Governor McCrory at Methodist University Spring Entrepreneurial Leadership Summit
Government, UNC

Do Students Want a Degree or a Career?

“You shouldn’t measure success by how many students are coming in and even graduating. We should measure success by how many students are getting jobs. Especially, jobs that they study for.”

Said Governor McCrory, Tuesday night at Methodist University’s Spring Entrepreneurial Leadership Summit to a group that included Fayetteville State University Chancellor Anderson and the President of Methodist University.

The Fayetteville Observer has the full story.

Governor McCrory at Methodist University Spring Entrepreneurial Leadership Summit

Governor McCrory at Methodist University Spring Entrepreneurial Leadership Summit

I believe that people go to school to learn skills that will enable them to be successful in their careers.  They’re also choosing to invest a significant amount of money for that education.  The schools need to deliver a solid Return on Investment to the students (and anyone else that’s helping to pay for that education).

A rewarding career in a chosen field is a primary metric.

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This is Your Brain on Drugs
Government, UNC

Is the News & Record on Drugs?

The Greensboro News & Record speculates that UNCG police helping arrest drug dealers in the Glenwood neighborhood may be viewed as a bad thing by area residents.  Really?  Are they on drugs?

Residents of the area may see UNCG police operations as yet another infringement on their neighborhood.” – Greensboro News & Record Article.

Yes! Weekly provides more coverage including photos of the suspects and the full police release.

UPDATE 4/28/14 – Britton St House is Next to Elementary School:

Britton House Near Elementary School

Britton House Near Elementary School

 

UPDATE 2/29/14:  News & Record writes a new story in today’s paper – much more on point – discussing positives of campus police working to improve a neighborhood.

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Sam with the Pasture Pigs - talking Spent Grain at NC A&T Farm
Beer/Wine/Mixology, Travel, UNC

Pigs, UNC Alumni and Beer

There’s an interesting connection between UNC system grads from the US and UK, beer and local pigs.  We’ve been working with North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University (NC A&T) to donate our spent grain from our new Pig Pounder Brewery to the NC A&T University Farm.  The spent grains (malt that has been used in the brewing process) would be used in the farm’s Swine Unit for feed.

 

The NC A&T Swine Farm Hog Statue

The NC A&T Swine Farm Hog Statue

NC A&T Swine Farm Pasture Pigs

NC A&T Swine Farm Pasture Pigs

Sam with the Pasture Pigs - talking Spent Grain at NC A&T Farm

Sam with the Pasture Pigs – talking Spent Grain at NC A&T Farm

“The swine industry is North Carolina’s second most important agricultural industry, worth close to $2 billion annually. The Swine Research Unit includes a 250-sow indoor commercial hog-rearing environment, as well as a hoop barn, and a pastured hog operation for small-scale or limited-resource farmers making the transition to hog farming from tobacco or other crops.” – from University Farm website.

There are lots of discussions of sustainable uses of spent grain a byproduct of brewing – but the primary use is animal feed on farms.  The grain starts out as dry malt then is used as the primary ingredient in the brewing process.  NC has a rapidly growing brewing industry.

Pig Pounder Brewery - Brew House

Pig Pounder Brewery – Brew House

 

NC A&T spends $50,000-$60,000 per year on feed in their Swine Program.  In some rough calculations in a meeting with the University, we determined that this could save the farm up to $15,000-20,000 per year.  Pig Pounder would provide the spent grain free of charge to the University.

That grain has an interesting story including a UNC connection as well.  We purchase our malt from Thomas Fawcett & Sons in the UK.  They’ve been malting grain since the late 1700s.

Thomas Fawcett & Sons

Thomas Fawcett & Sons

Floor Malting at Thomas Fawcett & Sons

Floor Malting at Thomas Fawcett & Sons

On a trip to the UK to do research for the Pig Pounder Brewery and our Marshall Free House gastropub – we had the opportunity to meet the owner James Fawcett.  We were surprised to learn that James is a UNC alum having graduated in 1988.

Marty Kotis (brewery owner and UNC class '91) and James Fawcett (Thomas Fawcett & Sons Malts owner and UNC class '88) at Thomas Fawcett & Sons

Marty Kotis (brewery owner and UNC class ’91) and James Fawcett (Thomas Fawcett & Sons Malts owner and UNC class ’88) at Thomas Fawcett & Sons

So the farm raised pigs at the UNC System NC A&T University Farm may eat feed that originates as grain in the UK malted by Fawcett (UNC class of ’88), then used in making beer at a brewery owned by Kotis (UNC ’91), brewed by Director of Operations Sam Rose (UNC-Asheville ’07) and marketed by Jenna Lumtscher (ECU  ’07).

