Special Oct. 10 event: ‘Public Universities, the Humanities and Education in North Carolina’

Old Well 1“Public Universities, the Humanities and Education in North Carolina” will be the focus of a free special event Oct. 10 sponsored by the Program in the Humanities and Human Values in the College of Arts and Sciences.

North Carolinians are debating how public schools and universities should best prepare students for future work in a changing global economy. In this evolving social context, some argue (as in other states) that public universities must focus on technical skills, which could mean that the UNC system’s teaching and research mission can no longer “afford the luxury” of giving equal emphasis to the humanities, the arts and the social sciences.

This seminar will address the ongoing debate about education and the value of the liberal arts by asking University leaders, faculty members and entrepreneurial-minded business thinkers to explain why they believe the humanities and arts may (or may not) still be essential for North Carolina’s public universities.

The goal of the event is to consider how the humanities and the arts can or should contribute to public education and public universities in North Carolina — and also how these contributions might be changing.

The public is invited to join the conversation about these important issues and to add their views to the debate. Free panel discussions will be followed by an optional salon-style lunch (for which there is a fee).

Speakers will include UNC System President Tom Ross and UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt. They will join the discussion with faculty colleagues Marianne Gingher (English and Comparative Literature) and Claude Clegg (African, African American and Diaspora Studies) in the College of Arts and Sciences, and with innovative business leaders Michael Tiemann (Red Hat Inc.) and Bill Moore (RTI International). Two separate panel presentations will be followed by a discussion among the speakers and the audience.

Tom Ross
Tom Ross


Marianne B. Gingher, Professor of English, UNC-Chapel Hill

Tom Ross, President, University of North Carolina System

Michael Tiemann, Vice President of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat, Inc. and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts


Claude Clegg, Distinguished Professor, Department of African, American and Diaspora Studies and History, UNC-Chapel Hill

Carol Folt, Chancellor, UNC-Chapel Hill

Bill Moore, Chairman of the Board, RTI International and Professor of the Practice of Finance, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC-Chapel Hill

Carol Folt
Carol Folt


Discussion with all speakers and the audience

Time and Cost:

9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Oct. 10; lunch conversations: 12:30 to 2 p.m. The free panel discussions will be followed by an optional lunch ($29 each at the Carolina Club.). Everyone who attends will be able to contribute his or her own views in small-group table discussions on the question: “Can we still afford the luxury of the liberal arts?” led by a UNC faculty member.

Learn more and register for this special event. Preregistration is required.