By Dasha Morgan- Nancy J. Cable is the new Chancellor of UNCA. After hearing her speak at a luncheon given by Leadership Asheville Forum, there can be little doubt that the search committee has found a forward thinking, dynamic and energetic person to lead UNCA into the future.
Cable expressed her deep love of North Carolina and close ties to the area. Having brought her children to the mountains in the summers for many years and having participated on the Board of Asheville School, she spoke to those present as to the challenges she sees going forward and why she accepted this position.
With a PH.D from the University of Virginia and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Cable recognizes that the current environment of higher education has changed considerably over the years. Social media and strong student activism can make a campus a volatile and dramatic place.
She recognizes that the cost of higher education can often be a deciding factor for many, but mentioned that the Constitution of North Carolina calls for the State to keep the cost of higher education at its lowest possible level, particularly for our instate students.
With fiscal prudence the challenge of low cost higher education needs to be meet with state support and more financial aid.
Proper planning will allow this to continue. She spoke about the need for “shared governance” of the University. The faculty and staff must have shared information and communicate with each other to solve the problems. This will allow them to make better decisions together. She plans to work on better channels of communication within the campus.
Cable spoke about the value and need for a general liberal arts education in today’s world, which may be seen as declining due to the current world of technology. With this in mind she spoke of Scott Hartley’s book “the Fuzzy and the Techie, Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World.” In his contrarian book, Hartley reveals the counter-intuitive reality of business today: it’s actually the fuzzies—not the techies—who are playing the key roles in developing the most creative and successful new business ideas.
Cable expressed the need for students who don’t have all the answers but are willing to roam around in the curriculum to find an answer. Part of an education’s mission is to find a workforce of ready, thoughtful people with clarity of thought, resilience and persistence. She said, in today’s world, “Don’t ask a person ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ but rather ask ‘What problems are you motivated to solve in today’s world.’”
Leadership Asheville has approximately 200 members, which is open to the public, and regularly holds public forums on subject of interest to the community. At the same time it provides opportunities for members to network with other leaders in the community.
With the Circle of Excellence Awards Leadership Asheville Forum annually recognizes a genuinely outstanding leader in Asheville/Buncombe County. Some of those recognized in the past are: John Ellis, Oralene Simmons, Deborah Miles, Dr. Gordon Grant, Susan Roderick, Dr. David G. Brown, Laurey Masterton, Sean O’Connell, Denise Snodgrass, David Bennert, and Cissie Stevens.
Their next meeting will be on March 27 with Deke Arndt of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville talking about his work analyzing the world’s weather patterns and tells us what his team is learning about our changing climate. For further information go to www.leadershipashevilleforum.com.
Guskiewicz named Interim Chancellor at UNC-Chapel Hill
Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, Guskiewicz is now the interim chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill. He succeeds Carol Folt who served as chancellor July 2013 through January 31, 2019. Folt resigned after she approved the removal of the remains of “Silent Sam,” a Confederate monument which had been toppled by protestors last August. The subject of placement of commemorative plaques and monuments is a subject of intense national debate. The school’s board asked Folt to leave weeks earlier than she had planned.
“The trustees are very excited about the choice of Kevin Guskiewicz as our interim chancellor,” said Haywood Cochrane, chair of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees. “As a longtime faculty member, administrator and researcher, Dr. Guskiewicz is a rising star at Carolina.
“It is an honor to be asked to lead the nation’s first public university into the next chapter of its storied history. When I became dean, I pledged to be ‘strategic, bold and student-focused,’ and those imperatives will continue to guide me in this role. I am excited and energized by the possibility and promise of the things the Carolina community can accomplish together.”