To our students, welcome back from Fall Break. It's a short respite, I know, but hopefully the mid-semester re-charge was just enough. As we head into the second half of the fall semester, here's what's going on in my world:
- I spent a day and a half in Chapel Hill last week in a Chancellors' Retreat with President Margaret Spellings and my counterparts at the 16 other institutions in the UNC system. The time was filled with lots of discussion, lots of data, and lots of opportunities for me to feel thankful for the great things that are happening here. We continue to be - by far - the fastest growing university in the system, and one of the most affordable and efficient ones as well.
- The 2017 Chancellor's Fishing Derby this past Saturday was a great success. The 50+ participants seemed to enjoy themselves and caught a total of 135 fish! A special Thank You goes to our Bass Fishing Club; Kemet Gatchell and our Recreational Services folks for their organizational skills; our great Groundskeeping crew that maintains Hechenbleikner Lake; Rick Torres and his colleagues in Auxiliary Services who supplied the sodas and snacks; Lyndsay Richter from the Student Union who manages our marketing and stylish t-shirts; the guys from the Cone University Center who provided the music and sound; the Event Medicine Staff from Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast in case we needed to have a stray hook removed (we didn't); and the many sponsors who've helped make this event a great time for everyone. Most of the grown-ups learned a thing or two from the little ones who walked off with the big prizes for the most and largest fish caught. *Fun fact: I got nothing!*
- On Tuesday of this week I was privileged to be the keynote speaker at a Charlotte Chamber of Commerce event focused on workforce and talent development. As one of the largest workforce providers in the area, the University has a great responsibility and opportunity to ensure that companies in this region are able to find a supply of well qualified candidates. *Fun fact: I'm in my thirteenth year as Chancellor, and we figured out the other day that UNC Charlotte has issued more than 64,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees since I started in 2005. Now, that's a workforce!*
- This Saturday (October 14) marks the 42nd annual International Festival, the University's longest running cultural event. Come out to treat your senses to the sights, sounds, and tastes of more than 50 countries and cultures. We expect more than 20,000 visitors on campus for this year's event, and likely even more next year when the light rail service is up and running.
- Another major fall event is coming up next Thursday, October 19, as we welcome award-winning theatre, film, and television actress Laura Linney as the keynote speaker for the 7th annual Chancellor's Speaker Series. Faculty, staff, and students are invited to a 2:15-3:15pm lecture in Robinson Hall where Ms. Linney will discuss the value that art and creativity provide in allowing individuals to lead more fulfilling lives. The lecture will be followed by an audience Q&A session. Later that evening, Ms. Linney will appear before an invited audience of community leaders and friends of the University at our Center City campus.
Phil Dubois, Chancellor