CULLOWHEE – Seven of the eight newly elected members of the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors stopped for half a day at Western on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 30) in their weeklong tour of 15 UNC campuses.
During a reception in the A.K. Hinds University Center, Chancellor John Bardo told the “Class of 2005” that Western’s commitment to both regional engagement and academic excellence sets the university apart from its sister institutions in the University of North Carolina system.
“Economic development is a core function of this university,” Bardo said. Western’s students and faculty can help solve problems identified by the region, he explained, and he called upon professors Scott Philyaw, Duane Dunlap, Michael Dougherty and Newt Smith to illustrate the point with brief explanations of how their students are involved with businesses and schools throughout the region.
Bardo outlined various elements that are shaping the economic future of Western North Carolina , such as engineering technology, information technology, molecular biosciences, tourism, entrepreneurship, health and aging, and electronic media, and he briefly explained how Western is responding.
The result of Western’s response to the educational, cultural, social and economic needs of the region will be “a different kind of university, linked to what the world will require of us,” Bardo said.
After his presentation, he took board members on a tour of the campus, stopping at the forensics laboratory, Fine and Performing Arts Center, audio and video production studios in the Center for Applied Technology, new residence halls, Millennial Initiative property and Moore Hall.
Participating in the visit and tour were board members Peaches Gunter Blank, Phillip Dixon, Charles Hayes, Fred Mills, William Smith, Zack Wynne and David Young; as well as board secretary Bart Corgnati and system vice presidents Cindy Lawson and Robin Render.