Fellow Bears,

Welcome back! It’s so great to have our students, faculty, and staff on campus. The vibrancy I have experienced the last few days has been exceptional and is something I have missed dearly. This is one of my favorite times of the year and I hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend with the fun activities and events that took place during New Student Days. Thank you to everyone who put in many hours to successfully welcome our new and returning students to UNC.

A new academic year signals new beginnings, fresh perspectives, and rejuvenated energy within the university community. This fall, we are delighted to welcome over 1,700 undergraduate students and 1,050 graduate students to UNC. There is so much to be excited about this semester – returning to our traditional schedule of in-person course offerings, restoring all activities and events on campus, and having our entire community back together again.

This summer, we welcomed a few new leaders to the university: Dr. Lisa Vollendorf, Interim Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Kamel Haddad, Dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences, Cristina Goletti, Dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts, and Dr. Jared Stallones, Dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. All of these new academic leaders come to UNC with impressive backgrounds and a shared passion for fostering student success. I look forward to collaborating with them and leveraging their expertise to help advance UNC’s academic excellence.

As we head into the 2021-2022 academic year, we are past the midway point of Phase 1 of Rowing, Not Drifting 2030. Our work to complete the key actions and tactics in Phase 1 will be ongoing this semester and next spring, we will identify key actions and tactics for Phase 2 of the strategic plan. As we forge ahead, I encourage us to keep the vision elements identified in the plan top of mind during our day-to-day work: Students First, Empower Inclusivity, Enhance and Invest, Innovate and Create, and Connect and Celebrate.

I will be discussing in greater detail Rowing, Not Drifting 2030 and the progress we have made at our annual State of the University address, which will be held on Wednesday, September 8 at 3:30 p.m. at the Campus Commons Performance Hall. After being unable to gather our community for the event in person last year, I look forward to having our students, faculty, staff, and community partners and friends in attendance.

Best wishes for a successful start to the fall semester – welcome back to Bear Country!

Rowing, Not Drifting,

 andy feinstein signature

Andy Feinstein