So UNC pigs may get fat and alums might get slaughtered! (UK slang for drunk)

 

Pig Pounder Logo

Pig Pounder Logo

 

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UNC Board of Governors April 2014 Meeting Materials Page
Government, UNC

UNC Board of Governors Meeting Materials April 2014

The UNC Board of Governors Meeting Materials for the April 10th-11th 2014 meeting are available as of April 7th.  The BOG received a package of approximately 600 pages the afternoon of Friday, April 4th.  It includes hot links to additional documents.  In the interest of transparency, I’m posting information about the public items.

April 2014 BOG Meeting Materials – image of webpage with agenda items

Meeting Materials can be viewed here

Some Initial Items of Note from the Audit and Budget & Finance Committees Include:

Audit – Item 3 – Audit Reports Released Since Last Meeting – including ECSU Long Distance Charges Audit and others.

Budget and Finance – Item 2 – Athletics Financial Transparency, Item 4 – Bonds for UNCG Recreation Center,  Item 5 – Tuition Bill Transparency, and Item 14 – FY 2013-14 Budget Management.

UNC Board of Governors April 2014 Meeting Materials Page

UNC Board of Governors April 2014 Meeting Materials Page

Please add your comments and concerns.  I am still reviewing all the materials and will post more items later.

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Carolina Plott Hound - NC Conservative News Aggregator
Government, Social Media, UNC

GO’s Ascent with Carolina Plott Hound

Carolina Plott Hound, the top NC conservative news aggregator, has published three of Greensboro Observer’s stories in the last week.  Today CPH’s top story is Obamacare (ACA) to Cost UNC $47 Million.  Last week they linked to stories about UNC Financials and UNC Foundation Financials – both stories contain Excel spreadsheets and detailed numbers in an effort to provide greater transparency to the people of our State.

Carolina Plott Hound - NC Conservative News Aggregator

Carolina Plott Hound – NC Conservative News Aggregator

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ECU Mendenhall Student Center (photo by Cliff Hollis)
Government, UNC

$156 Million Project vs. Teachers of Pitt County

The UNC Board of Governors approved a $156 million student center at ECU.  I spoke and voted against the measure in both Thursday’s UNC BOG Budget & Finance Committee and the Friday’s main UNC BOG meeting.  In both instances, I was the lone vote to deny.  It was Item 10 – Authorization of Non-Appropriated Capital Improvement Projects.  The ECU vote was split out in the B&F meeting because of the number of ECU officials attending the committee meeting.    I voted against the ECU item, but voted to approve the other items in a separate vote.

My concerns included:

  • $425 estimated student fee increase.  Approximately $10-11 million per year.
  • Raising fees, but taking credit for holding tuition flat is disingenuous.  
  • Construction costs of $156 million for 280,0000sf of buildings and parking deck.  A thorough review of construction costs for all projects across all campuses should be done.  In addition, those costs should be compared to private sector costs.
  • It is important to note that the instructional budget for Pitt County schools is $25 million per year.  This ECU student fee increase is $10-11 million per year by comparison.

On the same day as the UNC BOG vote for the ECU Student Center, Pitt County Schools announced that it would have to cut teachers’ hours because of ACA (Obamacare).  The impact of ACA (Obamacare) to the UNC System is $47 million per year.  We are going to struggle to deal with all these unanticipated costs.

Financial resources are not unlimited.  We must consider the financial impact of our decisions on students, teachers, taxpayers, and the area.

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Psalm-127:1 - Unless the Lord Builds the House
Government, UNC

My Invocation at UNC Board of Governors February Meeting

Rev. Dr. McCorkle – at the laying of the University’s cornerstone in 1793 (slightly paraphrased)
He talks about the absolute importance of God in all our endeavors, the need  for and benefits of public education.

Psalm 127:1
Unless the Lord Builds the House
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it, labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to His beloved sleep.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb, a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Rev Dr. McCorkle continues

For my own part, I feel myself penetrated with a sense of these truths; and this I feel not only as a citizen of the State, as a member of civil as well as religious society.

To diffuse the greatest possible degree of happiness in North Carolina is the aim of our government and God’s will.
The happiness of a nation depends on national wealth, success, just laws, and liberty.
Those objectives require an educated populace.
Help us educate the people of this State.
Help us create public places of education that give our citizens the means to live a happy and productive life.
This in turn we hope will lead to a more successful and productive nation.
Help us use our universities to encourage industry to provide careers for our citizens.
All these successes depend on dissemination of knowledge.

Knowledge is wealth, it is glory —whether among philosophers, ministers of state or of religion, or among the great mass of the people.
We celebrate our thought leaders as kings.
Uncivilized people cannot have, or rather cannot educate such leaders, though many capable children with unlimited potential are born and buried among them.
Knowledge is liberty and law.
When the clouds of ignorance are dispelled by the radiance of knowledge, power trembles, but the authority of the laws remains inviolable;
and how this knowledge, productive of so many advantages to mankind, can be acquired without public places of instruction, I know not.

