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Campus Shares with Trustees Concerns about Reorganization

Board of Trustees receiving public comments during the meeting

February 14, 2020

Over 200 members of the campus community attended the UNC Board of Trustees meeting Friday to voice their concerns about reorganization efforts that will result in layoffs this spring.

For two hours, students, faculty and staff addressed the board and members of the cabinet in the Campus Commons Multipurpose Room. Among the demands, speakers called on the university to re-consider staff layoffs and the Administrative Service Center approach.

Trustees listened to the feedback before adjourning to the University Center Panorama Room and proceeding with the remaining portion of the agenda of their regularly scheduled meeting. Similar feedback was also shared during the week during campus governance groups meetings.

Trustees acknowledged the anger and frustration they heard as the board progressed through the agenda, with vice chair Christine Scanlan sharing a personal story about being laid off from a job in 1994.

“It still hurts,” she said. “I think it’s important that you always have empathy and understanding.”  

Calling layoffs “devastating,” she remained supportive of the reorganization.

“What’s worse is if we don’t do this,” she said, noting opportunities in the state to raise revenue for higher education that voters have rejected. “There’s no weathering anymore. We have come to the abyss.”

She added: “No one on this campus deserves to lose their job, but they will, and our job is to make sure more people don’t than we have to endure today and that this institution is here in the future.”

Other Board News:

  • Legislative update: The work by UNC President Andy Feinstein to bring together college and university presidents has resulted in a proposal to increase state funding for higher education. Feinstein and his fellow CEOs are requesting a 7% increase over last year to cover core minimum costs. They also joined CFOs, including UNC’s Michelle Quinn, in creating a new five-year funding model that the Joint Budget Committee unanimously supports. Both will be included in a bill that will be introduced this session. On Wednesday, Feinstein and colleagues will join representatives from Aims Community College and the City of Greeley for an event called Greeley Day at the Capitol, which the governor is expected to attend.

  • SESS update: Provost Mark Anderson and Vice President Katrina Rodriguez shared highlights of the Strategic Enrollment and Student Success implementation to address enrollment and retention. The report included accomplishments from the fall semester.

  • Contract extension: Trustees approved a five-year contract extension for volleyball coach Lyndsey Oates. Athletic Director Darren Dunn cited her successful 14-year career at UNC. During that span, she has led the Bears to five NCAA tournament appearances (more than any other Big Sky program over that time) and has been named Big Sky Coach of the Year four times. Her teams’ overall GPA is 3.5 and graduation success rate has been perfect over the past two years. Her compensation remains the same from the previous contract.

  • Board Policy Manual update: The board approved amending the sections on student and faculty trustees to align with state statute.  
  • Information item: Received a personnel update on new hires since the last board meeting. 

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