UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois opened the new academic year today by looking to the future – near and far.
Speaking to staff and faculty at his fourth convocation, Dubois said the university must revise its “academic plan” to accommodate a projected growth to 35,000 students by 2020, as the state likely continues to squeeze funding for the UNC System.
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A year ago, System President Erskine Bowles unveiled his UNC Tomorrow planning efforts, that in part called for each member campus to devise plans for future growth.
Dubois said much of UNCC's initial planning is complete, and the school is launching into a second phase that will include revisions to the academic plan.
That plan will include revising a mission statement – and proposing new doctoral programs to add to the 18 UNCC already offers. It would also include feasibility studies for new public health and law schools.
Dubois said he's ready to submit the mission statement to trustees in September. It draws from its relationship with Charlotte and carves out a unique role in the system as “North Carolina's urban research university.”
“No institution in the UNC system will be able to lay claim to being the state's urban research university and no institution in the system will be able to lay claim to the unique resource that is Charlotte,” he said.