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Dear Carolina Community,

Welcome back!

I hope each of you enjoyed a restful winter break. Although campus has been quiet, we’ve been busy in Chapel Hill over the past month, and there’s a lot to share with you as we begin our spring semester.

First, on Monday, we submitted our response to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), Carolina’s accreditation agency, following a request for information the agency sent us in November. As a courtesy to SACSCOC, as well as to allow enough time to redact protected information, we will make that document public next Tuesday on I want to emphasize to you, as I have to SACSCOC, that I have the utmost confidence in the integrity of our academic programs at Carolina. I know what all of you do: that a Carolina education is one of the finest in America.

In fact, just before winter break, we learned that Kiplinger’s once again ranked Carolina the best value in American public higher education. UNC-Chapel Hill has topped the list every time since Kiplinger’s began issuing the ranking in 1998, and this year’s ranking is a terrific recognition of our commitment to accessibility, affordability and a world-class education for all Carolina students.

I also am proud to report that our applications for fall admission have been up significantly over last year. If this trend holds, it will be the 10th consecutive year we have seen an increase in applications to Carolina.

In my last campus email, I promised that in the coming months, we would be working to create and support opportunities for respectful dialogue around some of the issues that have recently dominated our news headlines and campus discussions – issues like race, justice and diversity. Since that communication, I’ve heard from many members of our community who have fresh ideas about how we can better demonstrate our commitment to inclusion and respect on campus, and I look forward to sharing more about those ideas in the very near future. In the interim, I hope you’ll continue to have the constructive conversations I’ve been hearing are taking place around these topics.

A great opportunity to do so will come next week, when we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with events on- and off-campus. I encourage everyone to participate – whether that is attending an event, or reflecting privately on what Dr. King meant to this country and what we can do to honor his legacy today.

Best wishes for a successful semester. I look forward to seeing each of you around campus.


Carol L. Folt


Published January 14, 2015