Campus Scene

Campus Scene

For additional details on university news featured in Campus Scene and for more stories, visit UNC’s News Central at:

Storm Chasers

A grant obtained by Assistant Professor Wendi Flynn allowed Meteorology students to gain experience using a state-ofthe-art mobile weather lab. Using the National Science Foundation-funded Doppler on Wheels (above and right), students collected and analyzed weather data from multiple storms in Greeley and the Pawnee National Grassland in November. The vehicle, based at the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder, is familiar to many from TV appearances on The Weather Channel and shows such as Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers. Center staff trained the students on the DOW’s operation and on software tools used to analyze the data collected.

Cracking Top 15 Lists

U.S. News & World Report has ranked multiple UNC programs among the top 15 in the country. For the third straight year, UNC’s online graduate education programs were ranked 13th in the nation. The university’s master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling made its first appearance in the magazine’s edition of the Best Graduate School lists, coming in at No. 15.

Carter Hall
Behind the Building

Students who attended UNC in the last four-plus decades may not be aware that Carter Hall served a very different purpose before it became the university’s primary administrative building.


  • Completed at a cost of $48,253 in 1907 as the State Normal School Library, it’s the oldest building on campus.
  • Completed at a cost of $48,253 in 1907 as the State Normal School Library, it’s the oldest building on campus.
  • It was renamed Carter Hall in 1944 in honor of Albert Carter, the school’s librarian from 1902 to 1933.
  • A much-needed building expansion was completed in 1939 to accommodate a growing number of students and book volumes.
  • The expansion changed the building’s exterior look from neoclassical to “modern” and became a source of pride after the Denver Post heralded the facility as “one of the most modern library structures in the West.”
  • After construction of UNC’s new library was completed in 1971, portions of Carter Hall were used to house administrative offices.
  • Most of the building’s current interior configuration is the result of an 18-month, $2.3 million renovation completed in 1981.

Butler-HancockTeams Fare Well in Renamed, Upgraded Arena

The gym in Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion became the Bank of Colorado Arena in November with the announcement of a 15-year, $1.545 million partnership with the largest bank in Weld County. Improvements to the 41-year-old facility took fans’ game-day experience to a new level with new video boards, air conditioning, improved lighting and sound panels. The upgrades, which also included a new gym floor, also agreed with UNC sports teams:


  • Women’s basketball went 10-4 in front of home fans with a school record 22 wins. The Bears’ season ended with a threeround run in the WNIT, including a road victory against in-state rival Colorado State, a home win against South Dakota and a road loss to eventual-WNIT champion UCLA.
  • UNC volleyball went 10-5 at home in 2014. After dropping the first two matches of Big Sky Conference play in late September, the Bears didn’t lose another home conference match. The team went undefeated during the Big Sky Championships at Idaho State to earn their fourth NCAA Tournament berth in five years.
  • UNC men’s basketball went 12-4 at home for the season, earning a berth in the Big Sky Conference tournament.

National Organization Bestows Community Engagement Status

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, the national organization known for classifying colleges and universities based on institution type, selected UNC as one of 240 U.S. colleges and universities to receive Community Engagement classification in 2015. Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were eligible for the classification.

UNC formalized its commitment to community-engaged and field-based learning in 2013 by developing its Civic and Community Engagement strategic plan and funding a position to implement the plan. UNC is one of only three universities in Colorado to hold the designation.

State Recognizes College Transition Course

UNC’s University 101 course was recognized by the Colorado Department of Higher Education as a high-quality program moving the needle on student completion. The three-credit class for freshmen that promotes a successful transition from high school to college was included in Colorado Completes, a statewide campaign promoting successful postsecondary completion. As part of the recognition, Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, executive director of CDHE, visited campus Oct. 22. Students completing the course persist at a higher rate and earn a higher GPA than non-completers, according to data.

State Supports Major Project Addressing Student Needs

A major campus-building project that will revolutionize addressing the needs of UNC students received a boost in April when the Colorado Legislature approved $23 million in funding as part of the state’s annual budget bill. At press time, the legislation awaited only the governor’s signature. The Campus Commons building will provide a range of services tailored to each individual student from one location in addition to being the universal campus entry point. It will also house an auditorium and performance hall and a gallery. The project, expected to be completed in 2017, will be funded through public and private sources.

STEM Teaching Partnership to Become National Model

A collaboration between UNC and Colorado School of Mines in response to President Obama’s goal of preparing 100,000 new STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) teachers over the next decade has received a $320,000 grant from the Physics Teacher Education Coalition that will be used to develop the partnership into a national model. Mines students in the program complete their STEM content requirements on the Mines campus and then complete the education courses necessary to become a high-quality teacher through UNC. The unique partnership previously received $300,000 from the National Science Foundation to start the program.


“This new incubator structure is a great example of the forward-thinking, innovative ideas that occur when collaboration across industry and regions takes place in Colorado.”

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, announcing a $150,000 state grant to the UNC BizHub Collaborative. The business incubator, developed by UNC and the East Colorado Small Business Development Center, will collaborate with communities and industries in a 13-county region of eastern Colorado.

Other examples of UNC’s commitment to innovation include:
The Innovation Development and Enterprise Advancement (IDEA) program helps faculty and student researchers who have developed a product or service, or have an idea for one, turn it into a marketable product or service that benefits the public. IDEA also helps researchers license the rights to produce and sell their product or service to an existing company or create a startup company.

Innovation@UNC is a $1 million, two-year initiative to support projects proposed by the campus community that focus on identifying and implementing innovative academic programs, delivery methods and student success to offer more students transformative education. The FETCH LAB, is one of 10 projects funded during the initiative’s first year.