Dear Niner Nation,
Happy New Year! I hope you had a relaxing break and are looking forward to the semester – and year – ahead.
We certainly have lots of reasons to be excited as a campus community for 2023, including:
- Welcoming Dr. Alicia Bertone as the University’s provost and chief academic officer. Her first day was January 3. You can get to know her more in this Q&A, and please join me in extending to her a warm Niner welcome!
- Hosting the site visit for our 10-year reaffirmation of SACSCOC accreditation March 20-23. This visit is part of a rigorous, important multi-year process that demonstrates Charlotte’s position as an exceptional educational institution, and we look forward to hosting the review team on campus. The accreditation process also includes the development of a Quality Enhancement Plan, or QEP, designed to constantly improve student learning and outcomes. Our new QEP will focus on math literacy, specifically reducing the number of students who fail or withdraw from mathematics and statistics courses during their academic career. This project aligns with our focus to “transform students’ lives through educational opportunity and excellence'' in our strategic plan, “Shaping What’s Next.” We will share more information very soon about the visit and QEP and how the campus community can be involved.
- Launching several new fully online programs this semester, including a bachelor’s degree in professional studies that is designed for working professionals.
- Ongoing success and discovery in our research program. Under the direction of new Interim Vice Chancellor for Research John Daniels and Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Deb Thomas, our reimagined Division of Research has a renewed focus on achieving top-tier research status and supporting faculty success. Our faculty members are making progress across all disciplines, including diversity in cleantech, cancer therapies, equity research, green building design and health innovation. In fact, we will soon open the physical space for the Center for Computational Intelligence to Predict Health and Environmental Risks, or CIPHER, on the fourth floor of the Bioinformatics Building.
- Strengthening Charlotte’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Housed in the Belk College of Business, the center serves the entire campus through the alignment of both our educational and outreach efforts. Additionally, the Office of External Relations and Partnerships, under the leadership of Betty Doster, will oversee our economic development opportunities in the new year.
- Welcoming new Football Head Coach Biff Poggi as the Charlotte 49ers athletics officially makes the transformational move to the American Athletic Conference on July 1.
- Completing work on several important construction projects, including The 49th Acre, an outdoor event venue; Residence Hall Phase XIV; and renovations to the Burson Building to support the expansion of computer technology and engineering programs.
Most of all, I hope you are excited to accomplish your own goals – whether academically, professionally, culturally or socially.
All along the way, please remember to take care of yourself, and don’t forget you have University resources available to support you if you need them.
I send you all my best wishes for a happy, healthy, successful year ahead!
Sharon L. Gaber