May this hill be for religion as the ancient hill of Zion; and for literature and the Muses, may it surpass the ancient Parnassus! We this day enjoy the pleasure of seeing the corner-stone of the University, its foundations, its materials, and the architects of the buildings, and we hope ever long to see its stately walls and spire ascending to their summit.

Guide us Lord and help us serve the People of this State.

I pulled most of the quotes from Sketches of North Carolina by William Henry Foote (http://docsouth.unc.edu/nc/foote/foote.html).  Rev Dr. McCorkle’s quotes start on page 532.
I included the entire Psalm 127:1 – the book doesn’t quote the whole psalm, but it appears to have only a portion of his speech.  I also paraphrased some parts of the speech for brevity and modern reference.
The relevant text from Sketches of North Carolina is:
Page 532
On the 12th of October, 1793, the first lots in the village were sold, and the corner-stone of the first building was laid, with masonic procession and ceremonies, by William Richardson Davie. The Rev. Dr. McCorkle, of the Presbyterian church, the only clergyman then in the corporation, addressed the assembly at length. From his speech the following are extracts:–“It is our duty to acknowledge that sacred scriptural truth, Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it; except the Lord keepeth the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. For my own part, I feel myself penetrated with a sense of these truths; and this I feel not only as a minister of religion, but also as a citizen of the State, as a member of civil as well as religious society. These unaffected feelings of my heart give me leave to express, with that plainness and honesty which becomes a preacher of the Gospel and a minister of Jesus Christ.””To diffuse the greatest possible degree of happiness in a given territory is the aim of good government and religion. Now the happiness of a nation depends upon national wealth and national glory, and cannot be gained without them. They in like manner depend upon liberty and laws. Liberty and laws call for general knowledge in the people, and extensive knowledge in matters ofPage 533
State; and these, in fine, demand public places of education. * * * * How can any nation be happy without national wealth? How can that nation, or man, be happy that is not procuring the necessary conveniences and accommodations of life? How can glory or wealth be procured or preserved without liberty and laws, as they must check luxury, encourage industry and protect wealth. They must secure me the glory of my actions, and save from a bowstring or a bastile; and how are these objects to be gained without general knowledge? Knowledge is wealth,–it is glory–whether among philosophers, ministers of state or of religion, or among the great mass of the people. Britons glory in the name of a Newton, and honor him with a place among the sepulchres of her kings. Americans glory in the name of a Franklin; and every nation which has them boasts her great men. Savages cannot have, rathercannot educate them, though many a Newton has been born and buried among them. Knowledge is liberty and law. When the clouds of ignorance are dispelled by the radiance of knowledge, power trembles, but the authority of the laws remains inviolable; and how this knowledge, productive of so many advantages to mankind, can be acquired without public places of instruction, I know not. * * * * “May this hill be for religion as the ancient hill of Zion; and for literature and the Muses, may it surpass the ancient Parnassus! We this day enjoy the pleasure of seeing the corner-stone of the University, its foundations, its materials, and the architects of the buildings, and we hope ere long to see its stately walls and spire ascending to their summit.” The discourse was followed by a short but animated prayer, closed with the united Amen of an immense concourse of people.

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$47 Million Impact to UNC from Obamacare
Government, UNC

Obamacare (ACA) to Cost UNC $47 Million per Year

Obamacare will cost the University of North Carolina System $47 million per year starting in 2015 for its 8,586 employees that exceed 30 hours per week that don’t have State insurance.  This is a recurring annual expense.  The workers include temporary/visiting faculty, graduate or teaching assistants, post-doctoral employees and student employees.  This group is in addition to the primary UNC workforce that is already covered by the State Health Plan.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) employers are required to provide qualified health insurance plans to much of their workforce or face hefty fines.  Due to this mandate, the University of North Carolina and other State government agencies, as employers, must provide healthcare coverage for certain non-permanent employees or face significant fines.

The University’s existing health plan is currently administered by the State Health Plan.  At $5,435 per employee annually, this is an Unfunded mandate that will have a significant impact on the UNC system and state agency budgets.  With approximately 8,586 qualifying employees (that exceed 30 hours but aren’t currently insured) in the University, UNC will have to find approximately $47 million to comply with the Affordable Care Act mandate (based on 2014 rates of $5,435 per employee – however costs may be higher in 2015).

