CHAPEL HILL – As she prepares to depart as President of the University of North Carolina System, there are a few things Margaret Spellings wants North Carolinians to know.
“While the people of North Carolina have a tremendous and righteous pride about their University System, there are some things they don’t know,” she says in the accompanying video.
“One is we’re changing and adapting to the times. We’re gone from the day where you had to come between the hours of 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon, Monday through Thursday, to get your education,” she says, listing online, weekend and other offerings that make education more convenient.
“It’s also more affordable than ever,” she says, mentioning NC Promise – which offers $500-a-semester in-state tuition at Western Carolina, UNC Pembroke and Elizabeth City State universities – and more seamless transfers from community colleges to make state universities more accessible.
Spellings lists cultural and sporting events, as well as research that drives creation of major businesses, among the University’s attributes. But she again notes that it needs to adapt.
“The reason we need to change in the University System is because the student is changing,” she says. “What we used to consider the ‘non-traditional student’ – that student that had a family, that had a job, that student that wasn’t going straight from high school into college – is now more and more the kind of student we’re serving.
“We’re a nation of lifelong learners,” she says.