On July 12-14 UNC Asheville welcomed the UNC Board of Governors, UNC System President Margaret Spellings, Chancellors, and the General Administration to campus for the UNC Board of Governors orientation retreat and meeting. The visit was an opportunity to showcase many of the innovations taking place at UNC Asheville, from the creative collisions between art and engineering taking place at the STEAM Studio lab at the RAMP, to Asheville’s window to the stars at Lookout Observatory.
The Board learned about exciting research happening across campus and the UNC System through poster presentations by UNC Asheville students and presentations by faculty members from the UNC School of the Arts, the UNC School of Medicine and UNC Health Care, Mountain Area Health Education Center, and N.C. A&T.
The Board was also treated to a “UNC Asheville Campus Experience,” which included a tour of STEAM Studio and Lookout Observatory, as well as a lab demonstration with UNC Asheville’s Chemistry Scholars.
At STEAM Studio, which opened in December 2016, the Board learned how the studio is used to engage the next generation of makers, engineers, artists and entrepreneurs in one collaborative makerspace.
On Chestnut Ridge overlooking campus, the board stepped into Lookout Observatory, which opened in the fall of 2014. The observatory has two 14” optical telescopes equipped for remote viewing and high-quality photography, facilitating student and faculty astronomical research, and use by students in physics courses.
In the labs of Zeis Hall, the Board met a few of UNC Asheville’s Chemistry Scholars, who are supported by multimillion-dollar grants from the National Science Foundation and the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation to advance the undergraduate research program in chemistry and biology.
The UNC Board of Governors is the policy-making body charged with “the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance” of the University of North Carolina. Its 32 voting members are elected by the NC General Assembly for four-year terms. The president of the UNC Association of Student Governments, or that student’s designee, is also a non-voting member. This was the first time the board held their orientation retreat and meeting at UNC Asheville.