Spring 2018 Newsletter

The 2017-18 academic year has been an eventful one. As we close the books on another semester, I wanted to provide my customary update on the status of Niner Nation.

Spring is definitely in the air…along with the lingering aroma of the rare and very beautiful “Rotney the Magnifiscent.” Rotney is one of two Titan Arums in the University’s botanical garden, and it bloomed just last week; Odie, which first bloomed in 2015, also bloomed again this week. Native to Sumatra, Indonesia, the Titan Arum, also known as the “corpse flower,” is the largest flowering plant in the world, standing nearly 10 feet tall. Titan Arums bloom for one day every 3-5 years, so it’s a pretty spectacular (but stinky) event.

On Mother’s Day weekend, we celebrated the Class of 2018 as nearly 4,600 brand new graduates walked across the stage and into a bright future as UNC Charlotte alumni. We also observed our first Doctoral Hooding Ceremony honoring the 76 students who have earned their degrees in one of 17 academic disciplines of Doctor of Education, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Doctor of Philosophy.

The Commencement Week activities were enhanced by the addition of Light Rail. After so many years of waiting, it was such a thrill to see crowds of smiling folks getting off the train and making their way to Halton Arena. I’ll talk more about the Light Rail launch in the following pages, along with some of the many other highlights from the past semester. As always, if you would like more information on any item covered here, please contact my senior executive assistant, Shari Dunn, or check the Chancellor's Outbox.



Philip L. Dubois Chancellor

The NC General Assembly convenes on May 16 for its “short session” to make adjustments to the two-year budget passed in 2017. Included in UNC Charlotte’s priorities is funding for a permanent facility for our two highly successful early colleges, the Charlotte Engineering Early College and the Charlotte Teacher Early College, the first of its kind in North Carolina and one of only a handful in the nation. We are seeking a $10 million appropriation for the new building that will be located between EPIC and Grigg Hall, in the midst of our campus and easily accessible to light rail.

Light Rail is open for business, plus try the new Niner Transit and Charlotte Wheels. During the February 26 ceremonial ribbon cutting, with more than 400 dignitaries present, I noted that of the three most significant decisions I’ve faced as Chancellor – including building the Center City campus and launching football – implementing light rail is the most transformational project for the future of UNC Charlotte.

Niner Central Student Services Center, which opened in March, is changing the way we serve our students. As part of the “One University” initiative, a cross-divisional group of departments led by Enrollment Management undertook the task of developing a new streamlined method for students to conduct business with the University.

2018 is shaping up to be a year of major transition at UNC Charlotte, with a staggering number of retirements and departures in key positions around campus.

Niners have been all over the world in the last few months, and some are looking forward to a trip of a lifetime. UNC Charlotte “Pride of Niner Nation” Marching Band to Perform in Normandy, France. In early June, the UNC Charlotte “Pride of Niner Nation Marching Band” will represent the United States at three events commemorating World War II D-Day, including a student performance at the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy.

Exponential: The Campaign for UNC Charlotte, the largest campaign in the University’s history, has surpassed the $150 million mark. Our students are appreciative of the many opportunities provided by donations made by our alumni. During the “Green with Gratitude” event, more than 700 letters were handwritten by our students to thank alumni donors for giving back to UNC Charlotte. Through the generosity of our alumni, eight locations across campus have been named for our generous donors to further demonstrate the role philanthropy plays in the lives of our students.

A construction update, Moore Hall demolition and a new hotel and conference center. As always, construction cones abound around campus as several major building and renovation projects continue: The Union Deck expansion is expected to be completed in July, providing 570 additional parking spaces. The Belk Plaza upgrade is scheduled for completion this August. A new Facilities Operations and Parking Services Complex (including Receiving and Stores warehouse) will also be completed in August.

Members of our faculty, staff, and student body continue to rake in the accolades and make UNC Charlotte look really good! Below are just a few of the impressive awards that have been received in recent months.