State Health Care Costs History:

2012-13: $5,192
2013-14: $5,285
2014-15: $5,435  ($1,400 increase, +34% over last seven years)

The University is responding by seeking lower cost insurance and asking for approval to provide these workers a cheaper plan.  It is also exploring cutting the hours of 50-75% these 8,586 employees to keep them under 30 hours per week.

The University hopes that by reducing the number of qualified employees’ hours (similar to Darden restaurants pilot program that it later reversed) and offering a lower cost plan – the cost impact could be reduced to $11-22 million per year.  I would brace for a $30-50 million impact.

The implementation date is 1/1/2015 – so campuses has already started setting aside money to deal with the impact.  Learn more by reading the UNC Board of Governors February 2014 meeting materials.

$47,000,000 per Year

$47 Million Impact to UNC from Obamacare

$47 Million Impact to UNC from Obamacare

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UNC Sign
Government, UNC

Spreadsheet of all UNC Foundations Activity Statements and Balance Sheets

In an effort to provide greater transparency and encourage active participation in the financial analysis of the UNC System – here is a link to another dropbox folder with UNC Foundations’ Activity Statements and Balance Sheets.  These are set up in a side by side comparison format similar to the other UNC System Financial Statement Analysis.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/05g25ok1itx9kh5/JZ-F-mdasJ

As with the other post, this is public information that my office has formatted for ease of comparison.  Feel free to share and comment below.  Corrections are welcome.

UNC Sign

UNC Sign

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Cover Page of the Detailed Consolidated and by Campus Financials
Government, UNC

UNC System Financial Statements – Detailed Consolidated and by Campus

I started serving on the UNC Board of Governors in August 2013 and was placed on the Budget and Finance Committee as well as the Audit Committee.  The Board oversees the UNC System and its 17 campuses and related entities.

At our first meeting we were presented with a partial budget ($2.6 billion which is the State Appropriations funding/spending, not the full $8.8 billion).  I personally find it difficult to consider a budget without looking at the whole picture, financials, prior spending, impact, etc.  That’s especially trying when hundreds of pages of materials are supplied just a few days before the meeting.

In my business, we compare property by property financials as well as restaurant unit metrics.  I’m a product of the UNC System – Carolina for undergrad Business Admin and UNCG for MBA, so I was surprised to learn that there were no campus by campus comparison financial statements, nor a detailed consolidated financial statement.

I was able to obtain PDFs of the following financial statements:  ASU, ECSU, ECU, FSU, NC A&T, NCCU, NCSU, UNC-CH, UNC-General Admin, UNCA, UNCC, UNCG, UNCP, UNCSA, UNCW, WCU, WSSU and various other entities.  These are public materials, though not easily found.

Here’s a dropbox link those campus financials:  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4khqoeet1ltpp9i/NoJ2JcPIF8

Two of my company staff worked to prepare the following Detailed Consolidated and by Campus Financial Statements (with numbers per student and per staff).  They had to start with the pdfs rather than spreadsheets (and hand key in the numbers), because those did not exist in the UNC System.  I’ve since found out that the State Auditor’s office has worksheets with the raw numbers – so I plan to request prior years’ numbers from Auditor Wood.

Here’s a dropbox link to our completed Excel spreadsheet and cover page.  I provided this to the BOG in November 2013.  https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dkf253bpqhmlx1z/HiyqLqQHW5

UPDATE 2/18/14 – SPREADSHEET UPDATED TO REFLECT 2012 FULL TIME EQUIVALENT STUDENT NUMBERS – NOTE SECOND SPREADSHEET

Cover Page of the Detailed Consolidated and by Campus Financials

Cover Page of the Detailed Consolidated and by Campus Financials

The Board of Governors meets every month.  The next meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee is Thursday, February 20, 2014 in the Board Room of the Spangler Center in Chapel Hill at 12:45pm.  The topics will include Tuition and Fees for 2014-15, Budget Priorities, Authorization of Non-Appropriated Capital Improvements, and several others.  The meeting is open to the public.  The whole Board meets that Thursday morning at 9:30am with several committee meetings in the same building that day – all of those meetings are open meetings.  On Friday the 21st, the board meets for its formal session at 9am on SAS Campus, Building C, in Cary, NC (also open to the public).  I would encourage any interested parties to attend.  There is not an opportunity for the public to speak, but there are several breaks where attendees can talk with the BOG and University staff.

You can access full meeting materials through the following link (click on Meeting Materials):  https://www.northcarolina.edu/bog/index.php

ADDED 2/18/14 – UNC Foundations Activity Statements and Financials

UPDATE 2/18/14 – SPREADSHEET UPDATED TO REFLECT 2012 FULL TIME EQUIVALENT STUDENT NUMBERS – NOTE SECOND SPREADSHEET – https://www.dropbox.com/sh/dkf253bpqhmlx1z/HiyqLqQHW5

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