W. Lowry Caudill: UNC board meeting a positive experience

April 3, 2014 

Your March 30 editorial “Worker-athletes” on the recent UNC Board of Trustees meeting misrepresented the meeting’s content and purpose and unfairly characterized the student-athletes’ presentations.

The UNC Board of Trustees has adopted four goals this year to focus our work and to advance the university as one of the nation’s premier academic institutions. To that end, the board invites students and others to present at every meeting.

This year students spoke about an award-winning campaign for NASCAR, a student-organized TEDxUNC event and an innovative approach to science communication. Last week we heard how Kenan-Flagler Business School students are working with the N.C. School of the Arts to bring a regional sound stage to life. And Dr. Peter Mucha discussed the new Applied Physical Sciences department, a vehicle for application-driven research, which will impact North Carolina’s economy.

In the final presentation, six UNC-Chapel Hill student-athletes spoke about their lives as students and athletes. They shared their perspectives about time management, leadership development, academics and community service.

It is unjust to diminish our student-athletes’ voices and real experiences by suggesting that their presence and comments were in response to media pressure.

As Chair of the Board of Trustees, I applaud Chancellor Carol Folt, Provost Jim Dean and the administration. They continue to take bold steps on meaningful reform by tackling difficult issues and examining them from all sides. Their work and the efforts of our students, faculty and staff affirm that Carolina is moving in the right direction.

W. Lowry Caudill

Chair, Board of Trustees, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill

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