Dear Faculty Colleagues,
Welcome to the new academic year! As most of you know, this year has started in an especially historic manner with the toppling of the Confederate monument known as Silent Sam. For those of you who are new to campus or otherwise unfamiliar with the history of this monument and why it has caused pain to many in our university community, I recommend that you read the eloquent statement released by the Dean of the Gillings School of Global Public Health, Dr. Barbara Rimer, and references therein. This event is both a teachable moment and an opportunity to reflect on our core values. Many unanswered questions remain as we move forward, such as what, if anything, might take the monument’s place or whether the university will be compelled to reinstall it. Now, perhaps more than ever, it is important that your voices be heard, not only at our Faculty Council meetings, but also as private citizens in communicating your views to those who legislate. Because we are a public institution, our General Assembly holds significant power over the university, and ultimately makes the laws that control monuments, buildings and more on campus.
Since I last updated you before the start of the 2018 spring semester, Faculty Council and the Faculty Executive Committee (FEC) have passed resolutions and/or advised the administration on a range of topics, including university-approved absences, and improvements to the faculty code, free speech and academic freedom.
Moving forward, in addition to events of the day, I expect that we will hear updates from our Provost and Chancellor on the new budget model, successes with the Campaign for Carolina and new initiatives to improve our campus. We also expect to hear from many of the faculty governance committees that work hard to make Carolina even better.
Finally, the Faculty Executive Committee and I are here to listen to your concerns. While I will try to respond to you as quickly as possible, you can always contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or suggestions. I look forward to working with all of you over this academic year.
Leslie V. Parise
Chair of the Faculty
Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Biophysics