The October 1st, 2007 can’t come soon enough for some of UNC’s Board of Trustees. Yesterday, Chancellor Moeser once again disingenuously affirmed the absolutely critical role Carolina North’s development plays.

Important? Maybe. Critical? How can we assess that before we see a real evaluation of its business, educational and community-oriented impacts?

Leaning on previous assertions of broad economic impacts, Moeser talked of his administrations “tireless” pursuit of Carolina North’s rollout – including the appointment of Dean Jack Evans (Moeser somehow omitted mentioning Evans’ $208,000+ per year salary). At least Evans’ sees this not as territory to seize but more of a potentially futile intellectual exercise.

Our engagement with the state will be greatly enhanced by Carolina North, our 21st Century living-and-learning community. We will pursue this project tirelessly. It is absolutely critical to our future. We want this new campus to be a national model for sustainability, addressing the long-term needs of the University for accelerated transfer of our new knowledge into the economy, housing for faculty and staff, and new collaborations with the private sector.

A Leadership Advisory Committee of community, state, and University representatives is recommending guiding principles for building Carolina North. Last month, I appointed Professor Jack Evans as executive director of Carolina North. Our trustees have directed us to submit our zoning and development plan applications to local governments by October 1st of next year.

We want the Carolina North campus to have an aesthetic quality that will draw people to it and enhance the communities surrounding it, just as the main campus has for two centuries. We believe it can do all of that at the same time that it advances our missions of teaching, research, and public service.

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