The state legislature is in the final weeks of its session that will culminate in the passage of the 2016-17 budget. Top priorities for UNC Charlotte and the UNC system include employee salary increases to reward and retain talent, elimination of the $1 million cap on state appropriation for fundraising activities, enrollment funding and increasing budget flexibility by extending the authority to carry funds to the next fiscal year.
The legislative process is complex and multifaceted. The chart below illustrates University priorities and the status of each in the budget submitted by Gov. Pat McCrory and passed by the House and the Senate. Negotiations have begun between House and Senate leaders to work out the differences in their budget plans. Now is the time to act: Please contact Betty Doster if you know a legislator and would be willing to contact him or her to voice your support for UNC Charlotte’s priorities.
Chancellor Dubois met with legislative leaders in Raleigh on May 25 making the case for UNC Charlotte’s 2016 legislative priorities, which include salary increases for all employees, eliminating the private fundraising cap, extending carryforward authority and approval for a student-financed health and wellness facility.
The chancellor also took time to thank legislators for their support of the Connect NC bond that will transform science education at UNC Charlotte. Seen at left, Chancellor Dubois presented Rep. Dean Arp (’99) with a Board of Trustees resolution honoring him for his successful efforts as engineer of the Connect NC bond package.
Pictured above: Chancellor Dubois and Rep. Dean Arp '99
Graduate students from across the state traveled to Raleigh for Graduate Education Day, held to raise awareness of the impact of graduate research for North Carolina. Representing UNC Charlotte were Marcus Lawrence, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. candidate in biology and kinesiology, and Alexandra Hurst, working on a master’s degree in chemistry. Graduate School Dean Tom Reynolds, Associate Dean Katherine Hall-Hertel and Chair of Kinesiology Scott Gordon also were on hand.
Representatives Becky Carney, John Fraley, Kelly Alexander, John Bradford, Bill Brawley (’78) and Senators Jeff Jackson and Jeff Tarte learned the importance of Lawrence and Hurst’s research and the potential for health care breakthroughs. Lawrence’s research examines the effects of stored sugars to counteract age-related muscle loss. Hurst’s work in photodynamic inactivation of bacteria will help in antibiotic resistance research.
“I am so proud of the growth of research at UNC Charlotte,” said Rep Becky Carney. “The work you are doing is changing lives and is possible, in part, due to the state’s investment in research and development.”
Funding for a new science building, approved by voters in March as part of the Connect NC bond package, will help undergraduate and graduate students like Lawrence and Hurst develop innovative research.
Pictured top: Rep. Fraley with Ph.D. candidate Marcus Lawrence; Pictured middle: Rep. Becky Carney with students Marcus Lawrence and Alexandra Hurst; Pictured bottom: Sen. Tarte with students Marcus Lawrence and Alexandra Hurst
Bailey Russell (’17) and Amanda Spence (’19) are getting a firsthand look at the democratic process this summer serving as interns for two Charlotte-area legislators. Russell, a junior from Denver, N.C., is majoring in political science and economics with a minor in criminal justice. She will work with Rep. Jason Saine (’95),who also was a political science major and active in the Student Government Association (SGA).
“My involvement in student government and the North Carolina Student Legislature (NCSL) while a student at UNC Charlotte has shaped my career in public service,” observed Rep. Saine. “Dr. Louise Brennan, a former Democratic member of the House of Representatives, was the faculty advisor for NCSL and taught me parliamentary procedure that I use today. I’m so glad to see Bailey’s passion for government and look forward to passing along Dr. Brennan’s knowledge.”
Amanda Spence (’19), a rising sophomore from Raleigh, is a dual political science and communications major. She is serving with Sen. Tommy Tucker. Learning about the legislative process came naturally to Spence as her mother serves as a legislative assistant to Mecklenburg County Rep. John Bradford.
Chancellor Dubois was able to catch up with both Russell and Spence. Russell participated in a strategy meeting with House Majority Leader Mike Hager (’87) and House Finance Senior Co-chairs Bill Brawley (’78) and Rep. Jason Saine (’95) about the proposed health and wellness facility that requires legislative approval for campus borrowing authority.
Pictured top: Rep. Bill Brawley (’78), House Majority Leader Mike Hager (’87), Bailey Russell (’17), Rep. Jason Saine (’95) and Chancellor Dubois; Pictured bottom: Sen. Tommy Tucker, Amanda Spence (’19) and Chancellor Dubois