Transparency Concerns Raised At UNCG Forum
UNC Greensboro leaders will form a new committee to look at the core values that define the university.
That announcement came Tuesday during a two-hour public forum to discuss the climate and culture at the university.
Provost Dana Dunn says the new committee will help redefine the university’s key values as part of a long-term strategic plan. She says that the new values must reflect not just a change in words but also of behavior on campus.
"One of the first steps is to be vigilant monitors and to speak up and to share information and talk openly," she says. "So I think this was a good step in that direction."
In September, three staff members were fired, and for a time faced 22 felony charges amid allegations they co-mingled their UNCG work with a private business. The charges were dropped last month. In court, two of the three admitted to filling out paperwork improperly. They were ordered to repay a week’s worth of salary. During the forum Tuesday, concerns were raised that the administration still hasn’t adequately explained what led to such severe action against the former employees. Robert Anemone, head of the Department of Anthropology, was among those who said information on the case has not been forthcoming.
"I really hope that in the near future transparency will be more what we do rather than simply what we say," he says.
The forum attendees voted electronically on what they considered the most and least important from a list of about 15 values. Integrity, accountability and transparency ranked the highest. Engagement and collaboration were ranked as the least important.
In addition to the high-profile case, UNCG is also undergoing a search for a new chancellor. Current Chancellor Linda Brady has announced she will retire next year.
Christian LeGrand is a sophomore from Jacksonville, NC. She says she and her fellow students have been talking about the changes on campus and how it affects the mood.
"For the students, I think it's a bit of confusion, but we're still staying positive" she said about the climate on campus. "I think all in all we're still keeping our spirits high."
Provost Dunn says the committee’s results should be available in the spring.