Local News

UNC Commission Identifies Issues Facing State, Education

Posted August 23, 2007 1:00 p.m. EDT

— A blue-ribbon commission is studying how to best serve the state when it comes to education.

The UNC Tomorrow Commission's mission is to determine the needs of the state and implement responses to those needs. Jim W. Phillips Jr., chairman of the UNC Board of Governors and a commission member, said it is the university system's responsibility to remain relevant to what is happening in the state.

At its meeting Thursday, the commission looked at statistics suggesting the college-age population is expected to change dramatically in the future, with the majority of the future students coming from minority populations.

The commission also found baby boomers make up most of today's faculty, which could create problems in the future as those professors retire. Commission members also learned job losses in rural counties have been greater than those in urban areas.

As a result, the UNC system will need to accommodate increasing numbers of immigrant, minority and older students, according to the commission. The system will also have an increased stake in the K-12 education, so that students entering the system are prepared.

The commission hopes to finish up its study by December and then present its suggestions to the Board of Governors in the spring.