UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Provost: Growing number of faculty boosts academic mission

As newly minted chair Andrea Hunter remarked at the Faculty Senate’s inaugural meeting of the semester, it is time for Giant Steps.

At the Sept. 6 meeting, Provost Dana Dunn said there is much momentum at present, and laid out a few of the university’s key initiatives.

UNCG has over 600 tenure-stream faculty, and this year welcomed 39 new tenured faculty as well as many additional full-time faculty. In August, nine faculty received endowed professorship appointments, including two Patricia A. Sullivan Distinguished Professorships. (A listing of new faculty may be seen here.)

Dunn said 26 new expansion searches for tenure-stream faculty have been authorized and many key positions beyond faculty are being filled, such as dean searches for the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering and the School of Health and Human Sciences, vice chancellor for student affairs and associate vice chancellor for research.

Beyond faculty, Dunn spoke of enrollment – up 1.4 percent overall and 3.3 percent at the graduate level – and residential housing growth, with 5,400 students now living on campus.

Five new academic programs are currently in various stages of development: an undergraduate information studies cross-disciplinary degree, a master’s in data science, international business, a joint PhD in social work with NC A&T and a PhD in business offered online.

The university has intensified its research activity after exceeding its goal of 5 percent externally funded research.

Student success remains a major initiative for the university. UNCG was one of 31 institutions nationally chosen for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Frontier Set and one of five that will be profiled by the foundation.

The Banner 9 software upgrade was a topic at the meeting, and Dunn explained it related to UNCG’s focus on improving infrastructure. In addition, the university will be implementing CourseLeaf Academic Catalogue Management Software, which will revolutionize approvals and reviews of curriculum.

The university’s strategic planning is nearing finalization, with a new website (posting later this week) that will include framework for the strategic plan and goals for colleges and schools. There are plans to launch another strategic seed-funding program for faculty this year with $150,000 in grants tied to themes in the strategic plan.

Faculty will be key in working to move the institution forward, Dunn said.

By Elizabeth L. Harrison