YOURS AT CAR OLINA
Continuing to Grow With Care
‘Alumni should be reassured that we will not grow
unless the resources are provided that will be essential if we are to retain and enhance the quality of
educational experience for all Carolina students.” This sentence concluded my column written nearly a decade ago
upon the completion of a report by the Enrollment Task
Force appointed by then-Chancellor Michael
Hooker ’ 69 and on which I served.
As noted in the illuminating story by Senior
Associate Editor David Brown ’ 75 that begins on
page 20 of this issue of the Review, Carolina is pro-
jected to grow to 33,000 students in the next
decade. That’s about the same rate as the University
has grown over the past decade. I often tell alumni
and current UNC students that most alumni believe
that we attended Car-
olina at exactly the
most perfect time, and I assure
current students that someday they
will feel the same way.
So, it is understandable that
we would have some concern
that the Carolina we experienced
as students might not remain the
same. The University’s growth in
recent decades demonstrates that
all that we find special can be
retained and enhanced while State
Carolina’s academic stature con- appropriations
tinues to rise. See chart.
The following principles that
guided the 1998 Enrollment Task
Force remain applicable today:
Maintain the residential character of the campus.
Maintain small class size.
Maintain the enrollment percentage of 82 percent in-state
and 18 percent out-of-state.
Maintain a commitment to a distinct mission for graduate
education and the present percentage of 60 percent
undergraduates to 40 percent graduate students.
Increase enrollment from the top of the enrollment pool.
Seek to improve the graduation rate.
University Growth in Past Decades
Total SAT Gross number
enrollment average of square feet
1978: 20,294 1090 7,443,999
1988: 23,579 1102 9,461,891
1998: 24,238 1230 11,718,572
2008: 28,567 1301 16,735,537
Note: The College Board recentered SAT scores in April 1995.
Grow library resources.
In his installation address delivered on Polk Place on University Day, Chancellor Holden Thorp ’ 86 affirmed that “we
must make Carolina the best place to teach, learn and discover.” He went on to note that to do so we must “attract
the best students and inspire them.”
Referencing the UNC System’s challenge of educating
an additional 80,000 students by 2017, Chancellor Thorp
affirmed that “we have a responsibility to do our part. But
we have to be smart about growth. We have to determine
how to grow and enhance our quality.”
Chancellor Thorp announced the launch of important
initiatives to direct how we address our anticipated growth
— a trustee-led “campuswide conversation about how Car-
olina can be an even better uni-
versity” that will “inform an
update of the Academic Plan,”
and he noted that “both of
these efforts will help us deter-
mine our priorities for private
Finally, Chancellor Thorp
announced the establishment of
a task force to explore ways to
strengthen the Carolina undergraduate experience.
Each of us believes Carolina
and Chapel Hill were exactly
the right size when we were
n/a students. Our challenge in
56. 6 accommodating significant
5. 2 growth is to ensure that these
20. 9 new students look back and feel
as we do. The quality of the student experience determines our
participation, interest and support as alumni.
Yours at Carolina,
in 2008 dollars
Douglas S. Dibbert ’ 70