Transition in UNC System Reflects National Trend, says UNCW Int. Chancellor

Feb 4, 2015

We’ve reported recently on what has seemed to be unprecedented turnover at UNCW. 

That appearance of turmoil in Wilmington’s local institutions of higher education was only enhanced when Ted Spring, President of Cape Fear Community College, resigned unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago.  But at least one local leader says UNCW’s changes could partly reflect a broader national trend.

North Carolina is a case study for why leaders of institutions of higher education and state policymakers should regularly align their goals.  That’s according to UNCW’s Interim Chancellor, Dr. Bill Sederburg.  And Sederburg, who chairs a national task force working on this issue, is making a bold – and public – prediction. 

"I think you’re going to see the Legislature and the Governor move more toward supporting the UNC system as they come to realize you really don’t have many tools to build the state.  And your strongest tool for the future, that they know from a family level, (they’re going to encourage their sons and daughters to go to college and participate in this thing), they know deep down inside that the future really depends upon the university system, and the state will migrate to continue to support it."

Sederburg says he’s already heard a change of tone in Governor McCrory’s public statements about the UNC system. 

The next concrete step:  for the state to renew what Sederburg calls the “social contract” with UNC. 

As Governors around the nation put more emphasis on linking the educational agenda to needs in the work force, there’s a real opportunity, says Sederburg, to address weaknesses in the current approach to a liberal arts education. 

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This was part of the conversation on the most recent edition of CoastLine.  To hear the entire discussion about the future of higher education in Wilmington, which also featured New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White and Cape Fear Community College Board President Jason Harris, follow this link:

Or tune in for the re-broadcast on Saturday at 1 PM.