Fellow Bears,

Welcome to the start of the spring semester. I hope you had a restful holiday break and returned energized for the new year ahead. I always enjoy the opportunity brought on by a new year both to look with anticipation at what is immediately ahead of us and refocus on UNC’s longer-term goals.

We have much to look forward to as a university community, including our work together in realizing our shared vision for UNC’s future. This vision is set out in our Rowing, Not Drifting 2030  strategic plan, and over the next several months, we will be wrapping up the second phase and preparing to launch Phase III. As we do, we have an opportunity to celebrate how far we have come and continue efforts to position UNC for success.

As we work together for the betterment of our university and the people we serve, it is important to me to create opportunities for each member of our university community to contribute and engage. With that in mind, I invite you to a series of discussions throughout the spring on some of the most pressing topics facing our university. These topics include advancing several multi-year strategic plan priorities and aligning our resources to achieve our goals.

Please see the full schedule here and register for any sessions you wish to attend.

Each discussion will serve as an opportunity to hear from me and members of my leadership team, ask questions, and share your thoughts. Some will be formatted as informal, small-group discussions on topics such as the most recent campus climate survey and our strategic enrollment management planning process. We will also hold several town hall discussions on Budget and Strategic Planning, two topics that have had the highest level of interest and engagement from across our campus. These will be similar to the campus-wide sessions I have held in previous years on these and other topics.   

I know that our current financial health and budget outlook are always of interest to the university community, and I hope you will join me in February for the town hall sessions on these topics. As we discussed with UNC’s Board of Trustees in December, we have work to do this year to balance our FY24 budget and ensure we enter FY25 in a strong position. Colleges and administrative units are already exploring strategies to optimize budget outcomes. To support this work, I will be convening a Budget Advisory Committee with representatives from operational divisions and governance groups, and I will share more about these efforts in February.

In the week before each scheduled discussion, please watch for a message to campus with additional information on the topic to be addressed. These messages will provide further background on each of the strategic priorities to be discussed and help ensure that the campus community is aware of significant efforts in each area.

As we look to all that is ahead, I am grateful to be working together with each of you. Thank you for all you do to make UNC a great place to work and learn.

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Andy Feinstein