Following are recent points of pride reflecting accomplishments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- 1st among the 100 best U.S. public colleges and universities that offer students high-quality academics at an affordable price, according to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. For the 12th time in a row, UNC-Chapel Hill ranked 1st on campuses that provide the best value to in-state students. Kiplinger’s changed its methodology in 2012 to more strongly emphasize value because of the economic challenges facing higher education. The formula considered the percentage of students returning as sophomores and four-year graduation rate. It also favored campuses with low sticker prices and abundant financial aid, with bonus points for schools that keep student borrowing low. Carolina stands out in all of these categories. “UNC-Chapel Hill has been a leader for academic excellence, low cost and generous financial aid – exactly the criteria by which we define value,” Kiplinger’s reported.
- 42nd among the world’s top 400 universities in 2012-2013, according to the London-based Times Higher Education magazine. This ranking is based on 13 separate performance indicators designed to capture the full range of university activities, from teaching to research to knowledge transfer. Those indicators cover teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook.
- Since the U.S. Rhodes Scholar program began in 1904, 48 Carolina students have been selected, including those who won in Canada. With 48, Carolina ranks first among all U.S. public research universities for producing the most Rhodes Scholars for the past 5, 10, and 25 years.
- In fall 2012, Carolina enrolled 3,914 first-year students from a record 29,497 applications, which generated 71,640 individual reads by admissions staff. Nearly 79 percent graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class, and they posted an average 1304 on the SAT. More than 17 percent were first-generation college students; another 12 percent were eligible for the Carolina Covenant, which promises qualified low-income students the chance to graduate debt-free.
- The Carolina Covenant enrolled its ninth class this fall with 581 new first-year and transfer students. Currently, an estimated 2,600 Covenant Scholars are studying at Carolina, and more than 4,000 students have benefitted from the program since it began in 2003. We were the first major public U.S. university to announce plans for a program like the Carolina Covenant. Since then, more than 90 similar programs have been established at public and private U.S. campuses.
- Even before the economic downturn, Carolina launched a Bain & Company study that resulted in Carolina Counts, a campuswide initiative to make our operations more efficient. UNC was the first major university to undertake such an initiative, and other prominent universities, including Berkeley and Cornell, have followed that lead. By fall 2011, Carolina Counts had identified and implemented $50 million in permanent administrative savings. The goal is to reduce overlap in administrative functions, streamline operations and simplify unnecessary bureaucracy, thereby refocusing resources on the academic mission of the university. Given repeated reductions in state funding, Carolina Counts has also served as a roadmap to help wisely implement budget reductions.
- Faculty attracted more than $767 million in total research grants and contracts in fiscal 2012 for research that is helping to cure diseases and produce new knowledge to help people. Excluding federal stimulus support, research funding totaled $759 million in that category, compared with $732 million last year. The steady growth of research funding over the past 15-plus years is a great tribute to the success of the faculty and our multidisciplinary approach to advancing knowledge and science.
- Carolina rose to 9th from 16th among leading private and public research universities for the level of federal funding ($545.99 million) devoted to research and development in all fields during fiscal 2010 (the most recent year for which results are available). The new ranking was based on data compiled by the National Science Foundation. Carolina has gained 10 spots in the national top 25 list since 2008.
- The journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, named a UNC-led HIV prevention study the 2011 Breakthrough of the Year . Professor Myron Cohen led the international study, which journal editors say “galvanized efforts to end the world’s AIDS epidemic in a way that would have been inconceivable even a year ago.” The study, conducted in multiple countries, evaluated whether antiretroviral drugs can prevent sexual transmission of HIV among couples in which one partner has HIV and the other does not. The research found that early treatment with antiretroviral therapy reduced HIV transmission in couples by at least 96 percent. The study provided proof of a concept developed at UNC more than 20 years in the making.
- A team of scientists with The Cancer Genome Atlas program have genetically mapped 800 breast tumors, and have categorized them into four subtypes. The work, which was published in September 2012 in the journal Nature, fundamentally reshapes the way scientists understand breast cancer and paves the way for personalized treatment of the disease. Charles Perou, a professor of molecular oncology and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center who led the study, says the research was a near complete framework for the genetic causes of breast cancer, which will significantly affect clinical medicine in the coming years.
- The University received $287.4 million in gifts from loyal alumni and friends in fiscal 2012. The total marked the University’s second-best year in history and topped the previous fiscal year’s total of $277 million—then the second-highest total—by 4 percent. Commitments also rose for fiscal 2012, to $331.4 million from $305.6 million for an 8 percent increase. Commitments include pledges as well as gifts. The commitments total was the University’s third-best ever and marked the second straight year to exceed $300 million.
- A $3.63 million gift from The Blackstone Charitable Foundation of New York City will create the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, a five-year initiative to help North Carolina's Research Triangle become headquarters for America's next high-growth companies with the greatest potential to create new jobs. Carolina is joining partner schools Duke University, North Carolina Central University and North Carolina State University, as well as the Durham-based Council for Entrepreneurial Development, in the effort. The program draws from the ranks of veteran master entrepreneurs to identify marketable innovations out of area universities and regional start-ups with the greatest potential to become high-growth companies, and then help them get started.