I could not be more excited to have all of our students, faculty, and staff back on campus. After a few months of a quieter campus during the summer, it has been great to see the liveliness of the university return with all of our students back at UNC, providing a jolt of energy to Bear country. The fall 2021 semester is certainly one of the most anticipated in my career. After an academic year impacted by the pandemic in many ways, we are thrilled to be able to once again offer the traditional UNC experience that our community is accustomed to. Returning to our pre-pandemic academic schedule of mostly in-person courses and restoring all extracurricular activities and events is a welcome sight. Most importantly, we are confident that bringing everyone back together is safe for our community.

As we return in the fall, we are doubling down on our commitment to being a Students First institution. With the implementation of Phase 1 of UNC’s Rowing, Not Drifting 2030 strategic plan underway and development of Phase 2 coming in the spring semester, we are actively engaged and investing in the future of the university — and importantly, the futures of our students, faculty, and staff. Our 2030 vision calls on us to facilitate a personalized education for each student grounded in the liberal arts and infused with critical and creative inquiry. It charges our faculty and staff to nurture students’ development through close, collegial relationships that enrich the educational experience at UNC. The vision also urges us to support our students in gaining the skills and knowledge that provide upward mobility and a lifetime of personal growth. We all have a role to play in this work, including our alumni and friends. At UNC, everything each of us does every day impacts student success.

It is an exciting time to be a Bear and the stories featured in this edition of UNC Magazine are a reflection of that — Ed McCaffrey’s long-awaited first season as head coach of the UNC football team is here, we introduce you to three new deans who will provide tremendous leadership in their respective colleges, and in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Stryker Institute for Leadership Development, we reflect on the significant impact this program has had on more than 500 students the last two decades. 

I hope you had a fantastic summer and I look forward to welcoming more of our alumni back to campus this fall!  

Rowing, Not Drifting,

Andy Feinstein

Andy Feinstein, President

The Rowing, Not Drifting 2030 Strategic Plan can be found online at:

unco.edu/strategic-plan