49er tradition: The Chancellor's Catch-and-Release Fishing Derby. Student members of our award-winning bass fishing club, along with a task force of folks from multiple departments across campus, have worked hard to make this happen. We're looking forward to a great day, followed by some whopper fish tales.
- Next week brings the official opening of the Confucius Institute at UNC Charlotte. Delegates and student performing artists from Shanxi University, our sister university in China, will be on hand for the opening ceremony in McKnight Hall on Wednesday evening. Nearly 500 Confucius Institutes have been established worldwide, including more than 100 in the US. Other Institutes in the Carolinas are hosted at NC State and the University of South Carolina.
Until next time, be well, be safe, and Go Niners!
Philip L. Dubois Chancellor