Public invited to Chancellor Folt’s installation on Saturday

From staff reportsOctober 8, 2013 

Carol Folt


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    In an interview with staff writer Jane Stancill last month, new UNC Chancellor Carol Folt touched on a number of issues.

    On getting to the bottom of past fraud in African studies: “It looks like a couple of people did some things that were really wrong, things that no one is proud of. I certainly would never want to see happen again. I think we are waiting to hear what the SBI says. There are things that a university cannot do. We do not have the power of the subpoena. We are not investigators.”

    On sexual assault at the university: “There’s a problem with sexual assault on every campus in America. Campuses are a dangerous place if you look at it in that way, for sexual assault, for women. ... I care deeply about this and have for years. It was something that was important to me at Dartmouth. It will be certainly important to me at UNC. Quite frankly, I think those might be two schools that are trying to address it as well as any schools in the nation right now. ... I think there’s a lot happening, and we will certainly keep working on it.”

    On higher education in the 21st century: Education has changed faster in the last 10 years than it has ever changed in history. It’s really important that we talk about our education. Are we teaching them well? Are we giving them the right skill sets? People want to talk about that, too. ... We’re going to spend a lot of time strategizing for the future. We have to, because to not do that is to fall so far behind so fast. That would be a real loss for us.”

    On the meaning of “the Carolina Way”: “I’ve asked a lot of people and I get a different answer from everybody. ... Like any label, it’s not as valuable as the sentiment that people are trying to express. So when people are talking about it to me, primarily I’m hearing it from this faith in ourselves that we hold ourselves to these high standards. We want to see that be true. Are we really excellent? Can we maintain that? .. .On the other side, you could see, if we fall short of our ideals, that is when you betray what is believed by many people to be the Carolina Way. So let’s not betray our faith in ourself and let’s use that as a calling or a mantra for how we can improve.”

— Students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and residents are invited to attend the installation Carol L. Folt as UNC’s 11th chancellor on University Day on Saturday.

Since 1957, UNC has installed its chancellors on University Day, which commemorates the 1793 laying of the cornerstone of Old East, the nation’s first state university building.

The UNC Board of Governors unanimously elected Folt in April, and she started work on July 1. She succeeded Holden Thorp, who resigned in the midst of the university's problems with athletics.

The first woman to lead Carolina, Folt is an internationally recognized environmental scientist and award-winning teacher. She served as interim president of Dartmouth College during 2012-13 and also was Dartmouth Professor of Biological Sciences.

The festivities on Polk Place will begin at 1:30 p.m. with special music and a processional of faculty, students, staff, alumni, visiting dignitaries and other leaders. UNC President Tom Ross will preside.

Also scheduled to attend are Gov. Pat McCrory; Peter Hans, chairman of the UNC Board of Governors; Lowry Caudill, chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees; Jan Boxill, faculty chairwoman; Charles Streeter, chairman of the Employee Forum; Christy Lambden, student body president; and Robyn Hadley, chairman of the Board of Directors of the General Alumni Association. Sarah Parker, chief justice of the N.C. Supreme Court, will administer the oath of office.

After Folt delivers her installation speech, the ceremony will conclude with the ringing of the South Building bell 11 times in honor of UNC’s 11th chancellor. A public reception will follow on Polk Place.

The university will present five Distinguished Alumna/Alumnus Awards to:

• Stuart Bondurant, professor and dean emeritus of the UNC School of Medicine;

• William Easterling III, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State;

• Karol Mason, U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs;

• Todd Miller, founder and executive director of the N.C. Coastal Federation;

• Gary Parr, vice chairman of Lazard Ltd., a global financial advisory firm.

In addition, the university will present the Edward Kidder Graham Award to Bruce Cairns, medical director of the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center since 2007 and director of research since 2003.

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