Citizens for Higher Education works to build political support for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the state’s other research universities. We aim to help the university:

  • Address the challenge of competition for funds;
  • Recruit and retain a world-class faculty;
  • Attract the best and brightest students; and
  • Enhance cutting-edge research that is critical to the state economy.

We are a political-action committee that backs state candidates who share our goals. We also take positions on issues to help the university. Our positions have always been consistent with those of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees.

Members pay dues of $2,000 a year to help. We also welcome junior members at reduced rates: $1,000 a year for members age 30 to 39, and $500 a year for those under 30. To become a member, click here or call 919-510-9240. To sign up for e-mail updates, click here.

One more burden in paying for college

The Charlotte Observer
November 27, 2013

Saving for college is about to get just a little bit harder in North Carolina. 

N.C. parents and grandparents who contribute to North Carolina’s 529 college savings plans can deduct up to $5,000 in contributions on their state income tax returns. That ends for the tax year beginning Jan. 1, eliminated as part of the legislature’s tax reform package passed this summer.  Of the 43 states with an income tax, 34 offer a deduction for 529-plan contributions and nine do not, according to the college financial aid website www.finaid.org. North Carolina is about to make it 33 and 10.

Submitted by Site Admin on Wed, 2013-11-27 13:16.
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Legislature should obey state constitution on funding UNC system

Winston-Salem Journal
November 12, 2013

Somewhere along the line, the words of the state constitution got lost in the making of University of North Carolina system tuition policy. The legislature and the UNC Board of Governors have been ordering sizable tuition increases for at least a decade now -- the pace of those increases accelerating during the economic slowdown -- despite a clear constitutional admonition against such a practice.

Submitted by Site Admin on Thu, 2013-11-14 15:41.
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Pat Robertson donates to UNC after successful heart surgery

The News & Observer
November 13, 2013
By Jane Stancill

Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and the Christian Coalition, gave thanks to UNC-Chapel Hill’s medical school when he donated $500,000 after successful heart surgery.

The 2009 surgery at a Pinehurst hospital corrected Robertson’s atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat caused by faulty electrical signals in the heart. The surgery, called the Convergent Procedure, was developed by Dr. Andy Kiser, who is now chief of cardiothoracic surgery at UNC-CH.

Submitted by Site Admin on Thu, 2013-11-14 15:32.
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The End of History?

Inside Higher Ed
October 29, 2013
By Ry Rivard

One of the 17 University of North Carolina campuses could stop offering degrees in physics, history and political science. Elizabeth City State University, a 2,300-student historically black college in northeastern North Carolina, is talking about ending seven undergraduate degree programs because of state funding declines and enrollment shortfalls, said Provost Ali Khan.

Submitted by Site Admin on Tue, 2013-10-29 13:38.
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Huge grant spotlights how universities benefit state's economy

The News & Observer
October 24, 2013

It happens so often that it’s easy to take it for granted. But hold the “ho hums” if you please. On Wednesday, The News & Observer reported that more than $100 million in research grants will be coming to universities in the Triangle from the National Institutes of Health. They are called Clinical and Translational Science Awards and will fund research by Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in partnership with N.C. A&T State University and RTI International.
The amount is breathtaking, and the aim of the intended medical research is to turn clinical research discoveries into practical applications that help patients.
Duke was one of the first recipients of this type of grant, in 2006, and had its grant renewed for $47 million over five years. UNC-CH, in partnership with RTI International and N.C. A&T, will share in a $54.6 million grant aimed at turning scientific advances into treatments. A Duke research director noted that it’s nice for the long-time sports rivals to be linking arms in the effort to move science from the lab to the hospital bed.
Let’s hope those Republican legislators and Gov. Pat McCrory, who have made an issue of how universities should focus on training people for jobs instead of educating them in, say, arts and literature, take note of what’s going on here. Universities do train people for the workforce, but they’re also about ideas, about opening minds, about exploring new horizons.
And sometimes that exploration happens to produce jobs, such as those that will come from these latest grants.
It’s appropriate to recognize again the recent grant from the National Security Agency to N.C. State University, another frequent recipient of federal money, to establish a place for “data scientists” to analyze information. That grant was over $60 million.
Duke and UNC-CH have long been in the top 20 or so universities receiving NIH grants, as their medical complexes are among the best in the world. In 2010, for example, factoring in money from the federal stimulus program that came in the previous year, Duke ranked 10th and UNC-CH 14th when it came to NIH grants, according to MedCity news. Duke got $439 million and UNC-CH got $382 million in that time frame.
These universities and, for that matter, most research universities more than “earn their keep.” Those hundreds of millions of dollars support thousands of jobs. And when important discoveries are made – and they are at N.C. State, UNC-CH and Duke – they make a difference to the world.
And they have made a difference when it comes to the formation of a spectacular success such as the Research Triangle Park, made possible because of the proximity of the area universities and their attraction of cutting-edge high-tech companies.
What made and makes RTP work is a collaboration between private companies and the government at the state and federal levels. It’s the fruit of an approach that engages the open-ended possibilities of university research. It’s not about job-training, but it’s an economic engine that will keep running for more generations. Click here to read more.

