YOURS AT CAROLINA
Carolina’s Tar Heel Network
Tous financial support to North Carolina’s higher education system — particularly to our campus. Across the
he N.C. General Assembly has always provided gener-
country, no state is as generous to its flagship university. Today’s
economic environment understandably prompts many Carolina supporters to worry about that vital legislative backing.
The GAA’s Tar Heel Network is an important con-
tributor toward developing broader understanding
of Carolina and ensuring that Carolina continues to
receive much-needed aid from our many publics,
including, most particularly, from the General
Assembly. The Tar Heel Network helps preserve and
enhance the value of all Carolina diplomas.
Formed in 1983 and chaired by Tom Lambeth
’ 57, a former chair of both the GAA Board of
Directors and of the UNC Board of Trustees, the
Tar Heel Network has members in each of North
Carolina’s 100 counties. It is a broadly based organization of
community leaders who are committed to generating an
effective and continuing voice on behalf of Carolina. The
network’s 1,000-plus members do no fundraising, collect no
dues and hold no meetings. The only commitment they have
been asked to make is to read and interpret concise information about the University. As hoped, the network has provided ideas, opinions and independent grass-roots help on
issues where prompt and appropriate response from alumni
and Carolina friends was beneficial. In essence, the network
has acted as a sounding board, an idea source and an advocate
for Carolina in both public and private forums.
The first Tar Heel Network newsletter addressed the challenging issue of undergraduate admissions. During the difficult years of the early ’90s, the network provided members
with regular updates on University legislative priorities and
urged direct contact with legislators.
Twice the network has played a critical role in gathering
understanding and support for the statewide vote for bond
issues for higher-education capital construction. During two
chancellor searches, the network gathered alumni in several
N.C. communities to hear suggestions and recommendations
for what should be the priorities of each new chancellor.
Of particular note, the network has been effective in persuading the General Assembly to provide needed funding for
faculty salaries, graduate student support and capital construction. The network was an effective advocate for returning all
of Carolina’s hard-earned overhead receipts to our campus
for reinvestment in research. Along the way, network members have been provided summaries of legislative action that
have a direct impact on our campus and have encouraged
members to link their support for legislative candidates to
that candidate’s support for Carolina.
Whenever legislators have proposed changes to the state
budget that would be hurtful to our campus, the network has
effectively opposed such initiatives. Similarly, in 2001, when
some members of the N.C. House proposed to reallocate overhead receipts from Carolina and N.C. State to other UNC System campuses, Lambeth wrote an article for the Review and
reported how each House member voted.
For 20 years, the Tar Heel Network has hosted an annual
reception of members of the General Assembly and other
state officials. In more recent years, the network has worked
with University officers and the Lineberger Comprehensive
Cancer Center board of visitors to secure funding for the
N.C. Cancer Hospital as well as for the University Cancer
Research Fund. This spring, the network will assist the Board
of Trustees by engaging alumni in an ongoing campus discussion among faculty, staff and students about how to
improve Carolina and make it “the best place to teach, learn
Among Carolina’s many strengths has been the passionate
support from North Carolinians who take great pride in the
fact that our state created and has nourished one of the
world’s most distinguished educational institutions, one that
has achieved excellence by providing unparalleled public service, inspiring teaching and producing much-needed research.
We are grateful to all who represent our University with
passion and devotion. In your community and in your professional and personal lives, to many you are The University
of North Carolina. We hope all alumni will actively join the
Tar Heel Network in urging legislators to support all public
education — kindergarten through 12th grade, the community colleges and the UNC System and, most particularly, our
country’s oldest public university, North Carolina’s “priceless
gem” — The University of North Carolina. There is no better investment legislators can make.
Yours at Carolina,
Douglas S. Dibbert ’ 70
Note: Please send me an e-mail if you’d like to be added to
our Tar Heel Network or to confirm that you’re already a member. Thank you.
One more note: We appreciate your loyalty and support as
reflected by your GAA membership. We understand that many
people are anxious about the state of our economy. Like other
not-for-profit organizations, the GAA is closely monitoring
expenses but will not compromise our service to our members.
Please be assured that the GAA has no plans to increase dues in
2009. Thank you again for your continuing support.