UNC, Duke receive research grants worth $102 million

The News & Observer
October 22, 2013
By Jane Stancill and Jay Price

More than $100 million in federal money – the equivalent of the annual budget for a small city – is headed to the Triangle to help university researchers turn basic scientific discoveries into advances in patient care.
Two Clinical and Translational Science Awards from the National Institutes of Health were awarded to Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill, which will team up with RTI International and N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro. The largest grant, worth $54.6 million over five years, is a new award given to a partnership among UNC-CH, RTI and N.C. A&T. The other, $47 million over five years, is a renewal of a grant to the Duke Translational Medicine Institute.
Both grants are aimed at transforming clinical research into things that directly help patients.
“I think the best way to describe it is we need to take ideas and turn them into useful therapies and diagnostic tests, and this grant will help the entire institution to be able to do that,” said Dr. Robert M. Califf, director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute and one of the principal investigators for the program supported by the grant. “I will also say it’s nice that Duke and UNC are in the same boat here, and we’ve got five years to work together instead of competing like we do in sports.”
Launched in 2006, the NIH-led grant program aims to speed up science from the lab to the bedside. The grants support a consortium of 60 academic medical institutions to foster team research.
The grant for UNC-CH will fund the N.C. Translational and Clinical Sciences, a campus center that reaches out to counties across the state. Previous projects at the center include a study on a gene variant in breast cancer in which 500 patients received personalized care. That work led to patients receiving adjusted chemotherapy doses based on their own results.
Now, N.C. A&T and RTI will join the UNC-CH center on the new grant.  Click here to read more.

Submitted by Site Admin on Wed, 2013-10-23 11:26.
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Leloudis: For more than two centuries, 'public' has been Carolina's guide star

University Gazette
October 11, 2013
By Courtney Mitchell

At a lecture in anticipation of University Day, James Leloudis asked the assembled group to repeat after him: “Carolina is America’s first public university.” 

In unison, it was clear. The emphasis was strongest on the word “public.” That has been the focus of a Carolina education from the start, said Leloudis, professor of history and associate dean for honors.

Submitted by Site Admin on Tue, 2013-10-15 00:10.
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UNC's first female chancellor praises university's tradition of progress

The News & Observer
October 12, 2013
By Anne Blythe

CHAPEL HILL — Carol Folt made history on the 220th birthday of the University of North Carolina, the nation’s oldest public university.  The dynamic and energetic environmental scientist, officially installed as the 11th UNC chancellor on Saturday, is the first woman to take the helm.

In a speech that paid reverence to the university’s past, Folt laid out her vision for the future in a world “with technology and knowledge exploding, with the socioeconomic and the political landscape changing and our global relationships also in flux.”

Submitted by Site Admin on Sun, 2013-10-13 12:23.
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UNC System President Tom Ross Talks Higher Education

The State of Things
October 3, 2013

The UNC System, made up of 17 educational institutions, has seen a reduction in funding over the last several years. Some universities are eliminating positions to try to make up the difference. And tuition hikes place a greater burden on students.  UNC System President Tom Ross  addressed the budget problems in North Carolina in a conversation with host Frank Stasio on WUNC's The State of Things.

Submitted by Site Admin on Sat, 2013-10-05 00:29.
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NC State receives $50 million gift -- largest in school history

The News & Observer
September 27, 2013
By Andrew Kenney

RALEIGH — N.C. State University has received the largest single gift in its history – $50 million – to provide scholarships, the school’s administration and the Park Foundation announced Friday. The donation puts the university closer to funding its most prestigious scholarships “in perpetuity,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson.

Submitted by Site Admin on Sat, 2013-09-28 12:53.
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